A not-for-profit members’ cooperative
London Green Wood is a not-for-profit cooperative and a community of green woodworkers based in Abney Park Cemetery, Hackney. Our aim is to encourage crafty-ness, creativity and self-reliance in everybody.
- Promote green woodwork.
- Provide opportunities for people living in the city to learn traditional rural crafts.
- Create a welcoming and accessible green wood workshop for a diverse community of woodworkers.
- Create opportunities for people to learn new skills and earn money from their skills.
Encouraging diversity – by creating an open, inclusive and welcoming space – is a fundamental aim of London Green Wood and a core part of our operations, not just an add-on.
Woodwork is commonly seen as a career for men and a hobby for white men with white hair. Women and ethnic minority woodworkers are often treated with surprise and may be discouraged from woodworking because they do not see people who look like them represented. London Green Wood has always aimed to challenge the stereo-type of what a woodworker looks like.
London Green Wood was formed in 2011 by a group of volunteers with the intention of keeping a green wood workshop running at Abney Park Cemetery. We constituted as a community group in 2017 and incorporated as a Community Interest Company in 2018.
We have received funding from the Worshipful Company of Turners, the Headley Trust, the National Lottery Community Fund, , GLL Community Foundation and Tesco Bags of Help. We received non-financial support as one of 50 woodland enterprises on the Plunkett Foundation’s Making Local Woodlands Work project.
Since 2011 we have been open for 430 open workshop days, 49 volunteer days, attended and held 63 public events, and taught 142 courses.
We also work in collaboration with other community groups bringing woodwork skills to their sites. In 2019 we have worked with London Wildlife Trust and the Tri-Borough programme for care-leavers, an after school group from St Paul’s Steiner School and a Red Cross Asylum Seeker Support Group from Hackney Destitution Centre. In previous years we have facilitated projects for Mind in Haringey, the youth charity Skyway and a self-organising group of home-educating families. We have also delivered one-off events with partners such as: Hackney Woodcraft Folk, Stokie Women’s Institute, Mossbourne Academy, The Orchard Project, Making Works on the Leybridge Estate, Stoke Newington Common Users Group, Timber Festival, Highgate Woods, the annual London Park City celebration at Netil Market and London Car Free Day.
We are one of two London local groups of the Assocation of Pole-Lathe Turners and Green Woodworkers (the other being at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses). We are also members of the Open Workshop Network and Social Enterprise UK.