Kevin McCloud’s Man-made Home

What better way to spend a cold, wet and windy equinox evening than to tune in to watch the first edition of Kevin McCloud’s Man-made Home. And there he is with my old mate Brian Williamson helping him demolish a couple of oak trees and then rebuild them to build a cabin in a little patch of woodland.

Having three hours ago completed my summer programme of green wood courses I am now unleashed to spend the forthcoming winter completing the 4th edition of my book Living Wood. In the first 3 editions the strap-line was ‘From Buying a Woodland to Making a Chair’ but for the 4th edition we have changed it to ‘60 years of Playing in the Woods’ and Kevin’s totally amateurish and naïve approach to his cabin encapsulates perfectly my own lifetime of building and playing in woodland dens.

Together with my inspiring wife Tamsin, and two groups of willing volunteers we too have spent a chunk of 2012 building a shed out of timber harvested from the local woodlands.

Ben Law’s Grand Design programme in which he built a woodland house, was ground-breaking in showing that it is possible for a team of skilled craftsmen to build a beautiful house with very little expense. What Kevin’s latest programme shows is that a bunch  of piss-heads can also gain that same sense of fulfillment by aiming for a far more attainable goal – to build a modest structure straight from a tree.

I hope Kevin’s new series takes lots of people one step nearer to giving it a go – be it a shed, a bed, a chair, a hay-rake or a spoon – and of course buying a copy of Living Wood to help them on their way.


10 thoughts on “Kevin McCloud’s Man-made Home

    1. Mike Abbott

      ‘Say grounded’ I don’t understand what you mean by that Graham. Thanks for saying I represent the benchmark of credible woodland folk but I’m sure there are plenty out there who think I talk a load of bollocks at times!

    1. Mike Abbott

      Hi Junohorse,
      just got round to checking out replies. I don’t live in the woods. I have a little cottage 4 miles along the road from the woods. I’ll check out

  1. Mike wasn’t thinking of the tool come nail pouch type as I have one of those ! What I was referring to is the types that go to country fairs and try to look interesting wearing a leather cowboy hat, goaty beards, and the leather pouch on the belt, god knows what’s in it ? Don’t take it to heart, just keep on chipping.

    It’s sad that most of these blogs go unlooked at there like rooms that know one ever goes in !

    And Montys an even bigger tart than Kevin but we love them for it !

    1. Mike Abbott

      I’m delighted a few people got to read my blog and this is a pretty astute observation. But please don’t take my comments the wrong way. I am fully in favour of piss-heads fooling about in the woods – it’s an inherent part of our culture.
      I do have a leather work-belt with a pouch and yes, I would have loved to have been involved in making the programme. However I had my 10 minutes of fame doing the Simon Cowell judging role on Monty Don’s green wood Mastercrafts a few years ago, so it’s only fair to let some of my colleagues have a bit of telly coverage.
      Look out for my re-turn to London next April though.

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