Nestled in a beautiful wooded valley just outside of Bath the Cherrywood project is the place to go in this area if you want to learn traditional green woodworking. Established about 8 years ago, Tim Gatfield is changing the 40 acre woodland into a working hazel coppice with broad-leaf standards, using the timber to create needed structures and for use on courses.

Every Thursday is volunteer day at Cherrywood and since last summer I have been going every opportunity I’ve had, but lately work has stopped me so I couldn’t wait for the spring project week this year!

Project week usually involves a lot of the bigger jobs and this year despite it raining every day an incredible amount of stuff got done. I’m not going to list everything but one of the main things I was involved in was improving the outdoor bath. The bath was built the previous year with an enamel bath-tub surrounded by a mixture of stone and cob leaving a space underneath to light a fire. The stones and cob act as a heat sink so the bath stays hot long after you’ve got in, perfect! This year we added a decking and boardwalk made from larch extracted and milled on-site and planted what will be a living willow dome for added privacy : )

A week later I went back to assist on the basic green woodwork course, where people with absolutely no woodwork experience come to make various styles of stools. It was a really good experience for me, learning how to do something then immediately helping others to do the same means you gain a lot in a short space of time. This is the most intense course with regards to learning new skills and everyone who took part coped really well making some beautiful and unique stools.

Everyone happy with their completed stools!
(photo courtesy of Rob Exton)