Stay Safe & Have Fun
During this time, your safety is of absolute paramount importance to us. It is also essential that you are able to get the most out of the experience and thoroughly enjoy your time with Little Acorn Furniture.
Learn more about our Covid Secure workshops >
Note: when booking a course, there is no need to specify a date at the time of purchase. Also, if you are booked on a course and you find cannot attend, just get in touch and we’ll do our best to fit you in at another time.
One day course
Up to two adults and three children.
Full day from (9:30am until you are tired and happy). Ideally suitable for families with children of primary school age and upwards.
* Courses can also be arranged on dates to suit your needs, fill in the booking form with your preferred dates and Alasdair will be in touch to confirm availability.
Half day (from 9:30am until 12:30pm) may also be available.
All tools and materials are provided.
“We all gave the course 10/10 and had a fantastic morning. Alasdair is knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and great fun. He kept the kids interested throughout and we were busy all the time with Alasdair on hand for whenever we needed help. We would all thoroughly recommend it to anyone with a creative streak and an interest in traditional craft, wishing to learn new skills and knowledge AND go home with a unique piece of crafted handy-work.”
The Bloomfields, 2017
On your day you will get the chance to try out all aspects of the green wood craft. Develop new skills and work together to produce any number of hand made things for your home. Made for you, by you in Little Acorn’s dedicated Green Wood Workshop, situated on the edge of Fingle Wood in Dartmoor National Park.
Use a wide range of traditional tools in a safe and relaxed environment under expert supervision with Alasdair on hand to guide and instruct you. This is the perfect environment to introduce youngsters to a new creative and practical skill.
The emphasis for your day will be having fun and having a go. You will have exclusive use of the work shop and will be free to try a variety of projects. Aimed at complete beginners and particularly for the children you can each work on individual items such as rolling pins, mallets or even swords. Your family will also be able to work together to make your very own unique family coat rack with individual pegs hand turned by each family member. The shared experience of learning something new and applying these skills is one that your family will treasure for ever, this could even be the start of a new and rewarding hobby. Working with greenwood will deepen your connection with the woodland itself, be prepared never to look at a tree in the same way again.
The techniques of working with green wood and the required methods will be explored and demonstrated. Then it is over to you. All participants will leave Alasdair’s work shop with the knowledge required to continue developing their green woodworking skills and will hopefully be embarking on a new and rewarding pastime. Alasdair is available through social media and his web site to offer continuing support and advice to all customers.
On the dayUnlimited tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. Please bring your own pack lunch as well, there is always plenty of time to stop to eat and chat! If you have your own tools and would like to bring them please do so although I will need to check that they are suitable. Please wear appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes are essential absolutely no sandals or flip flops please. The covered work shop offers a good degree of shelter but please wrap up if the weather warrants it. The course can be quite physical so be prepared to warm up whilst working and wrap up whilst chatting. Hand washing and toilet facilities are available on site courtesy of Clifford Barton Holiday cottages.
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!
How to book
Children under 16 accompanied by an adult are half price.
Gift vouchers are available to purchase online.
A discount of 10% is applied to group bookings of four or more.
There are many advantages to making a group booking. By prior arrangement, the workshop will be yours exclusively for the duration of the course. Your time will also be your own to use as you wish, you can simply follow an existing course outline or work together on a larger project such as a table or chair.
This is a great way to experience the craft of green wood furniture making and working as a group a great deal can be accomplished in a short space of time.
Progress your skills with Little Acorn Furniture
Although all of our courses stand alone and there is no requirement to complete anyone before progressing to the next, it is possible to build your skills and experience by progressing through the various courses in order.
Starting with the one-day introduction which outlines the basic skills and principles you can progress to the two-day stool course, this will give a taste of the methods and techniques used to ‘join’ components together into a piece of furniture. The three and four-day course then provides an opportunity to be more creative and ambitious, building on all of your experience gained in the previous courses. Finally, the chair making course offers the chance to combine all of your knowledge and experience in one grand project.
On each new course you will be introduced to new tools and techniques that allow you to build skills and confidence and most importantly to us develop your own unique style and methods.
Booking a course as a gift
Why not include one of our Little Acorn Gift Boxes? See all gift boxes →
Little Acorn Gift boxes include a hand turned gift of your choice, an “about bodgers” card, left blank for your own message and an optional voucher for one of our green woodworking courses.
All presented in a beautiful gift box decorated with our tree logo.
Is this course available on other dates?
If these dates don’t suit you or you would like to book both courses consecutively why not contact Alasdair directly to arrange a time that suits you. However big or small your group we will be able to provide a course that suits your needs.
Please place your enquiry as soon as possible to ensure we can arrange dates that suit you.
Exeter is the nearest mainline station. A taxi from the Station to Clifford Barton will cost approximately £20.
From the North or East (or South on A30): take the M5 past Exeter which then turns into the A30. Continue along the A30 for approximately 10 miles and exit at the Woodleigh Junction, signposted Cheriton Bishop. Having entered Cheriton Bishop turn left immediately before the Old Thatch Pub – signposted Clifford Bridge. Continue along this road for 1.8 miles before turning right at the crossroads – signposted Clifford Bridge. After 0.8 miles turn right into Clifford Barton.
From the South on the A38: Take the Bovey Tracey turnoff onto the A382. Head towards Bovey Tracey and then stay on the A382 until you reach Moretonhampstead. In the centre of Moretonhampstead go straight across at the crossroads, then take the next right (Fore Street) and immediately left down Lime Street (opposite the library). Continue along this road, up and over Mardon Down ignoring any side roads and eventually come down to cross the River Teign at Clifford Cross. Shortly after the bridge there is a crossroads, go straight over signposted Cheriton Bishop. We are first on the left, signposted Clifford Barton.
Once at Clifford Barton, follow the drive with trees on your left. Once you reach the buildings go past the old Oak tree into the yard and park in the bays next to the timber clad barn, you will see Little Acorn Furniture at the end of the old cattle shed.
What three words
What three words location for the drive entrance ///slurping.counters.spicy
What three words location for the workshop ///darkest.surprises.boot
If you are unsure about finding us please call prior to your course as mobile reception at the work shop is limited.
Little Acorn Workshops
We advise you not to use sat nav for the last 5 mins because it is likely to take you on a very scenic, but long and windy route.
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!
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.
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.
What our customers say…
Birthday gift from my wife who knew I liked mucking about with wood. Probably the best birthday present I've ever had, I was totally in my element. Alasdair, Simon and Joel make the whole experience interesting, fun and challenging. They leave you to get on with things, if that's what you want, or are always there to help with a helpful demo or gentle nudge in the right direction. At the end you will feel like you've really achieved something e.g turning a log into a working tool, or piece of furniture, all whilst using the same tools and techniques that were used hundreds of years ago. No sounds of power tools here, just the gentle sounds of the forest and some eager woodworkers creating some amazing things from scratch. Seriously, it really is that good.
We had 2 fantastic days with Alastair and Simon creating 3 shave horses. We had such fun and chat whilst learning green woodworking skills and appreciation for our environment. We certainly learnt great respect for the green wood furniture makers of the past. I would unreservedly recommend this course.