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“The recent Shrink Boxes course was a great introduction to this technique, it is similar to spoon-making in that it is a skill which requires few tools and can be practiced at home using easily available timber.  A great mix of interesting people and expert tuition in a beautiful and relaxed setting.”

Dan attended Shrink Boxes 1 day course in June 2013

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  • Traditional Cleft Ash Gates and Trellis

Traditional Cleft Ash Gates and Trellis

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We have not set any particular dates for this course yet but if you are interested as an individual or a group please get in touch to discuss

Cost: £185

Venue:  The Northumberland Centre for Greenwood Craft at Kirkley Hall, Northumberland

Both days start at 10: 00am and finish about 4:30pm.

Portable, lightweight gates made from strong, durable split ash logs are synonymous with Victorian farming and, more recently, television series such as ‘One Man and His Dog’ and ‘Victorian Farm’.

Traditionally, gates or 'cleft ash gates hurdles' were made by farm workers from locally sourced coppice material to be used around the farm to hold small animals like sheep, lambs and goats in temporary enclosures. They were particularly useful at lambing time.

Today, portable gate hurdles are still widely used around the farm, but more usually are made from either steel or sawn softwood.

Using the same simple materials, tools and techniques other beautiful items can be made - such as versatile and attractive frames to support climbing plants like honeysuckle or clematis.

On this two day workshop we’ll start with how to control the spliting of small diameter ash logs using a range of simple traditional hand-tools, such as froes and drawknives, and devices such as cleaving breaks and shavehorses to make a small traditional cleft ash gate.  On day two we'll let the creativity flow to make other products for around the garden.

No previous experience required.

You will leave with one small cleft ash gate and at least one climbing plant support.


Price: £185.00 (Inc. VAT)
Availability: Course full

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