bush craft course

Food and drink
A vegetarian lunch,is included. Please notify us of any particular dietary requirements. Tea and coffee are available at breaks, both morning and afternoon with biscuits and cake provided to keep up energy levels. All included in the price.

 

 

COURSES FROM COPPICE DESIGNS

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A living willow chair

Make your own unique rustic armchair, from fresh, bendy, green willow, with two expert teachers.

Many people already know that to plant a wllow can be as simple as pushing a fresh cutting into the ground, with our skills we have been able to design a practical, fun, striking and eco friendly armchair for the garden, utilising the particular properties of fresh willow that any reasonably practical person can create in a day with our tuition and help. Choose from three designs: Gothic leaf (see below); Gypsy Hoop, Diamond Trellis or design your own with our help.

living willow chair

We will supply you with full written instructions on planting and aftercare, with various options. Not only does the willow we use grow locally (saving wood miles), we harvest it ourselves on a sustainable rotation. The willow 'beds' are themselves valuable wildlife habitat. Only a living/growing chair can be 'carbon positive', taking in carbon as it lives and grows. It's the antidote to teak garden furniture made with rainforest timber.

Getting them home is not usually a problem as even most small hatchbacks will accomodate a chair, there are other delivery options available we can sort out at the end of the course.

 

Dates 2015:

3rd March

5th March

 

Price: £125 per person

 

Contact me for further information.

Planting and aftercare

These chairs and benches are made from willow grown sustainably in Cambridgeshire, this variety commonly known as 'osier' (Salix viminalis) is widely used in woven willow hurdles/fencing and more and more in creating live willow structures and sculptures. It's picked mainly because it is very vigorous, easy to plant and flexible to use.

This variety is shrubby willow and can never reach tree proportions. Like most willows it likes water but is happy growing in most average soil conditions. However, it is light demanding and will not tolerate overhead shade, in fact and open position is best, away from buildings, drains, hedges and large trees.

The ideal planting time is Jan/Feb but later plantings are also successful with a little care eg; planting the chair promptly so it doesn't dry out and watering copiously in the first year (in fact water is key for very late plantings in May and June and irrigation by various means is crucial at this late season. Please contact me in this situation for further advice).

There are three options for managing your growing chair. I recommend letting the shoots develop fully in the first growing season (provided the roots are kept watered), then at anytime in the dormant period (when leaves are gone) you can prune off some of the shoots that have grown in the wrong place and/or train them by easing them back down into the main frame to bulk out the structure. Alternatively, join some of the taller shoots together (with soft garden ties) over the seat to create a 'bower' and/or weave them and interlace to create a living trellis. Or, you can simply lop everything off and the chair will regrow from square one next spring. To do nothing is also an option though when in full leaf the chair starts to disappear under an unmanaged canopy.