Nestled within the woodlands on the 48-acre Birtley Estate in Bramley, Guildford, this Woodland Art Space is an ideal setting to relax, unwind and feel part of nature. Being in the outdoors is good for both our physical and mental health and when surrounded by the flora and fauna of the woodlands, you can’t help but feel happy and energised.
Co-founders (and fellow Surrey Hills Enterprises members) Ruth Wheeler (ruthwheeler.co.uk) and Lorraine Ellery Matthews (hedgesandhurdles.com) offer a wide variety of experiences and courses between them and are growing their team of visiting Artisans, guest Artists, Makers and Wellness instructors to continue offering a varied programme of events that are interesting, affordable and fun.
Experiences include creating with wood (Wood Carving, Pyrography, Wood Art, Spoon Carving), Willow Craft (Willow Art, Plant Supports, Sculptures); Wellness activities (Yoga, Yoga-Nia and Yoga Nidra; Mindfulness, Foraging, Bushcraft etc.); Ceramics and Heritage skills (Wattle Hurdles and traditional Hedgelaying).
Birtley Woodland Art Space caters for all ages and abilities. The site is perfect for hosting bespoke events for private groups including Corporates, Families, Schools, Clubs, Societies, Institutes and those with Special Needs. Retreat days are also available to book or you can tell us more about your group and a bespoke event can be created to meet your needs.
Ruth and Lorraine are both members of Surrey Hills Enterprises. They first met at the Pippfest festival in Dorking in September 2018, exhibiting under their own independent brands. It wasn’t until several further discussions at Surrey Hills member events the following year that they began carving out a collaborative approach and offering at the Birtley Estate in Bramley, Guildford. Ruth had run workshops in the woods at Birtley for many years and had a long-held vision of creating a community art space at Birtley. Lorraine had undertaken a huge career change and creative discovery, leaving her high-pressured role in the scholarly publishing industry to join her husband Paul Matthews with the aim to take their business to a new level. An artist and a businesswoman, two very different people but with a shared love of nature, the outdoors, the love of working with natural, sustainable materials and the desire to bring people together!
Birtley Woodland Art Space was born in January 2020 with the first collaborative Woodland Workshops held in March of the same year, then we all know what happened next…
Following the interruptions to businesses like ours during the Covid pandemic, we finally re-located and re-launched Birtley Woodland Art Space at our current outdoor studio on the Birtley Estate. This coincided with our first Open Studios in partnership with Surrey Artists Open Studios (SAOS). We have lots of different events planned for the year ahead and look forward to welcoming new visitors to this picturesque location!