Charcoal-making and woodland day

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

Charcoal-making at Wakehurst


27 June 2020


10am – 4pm (including transport time to the Loder Valley)

Workshop runs 10.30am – 3.30pm

Please arrive at 10am as the minibus will leave promptly for the workshop area.


Meet at the Wakehurst Visitor Centre before heading to the Loder Valley



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, 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 knowledge of crafting charcoal. The day’s activities will be based around a 6ft ring kiln along with smaller oil drum kilns, and you'll 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 archeology, 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.

Important information

  • Bring food to cook on the fire or barbeque
  • Dress for the weather as you will be outside all day – long sleeves, trousers and fully enclosed shoes
  • The day will be spent in the woods based around a campfire for heating and cooking
  • Please note there are no toilet facilities in the woods


Please note, the terrain you will encounter is undulating and steep in places and it's not suitable for wheelchairs. Please contact us directly if you may have difficulty with accessibility.