One-Day Rustic Chair Making Course
Our rustic chair making course has proved extremely popular in recent years. All proceeds from these courses goes straight to Pondhead Conservation Trust (a registered charity) to help fund our continuing conservation and restoration work. None of the people running the course receive any remuneration – they are all volunteers.
The following video give you a taste of what to expect.
Venue: Pondhead Inclosure, Lyndhurst
Duration: 9.30 am until 4.00 pm
Cost: £125 per person (includes your chair to take home with you)
In the heart of the New Forest, come spend a relaxing day making a unique chair from coppiced hazel. Using traditional tools, make a natural chair whilst learning about the history and renovation of the largest Hazel coppice left within Crown land of the Forest, a woodland now managed by Pondhead Conservation Trust in partnership with Forestry England.
At the end of the day, you will take home a chair, a little bit of peace and serenity, the satisfaction of journeying with the Hazel from tree to finished product and a greater appreciation of what part our past can play in our future.
Course Dates & Booking
Saturday 5 August 2023 – SOLD OUT
Saturday 19 August 2023 – SOLD OUT
All courses are currently sold out but will be running further courses during spring/summer 2024 and will advise dates by February next. If you would like to receive priority email advice when next year’s dates become available please enter your details below :-
Directions: From Lyndhurst, take the Brockenhurst/Lymington Road. Beechen Lane is approximately 500 yards on the left after the end of the one way system. Turn immediately left before MidForest Vets. From Lymington/Brockenhurst, the turning is on the right at the bottom of the hill as you are about to enter Lyndhurst, just after the Crown Stirrup pub and opposite Foxlease. Proceed to the end of the lane past the houses where we will meet you.
Tools: The traditional tools we use such as bill hooks and draw-knives will all be supplied. We will also supply gloves, but you are more than welcome to bring your own. All materials provided.
PROGRAMME – Rustic Chair Making Course
Morning – The day will start with a walk through the woodland where you will learn about the workings of a managed coppice, and see the results in increased biodiversity. Arriving at our workplace, you will not fail to notice the ‘retort’ where we make our charcoal. It may well be fired up and the charcoal maker (known as the wood collier) will explain it’s inner workings.
After a brief health and safety course (and perhaps a cup of tea) you will be shown how to use a draw-knife, sitting astride your shave-horse and we will proceed to cut and shape our timber.
Lunch – Our BBQ will be fired up using our own charcoal. There will be locally sourced sausages and burgers and perhaps even a bit of salad! Tea, coffee and soft drinks will also be provided.
Afternoon – After a good lunch, and especially if it’s sunny in the woods, a siesta sounds inviting but we haven’t got chairs to relax in yet, so it’s back to work on the construction phase. This is where we wire the chairs together (it’s a black art), but there’s plenty of help.
Lastly we sand off the bottom seat edges for added comfort. Now for the all important testing phase – relax and try out your chair with a last mug of tea. After that (short) break, if time allows, we will head into some prime coppice and cut some hazel rods ready for the next intake of chair-makers.
Home-time – We will walk back out to your cars (and reality), exploring a little of the history of the woods along the way. Your chairs will be transported out to your cars for you. The chairs fold, so there should be no problem fitting them in your car.
At the end of your rustic chair making course, you will take home a chair, a little bit of peace and serenity, the satisfaction of journeying with the Hazel from tree to finished product and a greater appreciation of what part our past can play in our future.
Come and enjoy a day out with a difference