Clissett Wood

Clissett Wood sign

Clissett Wood barn nearing completion

Chris and Sheila hedgelaying

Clissett Wood is an ancient semi-natural woodland of around 4 hectares (10 acres) situated in East Herefordshire overlooking the Malvern Hills. It occupies gently sloping ground facing south with access from a minor road. The wood is largely mature oak, ash, sweet chestnut and cherry with hazel and sweet chestnut understorey. The abundant wildlife and diverse ground flora thrive alongside our human activities.

In 1994 the wood, then called New Hill Wood, was purchased by four green woodworkers and furniture makers (Mike and Tamsin Abbott, Chris Armstrong and myself). We co-opted three more people to our venture and renamed the wood after Philip Clissett, the well known Victorian chair maker whose former cottage and workshop adjoin the wood.

Using a pole lathe and locally sourced timber (reportedly from Childer Wood) he produced ladder-back and spindle-back greenwood chairs throughout his working life of nearly seventy years. In his later years he inspired members of the Arts and Crafts movement (Ernest Gimson and others were taught by him) and in his self-sufficient, contented and productive life-style was described the 'perfect craftsman'.

The group of seven Clissett Wood owners has undergone many changes since our beginnings twelve years ago, and apart from founder members Chris Armstrong (furniture maker) and myself, the group includes Sheila Wynter, basket maker, Jo Liebert and Debra Olsen, green wood enthusiasts, Eddie Marsh, spoon carver and Simon Wayne, bushcraft enthusiast.


Clissett Wood Trust is co-operatively managed and has the following Aims and Objectives which are the legal 'back bone' of its continuing evolution:
'To grow and harvest high quality English hardwoods in a sustainable manner for the production of chairs and for other traditional woodland crafts.'
'To provide the setting for environmental and craft related education.'
'To nurture a peaceful yet stimulating environment for human enjoyment and creativity.'
'To maintain and nurture a flourishing wildlife habitat and to enhance the quality of the woodland within the local landscape.'

Clissett Wood is a private woodland apart from my diverse programme of greenwood courses. We are part of h.Art in September, the annual show-casing of the many talented arts and crafts practitioners in the county, and Clissett Wood Barn exhibits the work of members and friends on an Open Weekend with demonstrations and an exhibition.

For more information go to or drop me a line, contact details below.





CHILDER WOOD and neighbouring MEEPHILL COPPICE are the base of Doug Joiner's 'Heavy Horse Centre' activities throughout the year. Timber for the courses in Clissett Wood is felled as part of the annual management plan and extracted by horse for delivery to the workshop.

to contact Gudrun:

by email:
by phone or fax: 01531 640 125
or by post: Gudrun Leitz, Hill Farm, Stanley Hill, Bosbury, LEDBURY, Herefordshire, HR8 1HE