Axe Workshop

Axe course in Kent, south east England

What’s it about?

This 2 day bushcraft axe course has been put together for anyone who wants to become competent in the use of an axe, whether that be honing existing skills or learning new ones.

The axe is one of the most important and useful tools used in bushcraft and mastering its use is going to make your life much easier.  Axes have been used for thousands of years to fell trees and shape, split and cut wood and whilst you can get by with a knife and saw, the axe really makes life easier.  It’s been argued that the axe is a more useful tool than a knife as you can do everything with an axe that you can with a knife, but not the other way around!

What will I do on this axe course?

During this 2 day axe course you will:

  • Be shown axe safety and maintenance,
  • Learn how to recognise different types of axes, their design features and what to use them for,
  • Start gently with your axe and make some splitting wedges,
  • Use your axe to make a woodland mallet,
  • Learn a number of safe techniques to split wood for firewood, down to fine kindling,
  • Understand the hazards involved with felling trees and the implications to wildlife,
  • Fell a tree, including safety distances, direction of fall, roping off, planning escape routes,
  • Safely deal with a hung tree,
  • Sned, cross cut and cleft logs,
  • Use some of the greenwood harvested to make a spatula and charcoal burner’s stool,
  • Make feather sticks with your axe,
  • Sharpen your axe.

If you’ve been on any of our other courses you’ll know we place a big emphasis on natural history, and this axe course is no different.  We’ll go for a walk to identify some of the 20+ native species of tree we have in our ancient woodland camp; we’ll also look at the properties of those trees in terms of what we can use them for.

Note: You will need to bring your own axe to this course; we recommend the Gransfors Brucks Small Forest Axe.  We also have a few other axes that you can try out whilst you’re here.

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You can see our complete course schedule here.

Other information

Location: Westwell, Kent

Duration: 2 days

Start: 6pm Friday

End: 4pm Sunday

Course size: Maximum of 8

Catering: We’ll provide tea & coffee, breakfast and dinner but you’ll need to bring a packed lunch

Note: There is a short walk from the meeting point to the camp. We’ll transport your bags in our 4×4.

You might also find these Frequently Asked Questions useful.

What our customers say

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Jack Raven Bushcraft
Average rating:  
 17 reviews
 by Eleanor
Great course

A great weekend in the woods becoming more proficient in the use of an axe. Well paced so feels relaxing as well as having the chance to try out and make different things. The camp was lovely - a great escape into the woods for the weekend.

 by Ed Wealend
Axes axes axes

A great weekend in some beautiful woodland doing more things than I thought I could with axes. I feel considerably more competent at splitting wood in a variety of ways with a much reduced risk of digit loss or shin damage.

I now have a pretty solid understanding of what it takes to cut down a sizeable tree without getting flattened and know how to turn it into something useful afterwards.

The team clearly have a very strong respect and understanding for the environment as well as an encyclopaedic knowledge of the flora and fauna - no question went unanswered. I left feeling considerably better informed about trees, but without being overwhelmed.

Thanks Gary and team, will be back!

 by Nick Langley
A brilliant introduction to axe craft

I thoroughly enjoyed this weekend. It was well paced, professional, and interesting; I have a new found respect for anyone who frequently uses an axe!

It was great to learn both the core skills (splitting down and processing wood) as well as more techniques that require more finesse (carving).

An all in enjoyable experience.

 by Mike Ashby
Fantastic 2 Days

Arriving into the camp created by the Jack Raven team, you can see the care and attention that goes into everything they do! This was more than an Axe workshop, it is a place that makes you comfortable to learn and explore and not forgetting the incredible dinners put together, which include locally foraged foods!!

I spent some time with great people, picked up a stack of new skills, ate great good and then had some good down time in the evenings. I personally attended during Covid-19, and can reassure people that Gary has put in systems that are logical, it's a shame that Boris doesn't fancy a bush craft course because he could learn a thing or two.

Thanks Guys! See you again in December.

 by Richard Grenfell
Axe course

Thanks very much to the instructors and team for the axe course. Really great to have all the resources, axes and wood, to learn, practice and develop my axe skills. Great setup in camp too & special thanks for the brilliant food.

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