“Times they are a changing! and we are moving”

After several fantastic years of delivering courses and making creations in Devon we are moving.
Little Acorn Furniture is taking a break from the rolling fields and wooded hills of Mid Devon . We will be re-emerging in a year or so in a very different setting, the island of Orkney is to become our new home.
We fully intend to honour all existing bookings but are unable to take new orders for courses or equipment. You can as ever get in touch to talk about all things Green Wood and conservation and feel free to ask how I intend to cope with the treeless landscape of the islands.

Little Acorn Furniture offers courses in Green Woodworking and rustic furniture making ranging from one to five days in duration. No experience is needed and families are welcome so come along and learn some new skills whilst having a great time.

Try something new suitable for all the family. You can experience traditional woodworking using methods and tools unchanged since the medieval period. Make your own furniture from local wood and experience life as a woodland craftsman with little acorn furniture near Clifford Bridge on the edge of Fingle wood.

If you wish to purchase a course as a gift we are able to provide printable gift vouchers up until the 22nd of December. Gift cards and vouchers can be ordered for postage up until the 19th of December. If you would like to visit our shop page and purchase a gift box to accompany your course these must be ordered before the 15th of December to arrive before Christmas. Please be sure to include the correct postal address for the gift with your order.

Merry Christmas from Little Acorn Furniture,

  • Family “greenwood” experience
    Alasdair will take you through the basic principles of Green Woodworking and provide the knowledge, tools and materials needed to get you using a pole lathe. Turn as many items as you like using a variety of local hard woods and unlock the full potential of this ancient craft.
  • Introduction to pole lathing
    During this one or two day course, you will get to practice the principles of green woodworking: cleaving and shaping the wood using side axe and draw knife before turning on a pole lathe to produce a range of items - as long as it is round!
  • Simply stools
    This two-day course offers you the chance to produce a simple three or four legged stool with hard wood top and turned or draw knifed legs.
  • From tree to table
    This three day course gives you time to produce a table or bench with stretchered legs using more advanced techniques. The addition of stretchers between the legs allows you to make larger items with more refinement.
  • Table making course
    This four-day course gives you time to explore the intricacies of green wood furniture design to produce a dramatic and unique piece of furniture of your own design.
  • Chair making course
    Over this full four day course you will make and assemble a complete chair from local Ash and Beech. Choosing from one of two traditional designs you will be responsible for shaping all components and joining therm using traditional wedged mortice and tenon joints
  • Make your own shaving horse
    In order to make a traditional shaving horse you will need a pole lathe, in order to use a pole lathe a shaving horse is essential. Get around this catch 22 situation by making your very own shaving horse over two days in Alasdair's fully equipped Greenwood workshop.
  • Handle making and tool restoration
    This is a one day course aimed at giving you the basic knowledge and skills required to make a tool handle of any sore from green Ash. Be it an axe, hammer, chisel or spade you can restore personalise and bring back to life any old tool. We will go back to the days when things were done 'proper' and a tool handle could last a lifetime of use.
  • Cleft hurdle gate making
    Discover the ancient art of gate making using authentic traditional tools and techniques. Using the true nature of the wood to ensure both beauty and strength, start with a freshly cut log and explore the entire process of cleaving , shaping and jointing.
  • One-to-one tuition
    Work and learn at your own pace - receive uninterrupted expert tuition in the art of green wood furniture making and have exclusive access to the range of hardwoods available in the workshop.

Course dates

2023 dates for spring and summer are shown below, please feel free to contact us directly to discuss courses next year. Dates for the autumn will soon be available. COVID has subtly changed the way we operate and it is now more than ever about your experience, enjoyment and safety.

Bookings can still be made by selecting to arrange your course at a later date.



For full details of each course including prices and to make your booking please go to the specific course page from the courses menu.

Courses are organized throughout the year and can be arranged to suit you if booking for a group of three or more.

Family “Greenwood” day and “One to one” tuition.

These days can be arranged exclusively to suit you and your family. Please contact us to arrange your course date!

Table Making Course, and Group bookings

Book exclusively on dates that suit you, contact us directly to arrange your course.


One Day Course Dates, Introduction to Pole Lathing, Handle making, Introduction to Hurdle gates.

March 9th Fully booked

April 15th Fully booked

May 20th Fully booked

July 24th 4 places remaining

Two Day Course Dates, Simply Stools, Make your own Shaving Horse, Hurdle gate making.

March 9th – 10th Fully booked

April 15th – 16th Fully booked

May 20th – 21st Fully booked

July 24th – 25th 3 places remaining

Three Day Course Dates, Tree to Table.

March 23rd – 25th Fully booked

April 15th – 17th Fully booked

July 24th – 26th 3 places remaining

Chair Making Course.

March 23rd – 26th Fully booked

July 24th – 27th 3 places remaining

About the workshop

Little Acorn Furnitures Green Wood work shop has been developed in the Old Sheep Barn at Clifford Barton, which is located on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. The Farm now hosts family holiday cottages and courses, as well as providing a home for rescued dwarf ponies.

Surrounded by beautiful Devon coutryside and the breathtaking Fingle Wood, the workshop provides a covered area where the courses can take place.  However, there is also a large outside area overlooking the Valley where we hope to enjoy the fantastic Devon sunshine!

What our customers say…

Introduction to Pole Lathing one-day course. Alasdair is a great instructor - knowledgeable, enthusiastic and welcoming. Very enjoyable day in the most stunning setting. Careful thought and preparation went into making the course COVID-19 secure. Highly recommended.

Francis Byng Avatar Francis Byng

Had a great two day Stool Making workshop with Alastair and Simon. Very welcoming, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I enjoyed myself very much and now have a piece of furniture made with my own hand (any wobbles are completely my own fault😉)!! Thoroughly recommend it for everyone!

Fiona Sansom Avatar Fiona Sansom

Took 5 children along to learn carpentry. They all had an amazing time, each made a sword and a baseball bat (their choice). They did everyhthing from sawing the wood to shaping it. Alisdair was so good with them and made sure they each left with finished items. My son who has ADHD was engaged from the start and cannot wait to go again. The parents also had a go and really enjoyed the day too.

Elaine Russell Avatar Elaine Russell

We had an amazing experience wood turning with Alasdair. His workshop is a very very special place! He is incredibly knowledgable about the entire process and a fantastic teacher - I would wholeheartedly recommend doing a course with him!

JO HARMAN - Official Avatar JO HARMAN - Official

We did a family woodworking day with Alisdair and Simon whilst staying at Clifford Barton. We have three boys aged 9, 13 and 16 and all were involved and engaged with brilliantly throughout the day. We made a small table, starting with splitting an ash trunk, then axing, then using the shaving horse, as well as preparing the top from a piece of rough sawn oak. We also all learned some pole lathing skills. It was a fantastic way to send time together, in good company. We hope to be back!

Rebecca Bird Avatar Rebecca Bird