Mission Statement

Our Vision

To provide a service without walls which can transform lives.

Our Mission

To provide tailored therapeutic support in a woodland setting, helping those experiencing an imbalance in their lives to heal, learn new skills, find friendship and a future.

  • To provide opportunities for communities and individuals experiencing social exclusion through disability, unemployment, age or economic disadvantage, by offering a series of training programmes to facilitate progression towards the employment market.
  • To provide the opportunity for people to enjoy and understand the natural environment and to demonstrate the benefits of rural skills therapy to the improvement of health and well-being.
  • To provide volunteering and employment opportunities to the local community.
  • To lift the aspirations of people with mental health problems and learning difficulties and those who support them.
  • To monitor and evaluate the impact of our interventions.

The majority of The Cart Shed activities centre around coppicing, a traditional woodland management practice where trees such as Ash and Hazel are cut at ground level and the tree’s stump or stool is left to re-grow. The multiple stems that this management system produces are used to create coppice craft items such as baskets, fencing, furniture, plant supports and smaller items such as spoons and dibbers.

At The Cart Shed, we believe that being involved with nature all year round has benefits for everyone

Activities such as simple wood work, coppicing, gardening and cooking can have an emotionally healing effect; the act of chopping wood, using the pole lathe or shave-horse to craft it, turning our own home-grown vegetables into a tasty soup on the open fire all contribute towards this unique and life enhancing experience.


The esoteric experience…

It is about enjoying being outdoors; making a fire and sitting quietly by it, chatting with other participants, enjoying the sounds of the birds, the wind, the smells of the blue bells in spring, the wet leaves in autumn, cutting hazel and making beautiful things.

That just being more in our bodies and less in our heads has a balancing effect – contemplating beautiful landscapes, the smell, sound and touch of our natural surroundings… all help us to find our ‘other self’ the self which is lost in a world of computers, i-phones and the pressures of modern living.

Maybe it resonates with a lifestyle we had until not so long ago, when survival meant creating safe, nurturing environments for ourselves in the wild, with fellow human beings living with nature, in nature.

Evidence shows that real and meaningful experience in natural environments at an early age gives children a better start in life, greater emotional security, better concentration and an ability to empathise with the needs of others. True for children and true for adults too.

What Clients Say


Whereas before I had to pretend that everything was ok, here I could just open up. I wasn’t afraid to admit that I needed help in certain areas – it was like having a weight taken off my shoulders. For one day I could come here and reveal the truth about what was happening to me. First of all it’s not between four walls, it’s being outside and getting back to basics, stripping everything back to what you really need. And even though you’re outside the wood seems to envelop and hug you. It’s a little like being a child again; we forget how to play and have fun and learn new things. Here I can play with willow or woodwork, or just have a laugh. The journey with my mental health has been ongoing and I feel that if there were more places like this it would make such a difference.


November 2020

Making a bowl or a spoon can be really satisfying. This sort of therapy is far more helpful and beneficial than most drugs, particularly for people who are suffering from low self-esteem and lack of confidence. If I’d attended the Cart Shed when I was being given anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, I genuinely think I’d have reduced or stopped both. It’s a better antidote for depression and more mild forms of anxiety than any medication could ever be. The same goes for low self-esteem, issues with confidence and, particularly, social anxiety.

It’s a place where I don’t feel threatened. If you have a low day then you don’t have to socialise, no one was on at me. But seeing the open fire and the pigs they had here, it was lovely and so calming. It connected me with outside and took me out of myself. I could still relapse any time, but this place gives you the chance to move on. I always thought I’d be judged because of what I’d done, but not here, there’s no pressure.


November 2020
Lee Bayley

A truly amazing outdoor setting, both my daughters 10 and 7 year old have visited here over the summer with other Armed Forces families children. They have enjoyed learning and developing new skills ( den builds, cooking, fire prep and much more) All the staff are fabulous! 5*****

Lee Bayley

August 2020