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)
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
'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
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 www.h-art.org.uk or
drop me a line, contact details below.