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


an introduction to green wood workingPole lathe introduction

Try your hand at the ancient craft of the pole lathe

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. We’ll be using the trees that grow naturally around us in ways that our ancestors once did. You’ll find out how to work with wood still green and fresh from the tree; you’ll split it, shape it on a shave horse and then turn it on a traditional pole lathe. This is how chairs, stools, bowls, rolling pins and a host of other household objects used to be made.

We'll cover:
  • Properties of greenwood and different tree species
  • Cleaving greenwood
  • The shave horse and use of the draw knife
  • Introduction to the pole lathe and basic turning
  • The roughing-out gouge and the flat chisel
  • An introduction to the spindle gouge and skew chisel
  • Make a “priest” or a rolling pin
Duration: 7 to 8 hours

Cost: 100 for two people (50 each); 20 per additional group member.
Individual one-to-one booking available at 100.

Booking: Ring or email to book a day and time that suits you; tel. 01388 529154 or email enquiries@natureholiday.co.uk then fill in and return the booking form (by email or post) and make your payment by cheque or click on the button below to pay online. Download booking form

Further information: Minimum group size two; maximum 10. Participants should be 16 or over. Although not too strenuous an activity you will need to be able to stand at the lathe for several hours pushing the treadle with your foot. Bring a packed lunch.

The activity leader has nearly 30 years experience in greenworking and the pole lathe and is DBS checked.

Location: North Pennines - Weardale

Booking options


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.