Last craftsperson from Lincre woodland festival this is Ben Willis. He was an apprentice with Mike Abbott 3 years ago and is a very competent pole lathe turner. He is also a freelance journalist and has written for I think he said the Telegraph and Guardian on environmental issues. At Linacre he was turning rounders bats out of the gorgeous straight ash grown on site.
First it is split with a froe.
From this position you push forward with the knee and back with the froe handle to lever the wood apart.
Then chop off the excess with an axe, however much I think I have learned about green woodworking I can still pick up tips from others. I love Ben’s chopping block. I have seen folk use blocks like this before with three branches giving a very stable block and the twisted wood where the branches meet being very resistant to splitting but the third leg here is morticed in an removable for flat packing, very ingenious.