Woodland day with charcoal-making

Learn how to make charcoal and practice woodland skills in our beautiful Loder Valley.

Charcoal-making at Wakehurst


Saturday 8 July 2023


10am to 4pm


Loder Valley, Wakehurst

Meet at 10am at the Loder Valley entrance in Ardingly



Wakehurst and Kew members: £63

Includes garden entry and car parking

Adults only/18+

This full-day workshop in the heart of our woodland will provide you with the skills to understand timber selection and fire lighting, and all the knowledge you need to run your own kiln.

Your day will be led by experienced Loder Valley Ranger, Steven Robinson, who has 25 years of knowledge of crafting charcoal.

The day’s activities will be based around a 6ft ring kiln along with smaller oil drum kilns, where you'll get to see the whole process in action.

Included in your day


  • timber selection
  • site location
  • loading and firing the kiln
  • shutting the kiln down
  • preparing artist charcoal and placing in the kiln
  • unloading, grading and bagging charcoal
  • looking at our woodland archaeology, discovering old saw pits and charcoal-burning sites

Fire-lighting techniques:  

  • flint and steel
  • feather sticks
  • ferro road and striker
  • sundance solar fire starter

We will also look at tinder material, fire preparation and charcloth making.


Know somebody who would love this workshop?

Gift them a place by making a booking and then emailing wakehurst@kew.org with your reference number to receive a gift certificate.