Woodlore — School of Wilderness Bushcraft  


Carving Master Class with Ray Mears

Working the Fabric of the Forest

Ray Mears will introduce you to the joys of wood carving and to the tools of the trade. Whether you are an experienced woodworker or have never picked up a knife or axe before, Ray and his team will help you individually to create an object of elegance and functionality.

This inspirational day will be filled with expert tuition and hands on learning in the most peaceful woodland surroundings. Once the day has come to an end you will return home with the fruits of your labour as both practical items and treasured memories.

Further Information

Carving is one of the great pleasures of the forest. A practical skill that unlocks the true potential of knife, axe and saw, it can take years to master but only moments to enjoy the simple satisfaction gained from working the grain of our most treasured resource: the fabric of the woodland itself. Learning these ancient skills from Ray Mears, a true woodsman and expert of over forty years practice is an opportunity not to be passed by.

You will be guided through the use of axe and knife as Ray uses these tools to create an object of practical elegance. At each stage you will apply these skills to your own work under the supervision of Ray and his team, with the campfire close at hand and surrounded by beautiful woodland. With care and guidance, you will take away the fruits of your labour: a unique handmade item that will serve as a reminder of your day for years to come. More importantly, you will hold the skills of the woodsman in your mind and muscles to practice, improve and master for yourself; truly a gift for life.

No previous experience is necessary to enjoy this wonderful day and Ray's skill as both carver and teacher will ensure that each individual's standard will be catered for. Inspiration is never in short supply on a Woodlore course and as well as being at the heart of the ancient Wealden forest, there will be a stunning array of hand carved utensils, expertly finished and decorated with natures symbols for you to admire and gain encouragement from.

Details of your Experience

Please bring a packed lunch and wet weather gear just in case!

This course will start at 09:00 and will finish at 17:00.

Joining instructions will be sent to participants of the course 9 weeks before it is due to start, giving details of where to meet, at what time, and what to bring with you.

Dates, Costs and Bookings

Please select a course date from the list shown below to see costs, locations and course sizes. Please ensure that you read our Terms & Conditions prior to booking your place.

  2019 Dates - Carving Master Class with Ray Mears

- (1 place) • £395.00
- (6 places) • £395.00

Course Reviews

Carving Master Class with Ray Mears is rated 5/5 based on 12 customer reviews.

All of our reviews are from people who have attended our courses.

Overall Rating:


  1 of 12

  This course exceeded my expectations. Ray and his instructors are highly skilled, very knowledgeable and excellent teachers, and the day was organised so that we would learn as much as possible. In fact, the day just flew by and felt like a few hours. There were frequent humorous moments, which made the day even more memorable, and we were all so engrossed in our projects that I witnessed the unique sight of people with a common interest working earnestly in complete silence! The course was run with the attention to detail which is the hallmark of Woodlore, and the camp was permeated with the smell of happiness, woodsmoke. Very highly recommended.  


Rated: 5/5

  2 of 12

  I've been a fan of Ray Mears' TV programmes for 20-odd years now and aside from Sir David Attenborough I can't think of anyone else who is so inspirational. I booked the course as I wanted some hands-on experience with wood carving but also to meet the man himself. He is everything that he appears to be - patient, welcoming, hugely knowledgeable and passionate about what he does. The day was excellent - I can't say any more - if you're thinking of booking but unsure because of the price or distance then just do it. Life is short and the opportunity to meet and spend time learning with someone like Ray is worth every penny.  


Rated: 5/5

  3 of 12

  Attended the Master Carving Course yesterday and had the privilege of meeting Ray and the other Woodlore team guys. We started with a log and finished with a very passable carved spoon. I thought my knives were sharp until I saw what Ray does with his! An excellent course and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I never realised wood carving was such hard work! An absolute joy to be with Ray for a day.  


Rated: 5/5

  4 of 12

  What an excellent day! Helped by the weather, by being blisteringly hot, but mainly by the day. The crew were all friendly and helpful whilst also being very professional, they corralled us all from various car parks and shepherded us to the clearing where we were to spend the day. The group were of mixed ability and were pleasantly sorted by Ray himself into groups. Tuition was tailored to the individual and was only given as need or requested. Ray gave an interesting talk on axes, (and as a result I have now resurrected Grandfathers felling axe from 1936!) and there uses and the all-important sharpening thereof. Later we had a similar lesson on knives and the best way to sharpening them (please tell Ray my knives and axes are now so sharp it’s scary!). I left with a spoon of which I am most proud, and use. But more importantly I have expanded not only my skill set but also my confidence. I wholeheartedly recommend this course to anyone who has a desire to carve wood, as all of the techniques used on the day are transferable to any and all other projects. The man himself has a presence and bearing that at once makes one feel at home but makes you listen and learn. Testament to his passion and involvement is that six months later I met him again and he remembered me from the day. That either says a lot about him or a lot about me.  


Rated: 5/5

  5 of 12

  A truly inspirational day!  


Rated: 5/5

  6 of 12

  A fantastic day. I really enjoyed the experience, having never done this before. Really enjoyed the whole day and I will hopefully continue to use what I have learned. It was a shame that the course was so far from home which made it a bit tricky, distance wise, but nonetheless would not have missed it (this was a gift from my wife).  


Rated: 4/5

  7 of 12

  A brilliant day and one on which I learnt so much. Went home mentally and physically tired, but fully content. A day to remember. Thanks to all the Woodlore team.  


Rated: 5/5

  8 of 12

  An inspirational day. The day course was given to me for my 30th birthday and it was a real treat. The Woodlore staff welcomed us and were friendly and approachable. We met Ray (and Ruth a little later on) and from the off our learning began. For me this was the quinticential high point of the day. I learnt from a real expert. Ray, Ruth and the Woodlore team were excellent all day. Thank you so much! Andrew Casey  


Rated: 5/5

  9 of 12

  Its difficult to put into words just how perfect the day was. Ray is an exceptional teacher and with the support of his team I came away with a massive amount of new knowledge. The course accommodated both complete beginners like myself and experienced woodworkers. Everyone spent the whole day learning new skills, techniques and valuable tips and came away with the evidence to prove it. If you are thinking about booking a course for yourself or as a present, stop thinking and book it now.  


Rated: 5/5

  10 of 12

  Another amazing day with Ray, he truly is the master and his passion for carving is really inspiring. It doesn't matter whether you have any experience or not we had experienced carvers and folk that had never done any carving before. As well as the main project Ray showed us lots of other carving techniques and even threw in a few fun things as well (no spoilers) and of course he shared lots of tales from his many adventures. The day is not only a great learning experience but one that you'll never forget.  


Rated: 5/5

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about this course can be found here. If you have a question about this course, please contact us.

Can I bring my dog with me?
The weather forecast isn’t looking good for the week ahead, will the course still take place?

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