Green woodworking at Horsenden

Green woodworking – using fresh or “green” wood for carving and carpentry – is at the heart of traditional crafts, a vital part of our technological, cultural, and historical landscape. Green woodworking ties in with forestry and woodland management, with conservation and caring for trees and local ecosystems; it’s a sustainable (meaning it doesn’t cause additional harm to or put greater pressure on nature) practice that has many centuries of tradition behind it, a living link to the past, both recent and ancient.

Tom Bickerdike was for several years the resident green woodworker at Horsenden, leading the spoon carving and chairmaking workshops, and involved with and undertaking from start to finish – from the felling and milling of local trees, to their horse-drawn transport to the farm, to their use in carpentry projects – multiple wonderful creations, including the Hayloft kitchen, the wooden farm gates in front of the old house, and rustic benches seen around the site.

Below are some videos filmed and edited by Steve Haskett, with his descriptions under them.

Green oak bench made by Tom Bickerdike from a fallen tree. Using just hand tools this bench was created over the space of two days. The oak tree was from Horsenden Hill Woods in North Ealing, London and needed to be felled for safety reasons. A joiner by trade Tom has a love of working with wood. For more info visit
Tom Bickerdike used to run a monthly spoon carving session at Horsenden Hill Farm in Ealing, in the Woodland Workshop
A rustic chair being made from Ash branches using just hand tools by Tom Bickerdike in the outdoor woodland workshop at Horsenden Hill

We’re hoping to have spoon carving and other traditional craft workshops again soon at the farm, please get in touch either if you’re a local crafter with skills to offer or might be interested in learning and practicing these skills yourself!