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Charfest 2019

Charfest 2019

Dorset Coppice Group is pleased to announce that it will be hosting ‘Charfest 2019’!

What is Charfest?

Charfest is a 4 day annual celebration of sustainably produced British charcoal.  The centrepiece of the event is a traditional ‘earthburn’ and is one of only a handful of opportunities in the UK to experience this ancient form of charcoal production.  Charfest is also unique in that it draws together a demonstration of three different forms of charcoal production: the earthburn, the ring kiln and the charcoal retort.

What will be happening?

The event will run for four days between the 9th and 12th August 2019 at Dorset Coppice Group’s ‘Living Classroom’ at Bonsley Wood.  The earthburn will be built and lit on the Friday and should be ready for charcoal harvesting on the Monday. Throughout this time it needs to be watched and tended to constantly.  On Saturday, we will also fill and light a ring kiln and charcoal retort.  This will give you the opportunity to witness all three methods of charcoal production taking place simultaneously.

Can I come along?

We will be offering a number of camping tickets for people who wish to experience what it takes to be a ‘wood collier’.  You will experience an earthburn from start to finish, including building, lighting, nurturing and finally harvesting.  At the end of the four days, if all goes to plan(!), you will be able to take home a bag of charcoal that you helped create.  We will also be opening the site up on the Saturday to anyone who wishes to come along and learn more about the British charcoal industry.  You won’t get the full charcoal burners’ experience, but you will get to see the action up close and meet the charcoal burners who still make their living from this ancient craft.

How much will it cost?

Camping passes for attending the whole event will be £50 per person and we will have 30 spaces available.  This price includes your camping pitch (small tents only please!), access to toilets and tea/coffee.  You will need to supply your own camping equipment, food and drinking water.  Day passes for the Saturday will be £2 per person (payable on the door), with access available to the site between 10am & 4pm.  Non-camping entry for Dorset Coppice Group members is free on all four days up until 6pm.

Woodfair 2019

Woodfair 2019

Dorset Coppice Group is pleased to announce details of our annual Woodfair 2019, which will be held on Saturday 6th April at Bonsley Wood.  Admission is free, dogs (and children!) are welcome and refreshments will be available.

Come along and take a look at what we do and explore the beautiful woods in which we work.  The spring flowers should be out in full force!

Work Parties

Remember that we hold monthly volunteer Work Parties on the 2nd Saturday of each month, at The Living Classroom at Bonsley Wood.  These run from approximately 10am – 4pm and involve a range of tasks from woodland management, to Classroom maintenance and wood processing.  All tools are provided (although you are welcome to bring your own) and we try to provide a soup and roll for lunch.

This is a great opportunity to meet other members and play a more active role within the Group.

NCFed AGM 2018

NCFed AGM 2018

Hope to see plenty of you there?  If anyone who is planning to go would be able to spare some time to help out with the Bar, please contact Peter Jameson on charcoalpeter@gmail.com.



A range of courses have been released, with full details to be found on the ‘Courses’ page of the website: http://dorsetcoppicegroup.co.uk/courses/

Dorset Art Weeks

Dorset Art Weeks

Dorset Coppice Group is taking part in Dorset Art Weeks, which runs between 26th May & 10th June.  The Living Classroom at Bonsley will be open between 10am and 4pm daily, with a selection of traditional and contemporary crafts and art pieces on display.  You are also more than welcome to come and enjoy the tranquillity of the woods!

Woodfair 2018

Woodfair 2018

Details of Dorset Coppice Group’s 2018 Woodfair.  To be held Sunday 20th May.

Dorset Coppice Group Courses

Dorset Coppice Group is running a number of one day courses over the next six months on subjects related to coppicing, woodland crafts and sustainable woodland management.  These are open to members and non-members alike.

Details will be posted here when available.  For more information, or to book a place, please contact David Ewers on naturalwoodcraft@btinternet.com


Taster Day 2017

When: Saturday 7th October 2017.  9.30am to 5pm
At: The Living Classroom, Bonsley Wood, Hillcombe Coppice, Durweston, nr Blandford A357 at Durweston – Grid Ref; ST 833 086


This “taster” day is a chance to learn the basic techniques of some traditional coppice crafts either to satisfy your curiosity, or as a prelude to a more in-depth course.  There will be refreshments available but you may prefer to bring a packed lunch.  There are toilet facilities & drinking water on site.

The activities available are:-

+  Introduction to coppicing

+  Hurdle Making

+  Charcoal Burning

+  Hedgelaying

+  Walking Stick Making

+  Rustic Hazel Furniture

+  Basket Weaving

+  Pole lathe turning

+  Pyrography (burning on wood)

+  Shrink Pots (greenwood storage pots)

+  Powered lathe turning

The cost for the day is £40 and you can choose four different activities from the above list.

Each session will last an hour and a half and will give you a taster of the craft. Many of the instructors also run day or two day courses, so you may want to put your name down for one.
Places are limited, so it is essential to book early. If you have any queries, please contact:- David Ewers on email:- naturalwoodcraft@btinternet.com

Dorset Coppice Group Woodfair

The Dorset Coppice Group Woodfair will be held at Bonsley Wood, Durweston on 6th May 2017.

Click below for map


Free entrance with entertainment.

Competition entries 50p for non-members.

Food available.

See flyer for more details. WOODFAIR 2017