MONGOLIAN nomads build yurts out of necessity. The portable tents provide shelter as they roam the vast plains tending their herds.

Not much call for that in Bolton you’d rightly think.

However, Colin Unsworth, who is offering yurt skill sessions, believes learning and applying the methods and techniques can have a beneficial effect on wellbeing.

Colin, along with Glen Roberts who makes and rents out yurts, said: “It’s very therapeutic, meditative, focussed and calming.

“Working with locally sourced natural wood helps connect you with nature.”

Glen, who has been bodging (traditional woodturning craft) for many years, knows this only too well as it helped him convalesce after a car accident.

Based in Willow Hey, Farnworth, the sessions they offer include techniques that are a thousand years old.

Apart from sawing, participants learn how to steam-bend staves for yurt walls.

“We heat up an old churn to create the steam and then feed it into a wooden chamber using a hose.

“The staves are then placed in a chamber for around 90 minutes while the steam works its magic and makes them flexible.”

You will also learn how to create a wooden yurt roof wheel.

Traditional hand-made lathes are used and, having tried it myself, I can testify just how relaxing spokeshaving an ash pole can be.

All the wood is sourced from foraging in local woodland - with the owners’ permission of course - skips and machine offcuts.

“It means there’s a big element of recycling involved, which again, is good for the planet.”

Although those who attend the sessions do not actually get to build a yurt of their own, thanks to Colin and Glen they leave with all the necessary knowledge to go away and build one in their back garden, should they so wish.

If you are interested in attending the sessions, please call Colin on 07984 123891.