John has been involved with the environment, ecology, woodland management and conservation since 1990. He originally volunteered with various conservation groups and was employed at Bore Place as a Conservation Officer to manage the 40 acres of woodlands and run the Green Wood Workshop.
He is a qualified tree surgeon and coppice-worker and makes a range of woodcraft products. He set up his own business in 2000 and now runs courses and offers woodland advice and tree surgery services across Kent, Sussex and into South London.
In more recent years, John has become involved with many local schools, designing and building living willow structures including Dinosaur Feet, Space Pods and Starfish, to use both as outside classrooms and shade in the playground.
His particular areas of expertise include:
Woodland management and conservation
Making small woodlands work economically
Green wood in all its forms
Coppicing and tree felling
Continuous weave fencing
Living Willow Structures
Chair and Furniture
Pole Lathe Turning
John Shepherd lives with his family on a smallholding in East Sussex, shared with various cattle, poultry and bees. He has always had an interest in the natural environment and outdoors, running variously related clubs while still at school. Starting as a volunteer at Bore Place, John moved on to demonstrating and then tutoring courses.
His special interest is industrial archaeology and historical land usage, and he is currently investigating the area in which he lives, a consequence of which is the re-instatement of fields, shaws and woodland rides which existed some 350 years ago.
He has been involved in woodland activities for over 15 years and has 10 years experience of producing, maintaining and delivering specialist courses, particularly associated with Small Scale Charcoal Production, Hedgelaying and Poultry keeping.
He also has experience in the following:
Farm Machinery Maintenance & Operation
Public Footpath Maintenance
Wild Flower Meadows
Following a career as a chartered accountant and finance director, Mike wanted to spend more time in the great outdoors and has been helping out at Commonwork since 2004. He grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens, bees and sheep, and then makes the most of his produce by pickling, preserving, juicing, fermenting and smoking it. Mike is also experienced in restoring and maintaining apple trees and has been juicing and cider making since 2006.