Axe & handtools training including tree felling

felling tree with an axe

A journey into the art of Woodsmanship led by Adrian Leaman, who supervised the felling of the big oaks in Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home series on C4.

“Immerse yourself in the woodland life and learn to fell a mature tree with axes and hand saws. It’s an exhilarating, humbling and primal experience.”

During this training you will learn traditional tree felling techniques and then put these into practice. It will likely change the way you look at trees and timber forever – see the testimonials below. Suitable as continued professional development, for career/life-changers and for anyone who loves sharing time in the woods with like-minded folk. No previous experience required; suitable for participants aged 18+ – those aged 16-18 must be accompanied by an adult.



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felling tree with an axe

“Felling a tree using traditional hand tools with Adrian was a profound and inspiring experience, and I think that all the members of our group felt similarly about it.” Peter

felling a tree with an axe

“A wonderful and humbling experience. A once in a lifetime opportunity and one I will never forget. Thank you!” Chris

“Thanks to you, for your excellent tuition and facilitation. I had several message from the group saying how much they appreciated your thoughtful and careful style.’Luis Brown. Chief Executive Officer, Wadhurst Park

Day in the life of a Woodkeeper.

I strode out this morning across field and lane carrying nowt but lunch box and axe. At the woods I joined my work fellows and we struck a fire first thing. Fairly soon wood chips where flying and the thud of axe strikes resounded through the woodland. The brutal reality of a razor sharp lump of sold steel on the end of a stick. Why is that so appealing?

felling a tree with an axe

There’s no escaping it, it’s a primal experience to pit your body weight and your sweat against the might of a huge tree towering above you. You huff and puff, grunt and curse but there is a timeless poetry in the arc of the axe as it swings through the air bighting deep into the timber. A slightly giddy sensation descends when that tree finally yields and starts to fall. Who knows the modern world may never offer you this experience again. A humbling and exhilarating day and you’ll never look at trees the same way again.

What happens to the tree?

So we took the life of this grand old tree. For many this may be of no consequence and for some it’s an emotional moment. Come the winter a trees wood will warm our house, it’s planks form the table we gather round to dine and it’s timbers hold the roof above our heads, so fall the tree must. In its dust saplings sprout and lovingly tended will sustain the woodland creatures of tomorrow. This is the way of the woodkeeper. As the light started to receded I lifted my axe and ducked out of the wood to stroll home cross-country. Time maybe to explore a new route home, a perfect day from a time gone by.  (Adrian Leaman – course tutor 2016)