Woodland Pioneers Week 2024
The Bill Hogarth MBE Memorial Apprenticeship Trust's
22nd Woodland Pioneers: Introduction to Coppicing

Bill Hogarth MBE (1928-1999) was a coppice merchant who worked the woods of South Cumbria. The memorial trust (BHMAT) was set up in 2000 to continue his work and now runs a 3-year apprenticeship training scheme which leads to the Bill Hogarth Coppice Diploma. Our Woodland Pioneers course introduces those interested, to the apprenticeship scheme and/or to coppicing and greenwood crafts.

Newcomers take four 1-day workshops Mon-Thurs, plus 2 shorter workshops on the Friday.
Returners take either two 2-day workshops Mon-Thurs, plus 2 shorter workshops on the Friday or one 4-day workshop Mon-Thurs, plus 2 shorter workshops on the Friday.

Just email (info@coppiceapprentice.org.uk) if you have any questions once you’ve read the details below.

See below for details of the Mon-Thurs workshops. Details for Friday workshops will be given during the week.

The price of the course: £335 - £545 (We have a sliding scale so you can pay what you can afford.)
We also have the facility for you to pay in installments, if this would be easier. Drop Kath an email (info@coppiceapprentice.org.uk) to discuss options.

The date of the course: Monday 26th – Friday 30th August 2024


Monday – Thursday: Four 1-day Workshops for Newcomers:

1. Treen
with Twiggy:

Twiggy (BHMAT Chair + graduate) will teach you the skills required to create a range of small wooden products including spatulas and 'gypsy roses'.

2. Mini Gate Hurdles
with Owen Jones:

Using traditional tools and ancient techniques, Owen (MBE, oak swill basket-maker) will show you how to make rails and posts, and mortise and tenon joints, to complete your own traditional cleft gate hurdle.

3. Charcoal
with The Coppice Co-op:

The Co-op (BHMAT sponsors) will teach you a range of methods used to create charcoal, from DIY in your back garden, to the very latest in modern environmentally sustainable practices. Expect to get grubby in your quest for black gold!

4. Greenwood Stools
with Helen Clarke:

Helen (BHMAT graduate) will show you how to use traditional tools to shape and assemble the necessary parts to create your very own unique stool to take home with you.

Monday – Thursday: Two 2-day Workshops for Returners:

1. Bowl Turning
with Matt Whittaker:

From timber selection, safe and effective roughing out the blank with the carving axe, to grain orientation on the lathe, tool selection and sharpening, design and finishing, Matt will show you all the skills for turning a log into a bowl on a traditional spring pole lathe.

2. Rush Basketry
with Jane Bradley:

Come and make a bag with lovely soft English rush. Jane, who has been working with the material for over 20 years, will bring some freshly harvested rush and guide you through the processes and weaves to create a bag suitable for carrying your lunch or day provisions.

Monday – Thursday: 4-day Workshop for Returners:

1. Willow Shoulder Basket
with Helen Elvin and Tony Morgan:

Led by Helen (BHMAT graduate), on this workshop, you will make a shoulder basket based on the traditional fishing creel. There are a lot of different skills to this, so some experience of willow weaving is needed. Bring secateurs, craft knife and wrapping iron if you have them.
On the fourth day, Tony (BHMAT Trustee) will show you how to make an adjustable leather strap.

Friday workshops:

We run a number of short woodcraft workshops on the Friday. These will be advertised and you will be able to sign up to them during the week.

The location: We’re holding the workshops at SilverHelme Scout Activity Camp (The Row, Silverdale, Lancashire. LA5 0UG). This is set in eighteen acres of natural woodland in the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. (O.S. Map 97 Ref. SD 473 752).

what3words address: ///mimed.cardinal.unscathed


Camping: Pitches on site are included in the course fee.

Cancellations: If we cancel, we will return all course fees sent to us.
If you need to cancel after you have paid the course fee, please note the following cancellation charges:

  • £10 up to midnight on Fri 26th July
  • £40 from midnight on Fri 26th July to midnight on Fri 9th August
  • No refund available after midnight on Fri 9th August.

Certificate: If you wish to gain a certificate for the course (cost £10), you will be asked to complete a workbook detailing your learning throughout the week. This will be emailed to you beforehand then you can either print it out or complete it electronically. For those wishing to apply for a BHMAT placement, please note that it is essential that you attend the full course and gain a certificate.

Food: The cost of a hearty, veggie/vegan lunch and evening meal is included in your fee. Breakfast will be provided at a small extra cost. There is also a tea tent in the woods that will keep you supplied with brews - and, more importantly, cake - during the day!

Concessions: If you are unable to afford the course fee we might, in certain circumstances, be able to help so do get in touch - info@coppiceapprentice.org.uk

The minimum age for participants and people on site is 18 years of age - we can take no responsibility for those under 18.

BHMAT and our tutors take every precaution to ensure your safety and we will have a number of qualified First Aiders on site. We need to know of any special medical or mental health condition or medication that might compromise your safety or that of others. Disability access is limited on site, so please talk with us about any specific needs before you book on the course.

Our Woodland Pioneers week is a break-even event. Any additional donation to help BHMAT with costs and its apprenticeship programme would be very much appreciated.

Booking Information:

Book online via PayPal (includes debit card payments).

If you prefer to pay by cheque, BACS or postal order - please email info@coppiceapprentice.org.uk for details.

Further information will be sent to you nearer the time.

Current availability:
  • For newcomers: 2 PayPal places left.
  • Two 2-day advanced workshops + Friday: Sorry, no more PayPal payments available at the moment.
    Please contact Kath to check the number of places left.
  • One 4-day advanced workshops + Friday: 2 PayPal places left.

If there are no more spaces on the course you want to attend, email Kath (info@coppiceapprentice.org.uk) as we sometimes hold back places for non-PayPal payments. You can also get yourself on the reserve list for cancelations.


Please share Woodland Pioneers on your favourite social media platform and feel free to use any of the photos on this page - the next two photos are ready for using on Instagram and Facebook. And please remember to point people to our website! Thank you!

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