Who we are
- To provide workshops, skills, outdoor structures, products and services, that encourage people to connect with and enjoy the natural world around them; developing a respect and understanding of nature.
- Nature's cycles
- Friendship, community and collaboration
- Health and wellbeing
The Green Canopy company was founded by Ben and Janet Thomas as a result of their shared respect and love of the natural world and their desire to pass on and share that love with others. Ben and Janet come from very different backgrounds and use very different methods of delivering this aim. Ben comes from a hand crafted woodworking tradition and Janet from a nutritional therapy, gardening and horticultural pathway. The common ground is British woodlands and countryside and the wealth of healing and abundant produce that properly managed woodlands, as well as wild and cultivated natural habitats, provide.
Green Canopy offers creative workshops, outdoor structures, woodland skills, gardening and horticulture, forest school learning, craft, and handmade products.
Ben has been designing and manufacturing wooden objects and structures since he graduated from a 3 dimensional design degree in 2001. He studied Japanese furniture making in the Japanese mountains of Okayma under a master craftsman.
He has produced designs for retailer John Lewis, showcased regularly at Glastonbury festival, created works for the Anne Frank Trust and delivered commissions across the country including Colchester Castle Park, Museum of Science and Industry and the Irwell Sculpture Trail.
He is the founder and managing director of the social enterprise Start Creative. In 2009 he became an owner and manager of Green Canopy Woods and has trained as a forestry and coppice worker. Ben’s community engagement work has run parallel with his environmental conservation and his design and manufacturing. Many of the commissioned works include encouraging communities to be part of high end design and manufacture and the sourcing of sustainable local materials.
Janet is a qualified and practising nutritional therapist and a trained horticulturist; she also works as a woodland manager, and small holder. She has over 15 years of experience advising people on their wellbeing and how to support health through sound nutrition and practical lifestyle strategies. More recently having retrained as a horticulturist, Janet concentrates more on the gardening and horticultural side of work, enjoying tending land, growing wholesome foods, connecting with nature's cycles, taking produce to market, and spending as much time in the outdoors as possible.
Janet’s work has included being a health and wellbeing development worker for the NHS. She also worked at the 8th Day Workers Co-operative as a Co-op member and nutritional therapist for over 10 years and has facilitated nutrition and wellbeing workshops at a variety of festivals and community events. Janet wrote and delivered the course ‘Finding Your Direction’ for the charity Start in Salford, supporting its members to maintain their wellbeing whilst developing and working towards their personal life goals. Janet wrote and delivered a ‘Woods on Prescription’ pilot for Salford CVS at Groundworks ‘Trafford Eco Park’.