Brithdir Mawr Community

A community of people
living and working together
in a sustainable way

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For those who want to come and learn something specific, there are a wide range of residential courses on offer.

If there's something not there that you really need to know about, make a suggestion. Our list of courses is growing all the time; green wood skills, basketry,working horses and survival shelter building.

If there are no dates displayed for the courses you are interested in please contact us and we may be able to run the course sooner rather than later.

One of our courses makes a great gift-ask about vouchers to give for a relative or friend.

Unless specified otherwise:
For weekend courses arrive Friday afternoon/evening, leave Sunday after lunch.

Meals included:

Accommodation is in a 4-bed mixed-gender dormitory .
If this causes you any difficulty, please contact us; alternatives might be available.

Getting here
When you are here, west wales seems a long way from the rest of the world but there are many ways of getting here.
So, as far as possible we encourage the use of public transport. We do have some helpful instructions on getting here by public transport.

If you are travelling from overseas, please bear in mind that we always give priority to visitors who use environmentally friendly modes of transport: cyclists, walkers, horse riders, bus, train etc.

For really easy non-flying travel arrangements coming from Europe see the man in seat 61

If you are interested in learning more about the environmental issues around air travel, we recommend the book HEAT by George Monbiot(columnist for the Guardian) which gives an excellent analytical overview of the different ecological problems we are facing, and more importantly, puts them into perspective relative to each other.


You can phone to check availability, or to ask more about the course contents. If you get the answerphone (quite likely) please leave your name, number, and a message that makes it very clear which course you're interested in, and on what dates. The course tutor will call you back.

To book courses click on the link below for our booking form which you can print and send by snail mail together with your deposit.

Places can be reserved by phone/e-mail, but please confirm in writing within 5 days enclosing a cheque for the course fee/deposit made payable to 'Brithdir Mawr Community Enterprises Ltd'. Your place is not confirmed until you send in your booking form and cheque.

course booking form

COURSES: At present, there are no courses planned for the near future, but below is a sample of what has been offered in the past.

Making a Bentwood Chair Course

Led by Paul French

This course is aimed at anyone wishing to try their hand at greenwood skills for the first time. No previous knowledge or skill is needed: anyone can learn the simple technique employed in constructing these surprisingly robust and beautiful armchairs. By the end of the course, participants will know how to select materials from woodland and have a sound knowledge of the chair's construction. With a little imagination the the technique can be applied to many other satisfying projects. Please note that normal-sized chairs will fit into the boot of a regular hatchback car. participants arriving by public transport may prefer to make a child-sized version for ease of carriage home.



Cleftwood Gate Making Course



Led by Paul French

Starting with basic logs, all the techniques required to prepare the wood
and turn it into a finished gate will be demonstrated.
Students will work together to make a gate between them over the two-day course.

Cleftwood Mini Gate Hurdle Course.



Led by Paul French

The gate hurdle embodies all the basic traditional greenwood skills and this course is aimed at anyone wishing to learn and so, preserve them. The construction involves cleaving, shaping and making mortice and tenon joints. Students are introduced to the cleaving brake, froe, drawknife and brace and bit. A few hours of tuition and students will be churning out mini-gate hurdles for the post-modern garden or the full-sized version for the restraint of beasts.


An introduction to Working with Horses

If you are considering working with horses, this weekend is a taster for potential ostlers.

Assess your compatibility with our friendly carthorses who between them have spent some ten years on the road pulling a gypsy caravan and ten years working here on the farm.

There will be some classroom work but the majority of the weekend will be spent hands on: horse care; harnessing ; working in chains and in shafts.

After that we'll start working the horses.

Make a Wooden Hay Rake



Spend the day making a traditional ash hay rake, equally effective raking lawn clippings as mown hay.



Hedge Laying Course



Learn how to lay a hedge in the traditional style using hand tools.


Make a Frame Basket

Frame baskets are less known than the more common 'upsett' type baskets and are much simpler to make.

The style is suitable for using hedgerow materials


Parent and child shelter-building weekend

What better way of bonding with your child than building a shelter in the woods using only materials from the surroundings and sleeping in it? We'll cook on the fire and have stories around it before settling down for a cosy night's sleep. Large bell tent will be pitched nearby in case of shoddy construction and stormy weather!

Friday night will be spent in our dormitory, but for Saturday's adventure you will need to bring warm clothes, wellies, a sleeping bag, eating implements and a torch.


Check out Paul French Woodland Skills courses on Facebook for up-to-date information.