“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…

I really enjoyed my recent course and made a great wee coffee table and shave horse. Alasdair is an amazing green woodworker and an even better teacher🤩😁. Definitely worth the trip from Glasgow to Devon.

graeme leitch Avatar graeme leitch

My family and I recently spent an incredibly happy and gratifying time making a green wood table with Alasdair and his assistant, Simon. I cannot overstate what a special, stimulating and satisfying time it was - working together as a family; learning about the wood, the tools and the processes; and making a table which we will have forever and which will always remind us of that bonding time together. It was genuinely one of the most harmonious and fulfilling things we have ever done as a family and I would highly recommend it to anyone, however inexperienced. I have also never met two more gentle and patient teachers and craftsmen, with two more overdeveloped sets of forearms!

Alice Morgan Avatar Alice Morgan

Wonderful work on a commission for a special birthday. Documented and photographed from start with cutting the wood, making the top and legs to assembling and final polishing. If you want something special I can not recommend them highly enough. I will be going back for more individual pieces of furniture to be hand made.

Hazel Payne Avatar Hazel Payne

Really enjoyed my intro to pole lathing course-was great to enjoy the whole process from log to finished product. Alasdair was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about his craft and made us feel very welcome.

Matt Hamilton Avatar Matt Hamilton

Little Acorn Furniture is an experience to be remembered. The level of knowledge on all things to do with woodworking to forestry management was exemplary. That knowledge and enthusiasm rubs off on all students on the courses and provides a very enjoyable atmosphere. The team as so accommodating to your needs and really get to know your quirks and aspirations for your project and do all they can to help. The setting is great, the structure great and I would highly recommend Little Acorn furniture whether you have no experience of woodworking to being skilled. Great weekend course and will be back again for sure.

Sam Howell Avatar Sam Howell