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This baskets course is aimed at beginners and improvers.  If you have made a few baskets before, please also see our Improvers Basketry Course.

The willow (“wicker”) we use during our courses has either been organically grown by us on site here at Bore Place, or has been brought up from the withybeds in Somerset and Devon. None of it has been imported from abroad.  You will need simple tools to make baskets – bodkin, knife, rapping iron, some secateurs.  These will all be provided during the course. We also recommend a basketry book – Willow Work by Mary Butcher.  You will have the opportunity to buy a book at the end of the course.  In addition, you will also have the option to purchase extra willow to take home for further basketry projects.

As well as learning about basketry, you will also be able to talk to John about willow husbandry.  This includes how to grow, maintain and harvest a crop for use at home.  You may also be interested in our courses on Willow Garden Structures (essentially “wigwams” or “pyramids” for growing and supporting climbing plants such as sweet peas), and our information on Living Willow Structures for gardens and schools.

Basketmaking is one of the oldest crafts known to man.  The Basketmakers’ Association quotes the oldest fragments of basket making tools dating back to 9250BC.  Furthermore, it is not possible to make a basket with a machine (yet!) – they are all made by hand.

date: 12-13 Sep 2020
overview: Transform sweet smelling willow into a beautiful and useful basket; no experience needed. Using tried and tested techniques and a variety of willow basketry weaves, you’ll go home with a round-base basket and the techniques to be able to make more.
start time: day 1: 9.30am tea/ introductions for 10am start
day 2: 10am start
lunch: approx 1pm – 2pm
please bring a packed lunch. Hot drinks will be provided.
finish time: approx 4.30pm each day
cost: £120 per person
cancellations: we will provide a full refund if you cancel your place more than 14 days in advance of the course start date. Please note that we will be unable to refund your course fee or transfer you to another course if you cancel your place less than 14 days before the start of the course.
what to wear: You will be inside for the entire course.
course size: maximum of 8 participants
what to bring: Please bring some sharp secateurs and a sharp pocket knife if you have any. If not, there are some available to borrow. All other tools and materials will be provided, but please feel free to bring along any interesting tools!

The Basketmakers' Association

how to book: Booking Form
location: Courses and volunteer days are held at Bore Place, between Edenbridge and Sevenoaks, Kent. Bore Place is an environmental and educational charity on a 500 acre organic dairy farm, set in beautiful low weald countryside. Converted farm buildings and a Jacobean Manor House offer accommodation if required, with walks and local pubs to enjoy when you’re not wooding! Directions will be sent to you once you’ve booked on a course and can also be accessed from the Workshop Directions Page.
accommodation: Camping facilities are available (toilet and shower) for £25 per night. Please contact Bore Place for more information.
Limited Bed and Breakfast options are also available, with prices starting from £61 per person (plus VAT). For B&B, please contact Bore Place for more information.
There are also two beautiful yurts on site – see Free Range Glamping for more information.