Make a Chair in a Day

Make a Hazel Hi-back Chair – 1 day course

Venue:          Pondhead Inclosure, Lyndhurst
Duration:      9.30 am until 4.00 pm
Cost:            £115 per person (includes your chair to take home with you)

Chairs being made in five hours (almost!)

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 the Forestry Commission.

At the end of the day, you will take home a chair, some charcoal, 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:

Sorry, all places are sold out for this year, but please send us an email to with ‘Courses’ as the title, and we will email you with a list of next years courses when the dates have been finalised.

Thursday 25 May 2017 sold out
Saturday 17 June 2017 sold out
Saturday 5 August 2017 sold out
Thursday 7 September 2017  sold out

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.

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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! – this will not be a ‘served-on-a-plate’ lunch, but a muck-in ‘cook-it-yourself’ affair. Tea and coffee 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.

IMG_2364Lastly 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 for you.

The chairs fold, so there should be no problem fitting them in your car. You will also receive a complimentary bag of charcoal produced from the woods around you and made in the charcoal retort you spent your day beside.

Download an information leaflet here


Click on required date to take you to secure booking site at Eventbrite

Sorry, all places are sold out for this year, but please send us an email to with ‘Courses’ as the title, and we will email you with a list of next years courses when the dates have been finalised.

Come and enjoy a day out with a difference