Cleft Chestnut Workshops

at The Living Classroom, near Blandford Forum, Dorset

cleft chestnut gate and bench

Come and learn the craft of clefting chestnut (splitting chestnut poles using traditional methods) at our Cleft Chestnut Workshops in the wonderful setting of Dorset Coppice Group's Living Classroom, in the woods near Blandford Forum.

Over the weekend you will learn about the history of coppicing, get acquainted with the artisan techniques and tools, cleft a log of Sweet Chestnut and learn jointing techniques to make something that will last a lifetime, be it a trellis, gate, table or seat.

2018 weekend workshops

24th-25th February

Those hardy enough will be rewarded with the opportunity of working with freshly coppiced chestnut. You could even come visit during the week before and see us harvesting the timber that you will be using!

28th - 29th April

Hopefully will be slightly warmer and the chestnut will still be very fresh. Although we will have finished coppicing a trip to the chestnut woods could be arranged and the bluebells should be in full bloom!


23rd - 24th June

Although the chestnut will have been cut for a few months it will be left "in-the-round" with the bark on so will still be green, carvable and pliable.

Tickets can be bought on our event page here
or email Dominic at