Prices for 2024 season 

Please note, if you have recently contacted us about canoe building, the 2022 price I quoted still applies. The prices below apply to new enquiries. Sorry for the need to increase our prices!  Materials have risen up to 34% in some cases, but I gather some materials are now no longer rising in price. As soon as I can, I will try and publish prices for 2024. Book now for Summer 2025 to beat the price rise ( you will only pay the deposit at this stage)
Prices start from £1040 for a 3  day canoe building course, and £1300 for a 6 day slightly more leisurely  canoe building course. This includes all the materials, tools, PPE , instruction  and help you need to build a standard Lakota or Peasemarshcanoe ( up to 15'6") using splendid Okoume marine ply. Most people on either course complete their canoe in 3 days.. booking for longer allows you to take your time, have shorter days, and maybe entertain children.
Price List.
3 day canoe building £1040
6 day canoe building £1300
Lakota 17 £1500 ( 6 day option only)
Lakota Special £1900 ( 6 day, see description below)
Accommodation for your group during canoe building £65/night ( total for your group) ( or total of £200)
Laminated paddle making £125 during a canoe building course
Ready made laminated paddles, and laminated paddles made to measure £125
Children's toy wooden canoe ( for them to make here under instruction) £20, approximately the scale of PlayMobil.
Chess board ( made from offcuts of okoume marine ply, these suit a methodical child to glue up, under supervisision) £20
Chess Pieces, made from offcuts of Ash gunwales

Repairs, maintenance, adaptations or other work on your canoe or boat £26/hour plus materials.
Canoe Storage: we realise that not everyone will be in a position to take their canoe home with them immediately on completion ( for example if you come by air, or if you don't have a suitable vehicle with you. The initial 10 days of storage is provided free, with additional months after that chargeable at £15/month. Your canoe will be dry stored under cover.
Supervised build of canoes other than the Birchcanoes boats £26/hour plus materials. Please note, FULL SIZED TEMPLATES must be brought with you in such cases.
Various things for free:
1) You can use our canoe here on the river whenever you like throughout our stay2) You can use the children's bikes and lawn play equipment whenever you like
3) You can use the two yellow OFO adults bikes by arrangement ( but free)
4) You can climb up to the tree house ( please lock it afterwards so parents can decide if they want their children getting up there

3 Day or 6 Day? Which should you choose? 
Essentially, whatever your DIY or carpentry skills, you will be able to complete your canoe in 3 days
 However, the 6 day option suits many people for a variety of reasons.

a) If you are new to woodwork or not confident with tools, believe it or not, the 3 day course is your best option as you are likely to pick up the skills of canoe building more readily than a time served carpenter, for whom the process may well feel very alien at times. In our experience, those with least carpentry confidence easily complete their canoe in 3 days.
b) Skilled wood workers, carpenters, keen DIY people etc will certainly prefer the 6 day option. If this is you, you will probably want to perfect the various features, planing and sanding the thwarts ( the seats) and gunwales to a fine sheen, which clearly takes longer. 
c) If you want to use traditional tools like the Japanese pullsaw, hand plane, draw knife etc, you might want to opt for the 6 day course. You can still use these on the 3 day course, but they do require more muscle power than the plunge saw, router and therefore take longer.d) If you plan to make small tweaks to the normal design of your canoe, you will need to opt for the 6 day course. Our build methods have been honed over the past decades, but it is surprising how long seemingly straightforward adaptations can take. Remember, there are no flat surfaces on a canoe, everything is curved and there are no right angles, so adaptations can take longer than you expect. Unless the adaptation is fairly minor, we make a charge for time and materials when changes are requested during your build.
e) Some people like to take their time, have shorter days, take the family out for a day, etc. The 6 day course has much more flexibility to allow this.
f) Families wanting the children to be involved in the process are recommended to opt for the 6 day course. We have found the time taken to complete your canoe increases, the more helpers you have. 
g) If you are on your own, are happy to learn new skills, and are happy to put in 3 pretty solid days, the 3 day course will be ideal for you.
h) Paddle making is an optional extra which is available on the 6 day course. Sometimes people on a 3 day course decide to add on an extra day so they can make paddles. You can opt to have your paddles made for you, or you can buy ready made paddles, which include paddles made here at Birchcanoes, and sturdy bought-in paddles made of ABS and aluminium.

Whole Site Events. These are all cancelled for 2021, we are hoping to resume offering these from summer 2022. If you are planning such an event, talk to us in plenty of time so you can secure the date of your choice. In addition to the full cost of all the cabins, there are typically two additional charges. We charge an additional £500 to cover the additional costs incurred in hosting a whole site event, and in addition, a £500 returnable deposit, returnable 10 days after the event  minus any additional costs incurred.

Camping. Again, bookings to camp here are also cancelled for 2021, and a decision to reopen has not yet been made.  We occasionally permit guests staying in cabins to put up a tent near their cabin, and the usual charge for this is £10/person/night.  Electric hookup is £8/night. Electric car charging from £4-£9 per car depending on model.

How to pay

Before you try and send any money, please check with me to make sure there is availability for your chosen dates.Once the dates are agreed, you can go ahead and use the PayPal button to make the payment. For canoe building  we take a £200 deposit on booking. The balance of the payment is due 30 days prior to your arrival.
For Paddle Making Days, we take full payment on booking. Bookings for cabins can either go through Airbnb, or come direct, but again full payment is needed on booking. Please check back with us if you have left it a few days before paying, to make sure we still have availability.
We take payment via PayPal, or by Direct bank transfer to Account number 13111098  Sort Code 04 00 03  The Account name is John Clohesy or Birchcanoes

Dates and availability

River Cabin 

The River Cabin makes an ideal base for your canoe building, and is currently available at a discounted price of £200 for the week for canoe building guests. Email me on to check that your preferred dates are still available. 

2022 Canoe building dates

 2022 Season We are already largely booked for the school holidays in Spring and Summer 2022 although there are still a few weeks with availability. However we have plenty of availability out of School holiday times. Email me on jclohesy@gmail to check availability for 2022.

Carrying your canoe home

We recommend that you use roof bars and cam straps to attach your canoe to your car. However,we carry these rubber blocks now, as well as cam straps, so you can safely attach your canoe even without a roof rack. As you can see, the straps are fed in through the doors. * This photo was taken as the canoe was being attached.. A second cam strap was about to be fitted..

A canoe in 2 days?

Lots of people are pressed for time and keen to build their canoe over 2 days, for example over a weekend. I am actively considering this. The plan is for us to cut out the various pieces of timber prior to your arrival. These could be prepared ready for fitting, or left for you to prepare.  You would then assemble the canoe, with as much or as little further finish as you felt inclined to put in. There would still be scope for planing and sanding at each stage, and your canoe could be on the water in just 2 days. 
Most people like the fact that they have cut their panels, seats etc for themselves, while others might have preferred to have that done for them. The advantages, in addition to the time saving, are that the pieces will be cut to size, saving you the physical work involved, leaving you with the artistic side of final preparation and the fun of fitting and finishing to your heart's content.If this is something you would like to consider, let me know. The cost is the same as the normal 3 or 6 day course, so it wouldn't cost you more, or indeed less, than our usual prices. 

Lakota Special £1800

Over the years we have trialled a number of additional features in our canoes, and now feel able to offer these together as a special package.The Lakota Special is a standard Lakota in size, but has a number of additional features. For example, the deck pieces will be made of especially attractive dark Meranti hardwood ( or another timber of your choice), the seats will be ash framed webbing, and you will be entitled to 4 made-to-measure laminated paddles, which can either be made for you, ormade by you with help from us.
You will have 6 days at Birchcanoes, giving you the flexibility to work on your canoe or have time out with your family. You can even ask us to work on your canoe while you are away, or be guided by us as you work, or a mixture of the two.

Chess Board and Pieces

We have been offering chess board making as an option for quite a few years, with children often opting to make a board while their parents attend to the more complex elements of their canoe build. The chess boards are made from offcuts of the marine ply used to build the canoes. We have recently added Chess Pieces. The style is entirely our own, made from offcuts of ash gunwale strips, and the pieces are simple, readily identified, and remarkably stable.  I tend to rough them out prior to the day, and they then just need tidying up with some diamond files and sand paper before half of them are died using Van Dyke crystals ( made from Walnuts), before the pieces are varnished.