Family bushcraft activities

Wild North Discovery

Bushcrafts, wild food foraging, birdwatching, wildlife, nature and ancient craft skills in North East England and the North West Highlands of Scotland


Pole Lathe

Until modern factory production every single chair, stool, bowl, rolling pin and anything else you can think of that was made from turned wood was produced on a pole lathe from freshly felled green wood. It is a skill that is possibly thousands of years old and yet it is easily learnt. 

During our pole lathe activities you will learn how to use a pole lathe and how to turn greenwood using the four main chisels. You’ll make a simple item to take away with you and can extend your skills during our stool and chair making workshops.


Working with natural materials in a peaceful, rural setting is incredibly therapeutic and very fulfilling. A whole gear change and a world away from busy modern life.

Willow basket making 

The ancient skill of basket weaving is possibly as old as the human species. Willow, when green or dried and soaked, is extremely pliable and can be woven into tough durable items from baskets to fish traps and even chairs.

You’ll use English willow withies in our activities to learn some of the techniques for making useful containers and baskets. Although a simple skill to learn it is hugely satisfying with a great sense of accomplishment.

You’ll leave with your finished item and hopefully the urge to explore and extend your skills in this fascinating ancient craft. 

Gift Vouchers

The ideal present; buy a half or full day activity gift voucher open for use on any of our activities emailed direct to you.

The pole lathe: an introduction

The pole lathe: weekend

The pole lathe: make a stool

The pole lathe: chairmaking

Willow basketry: Basic basket

green wood working on the pole lathe introduction
pole lathe weekend
pole lathe make a stool
pole lathe chair making
willow basket making a flat simple basket
Learn the ancient skills of greenwood turning on a pole lathe or willow basketry. Both are ancient skills practiced for thousands of years ......... find out more Learn the ancient skills of greenwood turning on a pole lathe or willow basketry. Both are ancient skills practiced for thousands of years ......... find out more Learn the ancient skills of greenwood turning on a pole lathe or willow basketry. Both are ancient skills practiced for thousands of years ......... find out more Learn the ancient skills of greenwood turning on a pole lathe or willow basketry. Both are ancient skills practiced for thousands of years ......... find out more Learn the ancient skills of greenwood turning on a pole lathe or willow basketry. Both are ancient skills practiced for thousands of years ......... find out more

Willow basketry: basket with handle




making a willow basket with a handle




Learn the ancient skills of greenwood turning on a pole lathe or willow basketry. Both are ancient skills practiced for thousands of years ......... find out more