PEATS Ireland – Woodwork and Construction of a Traditional Wooden Building

Dates: 1st July – 1st Aug 2021              CANCELLED

Number of UK Participants: 4 spaces

Duration: 32 days

staff group dates: 15 to 22 June 2020 TBC,  No of Participants: 4 (Open for applications)

PEATS Application form

The trainer and tutor placement (PEATS Staff Trainer) will most likely take place from 15th to 22nd June 2020. The itinerary can be seen on our Trainer page. If anyone is interested, then please contact us.

A hire car is usually available to this group, so one of participants needs to hold a valid full clean UK licence.

This placement is managed by Steven Burke, forester and woodworker, who’s projects include ‘From Tree to Timber Products’. The placement is located 2.5 miles outside the heritage town of Athenry in Co Galway, on 4 acres of land where Steven has lived with his family since October 2000. On the property is the yard which includes a workshop, sheds, a sawmill and a chalet. All over the placement you will find things built out of wood from bridges to rustic furniture, from play structure to gates. Anything that can be made of wood is made of wood. The rest of the land is partly planted tree, that form a small woodland. Some of the trees are mature and a small river runs along two of its boundaries. There is plenty of space for wildlife and on a lucky day, you might see an otter, fox, heron, stoat or a kingfisher along the river. Steven and his family are known to the local ranger. They are also known to care for injured or orphaned hedgehogs. One that was released a while ago is still in the garden. They also grow a lot of their own food. They have a poly tunnel, a vegetable and herb garden, a little orchard, all grown organically and a little flower garden. Although the garden is not part of the placement, anyone interested is welcome to learn more or give a hand. The idea is to live as self-sufficient and sustainable as possible, without being puritans!


The placement will involve 3 weeks of a group project. It will be a traditional post and beam construction on site. Steven will go through the process of taking a tree and converting it to a usable piece of timber. The construction process will only involve hand tools, giving the participants greater insight into the beauty of wood.

The final week will be individual projects, such as green wood chairs. The choice is yours !

Students will work from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, with an hour for lunch and weekends off. Lunch during the week will be provided on site at the family home (a log house) built by Steven and helpers. The group will be accommodated in a self catering house in Athenry town, which is a small medieval town. The group will have access to shops, restaurants, pubs and the train and bus services. Dinner can be obtained in the town of Athenry, where there are plently of pubs that serve food, restaurants and fast food available. The group will have access to a hire car which will be useful and combine the placement with a good balance of the rural setting of the placement location and the opportunity of going into town in the evenings and on weekends. Athenry is an ideal location to explore in the west of Ireland at the weekend. Also nearby is Galway, which is a very lively town, known for music, festivals, markets and lots of nightlife. To the south the limestone hill of the Burren are great for walking and full of ancient sites, like ring fords, roundtowers and tombs. Connemara is north of Galway, which comprises of granite hills and lots of wilderness. The beach is only a 30 minute drive away. During the first and last week, Steven will take the group on fieldtrips to local places with interesting wood work.

Please note: accommodation is Bell tents (one per person)

Participants are required to bring suitable work clothes, including sturdy boots and waterproofs.

accommodation: each participant will have their own bell tent in the farm yard with a shared indoor kitchen and bathroom



The placement is funded by the EU Erasmus + scheme and covers return flights, accommodation, car hire costs and a subsistence allowance.  For more information on the host partner and a profile of Steven Burke and the work he has conducted to date, please visit

If you are interested in this placement, then please read through the information on the PEATS traditional skills main page. You will find the application form is available to download on this page, as is the “Quality Commitment” which all applicants have to read.

For past participant feedback, please refer to our Participants Reports page, and there is a report on the PEATS traditional skills main page.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.