Hurdle Making and Greenwood Crafts – 1st July

A half-day workshop at Hay Castle. Learn a traditional skill by having a go at using a draw knife and a shave horse to create traditional sheep hurdles.

This workshop is for people who are interested in sustainable woodland management and would like to know how to make useful products from coppiced and other woodland material. Riven ash gate hurdles were traditionally used for folding sheep and pigs, in 1730 Viscount “turnip” Townshend devised the Norfolk four course rotation (barley, turnips, clover and wheat) a system that allowed farmers to feed their stock through the winter, also improving the health of their stock and increasing the fertility and condition of their land.

Learn several skills such as using a shave horse, billhook and draw knife to de-bark, riven and cleave timber and will construct the gates from prepared timber. This taster workshop is a great follow-up to the introduction to coppicing courses from January and February.


What will I do and learn?

  • Gain an introduction ash timber products
  • Discover the billhook, an essential tool of a coppice craftsperson
  • Learn how to sharpen your green wood working tools
  • Use the draw knife and shaving horse
  • Learn to cleave the wood into beautiful and sturdy product
  • Assemble a riven ash gate hurdle and finish


Key Information

Date – Saturday 1st July 2023 

Times: We will be holding one morning session and one afternoon session

Morning: 10am – 12.30pm, or Afternoon: 1pm – 3.30pm. Book a ticket for the timeslot you would like to attend. 

Location: Hay Castle, on the lawn

To bring: Wear suitable, weather-dependent clothing including gloves and boots Bring a water bottle and a packed lunch for a picnic or buy on-site at the Hay Castle Café. If you are arriving by car, please park in the main Hay-on-Wye carpark and walk to the castle.



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