Two sustainable Christmas craft activities to try around the UK

Worried about the amount of festive rubbish in your wheelie bin? Just take action and then have fun at one of the following eco-friendly gift and decoration classes.

Edible gifts

More unwanted “stuff” at Christmas? Try giving a tasty treat instead. Chocolate workshops at the National Trust’s medieval Powis Castle and Garden near Welshpool, include handmade chocolate robins and stars, and sparkly chocolate shards (19 Dec, £27.50). In York, the original home of Rowntree’s and Terry’s factories, chocolate workshops at York Cocoa House range from drop-in lollipop-making (£3.75), to masterclasses on specialties, such as ganaches and caramels (various dates, £55 adult, £28 child).

In the Gloucestershire Hills, Harts Barn Cookery School in the Forest of Dean is running Christmas cookery classes throughout Dec, including children’s edible decorations and edible gifts classes (gingerbread men, marshmallow penguins, chocolate lollies and reindeer pretzels, 15 Dec, from £25), and Christmas chocolate-making for adults (1 Dec, £50), with truffles and more to take away.

For something savory, learn the secrets of creating quick pickles at the Salt Box sustainably-minded cookery school’s Pickle like a Pro workshop (11 Dec, £45) near Redhill in Surrey, which also includes a festive drink and a two-course meal. Classes will take place in a private woodland glen and a cozy barn.

Unusual ornaments

Piece Hall in Halifax – a recently restored 18th-century cloth hall that now has independent shops and eateries around its vast courtyard – is running a series of Christmas events and workshops, which include making felt decorations with heritage cloth (17 Dec, £5.50) and felted snowman sessions for children (ages 6+, 21 Dec, £7.50).

In Surrey, the Royal Horticultural Society’s 97-hectare Wisley Garden – one of the UK’s most-visited gardens – has a workshop on “living baubles” – known in Japan as kokedama (£15, 4 Dec), alongside free children’s decoration-making sessions using woodland materials (14-15 Dec). Also for children, and inspired by a new exhibition, Flights of Fancy: the Wondrous World of Quentin Blake (running until April 2020), The National Trust’s Nymans house in West Sussex is running decoration workshops (various dates, £3).

In Glasgow, Locavore, an organic and sustainable food shop and cafe close to Queen’s Park, has a workshop (23 November, £10) on upcycling old books to become paper decorations, such as intricate snowflakes and folded trees.