If you pick up a copy of January 2020 Surrey Life magazine you will see Paul and our business featured prominently in an article written by author #ClaireSaul. The article focuses on the Heritage Crafts Association’s “Red List’, of endangered crafts such as Wattle Hurdle Making. We have made this craft viable in our business by offering popular training courses between October and March, passing on the skill to others. I (Lorraine) will also deliver courses to make mini-wattle hurdles this year used for garden border edging, I replace Hazel predominantly used by Paul with Willow that I harvest locally.

If you would like to join our next Wattle Hurdle Making & Coppicing Training Course on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd February you will need to be quick as we only have two places remaining: See here for more information and to book.

The cover photo of the article as also featured above was taken by a young fellow Surrey Hills Enterprise member #lukewhatleybigg Luke also created our promotional film at Hill House Farm back in January 2019, see here: https://youtu.be/g8AfWFwii-c

The second photo used in the article was taken by Beckie Wingrove another fellow #surreyhillsenterprisesgroup member. This is a favourite of mine, the photo was taken during a workshop held in collaboration with The Salt Box last year.

Collaboration and supporting each other’s businesses are very important to Surrey Hills Enterprises and it’s members and I look forward to telling you more about further collaborations for 2020 very soon!


Gift an Experience for Christmas!

Gift an experience for Christmas and you will also be giving that someone special a memory they will treasure for ever!

Buy tickets for Hedges & Hurdles

We have exciting courses and workshops planned for 2020 suitable for men, women, families and private groups. Our outdoor Hedgelaying, Coppicing and Wattle Hurdle Making weekend courses run through January and February, we have a few spaces still available for some dates so don’t delay if you wish to reserve a booking as a gift for Christmas!

From February onwards we begin offering our Willow Craft and Wood Craft Workshops, the first of these will be delivered at Priory Farm, South Nutfield and are available to book now! We are very excited about the year ahead and have a full schedule planned for 2020 with lots of new skills for you to learn and crafts to make! We will be adding further workshops to our Experience Box Office to be held at our various locations very soon!

Our locations include:

  • Birtley Woodland Art’s and Wellness Space, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey
  • Priory Farm Estate, South Nutfield, Surrey
  • Sussex Prairie Gardens, nr Henfield, West Sussex
  • Grow At The Skim, Reigate Heath, Surrey

Private group experiences:

We aim to create a group experience bespoke to your requirements, just make contact and we can discuss this in more detail.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Lorraine & Paul, we look forward to seeing you in 2020!

Paul and Lorraine Matthews

Christmas Willow Workshops

We held our first Christmas workshop for 2019 last Sunday in the Lambing Barn with its scenic views reaching out across Priory Farm, Sout Nutfield and beyond. I was amazed by the abilities of our trainees, their finished crafts looked beautiful. I hope they enjoyed the event as much as I did, it certainly reminded me why I changed my career! It was important to me to find something that would allow me to obtain a good work-life balance, to enjoy spending time with others and passing on my skills and to be mindful and relaxed in my work and embrace each day and new experience as it comes!



I was joined by Renée Canter (aka The Girl Who Gardens) who delivered a Christmas Gift Terrarium workshop. This craft took me back to my youth when I fondly remember making miniature gardens in glass bottles, imagining that fairies and gnomes lived in amongst the plants. I was addicted to the Enid Blyton stories as a young child, even today I can’t wait to read aloud The Faraway Tree to my Grandchildren before they go to bed joining them on an exciting new journey in some new strange land as they drift off to sleep.

We have further Christmas Workshops taking place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December at Lloyd Hall, Outwood. This is a larger venue, the barn has lovely high ceilings and plenty of room to wield our Hazel and Willow rods without taking someone’s eye out!

Included in all our Christmas workshops

All-natural materials and Christmas ribbons, candles and other accessories required to make your craft of choice plus:

  • Mince Pie and Mulled Wine!
  • Tea and Coffee and soft drinks
  • Take home your completed craft

Christmas Workshop – Saturday 7th December

Following on from the success of last weeks workshop I have added further choices for our morning workshop on 7th December. This workshop is followed by a lunch at The Bell, Outwood for those who wish to join us!

You can make one of the following Willow crafts:

BOOK HERE: Willow Tree Workshop – Using the same technique we use to weave an Obelisk you will make an attractive tabletop Willow Christmas Tree to decorate your home. There are different weaves that can be used to create your own design, every tree is unique!

IMG_0100BOOK HERE: Willow Tree Workshop – Using the same technique we use to weave an Obelisk you will make an attractive tabletop Willow Christmas Tree to decorate your home. There are different weaves that can be used to create your own design, every tree is unique!



BOOK HERE: Willow Heart Workshop In this workshop, you will learn how to make a Willow Heart using a buff Willow that had it’s bark removed and is soaked prior to use.


BOOK HERE: Willow Angel Workshop – Weave an Angel sculpture in the design of your choice using a buff Willow. Your finished Angel will stand between 2ft-3ft in height.

Christmas Workshop – Sunday 8th December

BOOK HERE: Christmas Wreath or Table Centre Piece Workshop – f you would like to learn how to make your own Hazel Wreath or Table Centre Piece and decorate with natural materials for Christmas then this is the workshop to join. However, you need to be quick as we only have 3 places remaining!

2018 Christmas Workshop, Lloyd Hall, Outwood

Gift Vouchers Available

If you would like to purchase gift vouchers for our 2020 workshops then please make contact, provide your details and I will send you details on how to pay and gladly pop one in the post for the amount of your choosing:

Make Contact




Foraging for Christmas crafts!

As I look through my window the wind is blowing through the trees and the autumn leaves dance in the air as they fall to the ground. I love the colours of Autumn and take every opportunity to get out in the fresh air to walk my dogs and to coppice Hazel and Willow for our crafts. As I walk out my front door it is only a short walk before I am surrounded by fields and trees in this wonderful area of outstanding natural beauty, the Surrey Hills!


As the weather begins to turn cold and we look to our winter wardrobe thoughts of foraging for materials for my Christmas Wreaths and Table Centrepieces come to mind. I have called out for volunteers to help with some coppicing and have had a great response so far. It’s not too late if you wish to express your interest as this activity will be repeated each month until March next year. See here for more information: Willow Harvesting for Volunteers

I have also published several Christmas workshops recently and may add more to suit demand. We have various choices from weaving a Willow Angel or Heart to making a tabletop Willow Christmas Tree or as mentioned above a beautiful door wreath or Table Centrepiece.

If you would like to bring some botanical charm to your home (or someone else’s home) then you will be pleased to learn that Renée Canter (aka The Girl who Gardens) will be joining me in the Lambing Barn at Priory Farm delivering her Christmas Gift Terrarium Workshop on Sunday 17th November.

Our Christmas workshops are held at Lloyd Hall, Outwood and the Lambing Barn, Priory Farm Estate. Both facilities have all modern conveniences including heating.

The obligatory Mulled Wine and Mince Pies will be included whilst listening to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album! For our workshop, on 7th December you also have the option to join us for lunch at the Bell in Outwood!



National Hedgelaying Championships!

Paul has joined Hedgelayers from around the country today at the 2019 National Hedgelaying Championship and Countryside Event held at Pewsbury Hill Farm, Wiltshire.


As many of you will already be aware Paul is a four-time National Hedgelaying Champion and in 2015 was awarded Supreme Champion by the National Hedgelaying Society, the highest accolade you can receive in Hedgelaying! There are over 30+ cutting styles for Hedgelaying across the country and Paul is an expert when it comes to our regional South of England Style of cutting. However, this year Paul has challenged himself to compete for the second year running in the Midland Open class, The Midland style of Hedgelaying is known to be the most difficult of them all and he will be competing against 9 other highly experienced Hedgelayers. Unfortunately, I (Lorraine) am unable to attend this year but I hope you will join me in supporting Paul and wishing him all the best for this event. I hope to post updates on facebook and Instagram throughout the weekend!

Apparently the weather in Pewsbury is extremely blustery today, I hope this loo was empty when it fell over!


Below is a photo of the hedge that Paul will be laying and to be honest it doesn’t look that challenging compared to the recent hedges he has been working on! The photos in this post have all been sent to me this morning by Rebecca West who is there supporting her husband Graham who is competing in the South of England Intermediate class.


And there off …


The scoring system used by the National Hedgelaying Societies judges to mark the work undertaken by the hedgelayers is as follows:

Points are allocated as follows:

Cut & Pleach 35
Stake & Bind 25
Back of Hedge 20
General Appearance 20

The past two weeks Paul has been working on a commercial hedge near to our home in Redhill, he has chosen the Midland Bullock style for this hedge. The landowner has kindly provided a time-lapse YouTube video link showing the start of Paul’s work, I have shared this via our own YouTube Playlist. You will also see young Zac our first work experience lad learning how to add the Hazel binders, for his first day of work I am sure you will agree he has done a great job! Hedges & Hurdles YouTube Playlist

If you would like to join Paul for training in the South of England or Midland Style of Hedgelaying you can join one of our weekend Coppicing & Hedgelaying Training Courses. We run these courses once a month in Reigate, Surrey from October through to February. Learn more …




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