Courses and Apprenticeships

Smallholding

  • Nourish Scotland have just been funded to run a six month vocational training and work placement programme for new entrants wanting to develop their food growing, local marketing and small business skills.

Designing Sustainability

  • Gaia Education is running an online course on the social, worldview, ecological and economic dimensions of sustainability.
  • Shift Bristol run a course in Practical Sustainability. This year long course gives an in-depth understanding of where are and where we're going in relation to sustainability, and what we can do to create positive, practical solutions.

Ecological Agriculture

  • Warwickshire College offer a variety of long term flexible distance learning course in Organic Farming and veg growing.
  • Charles Dowding runs short courses on his no-dig (organic) vegetable gardening methods at his holding near Castle Cary, Somerset.
  • Commonwork Land Trust in Bore Place, Kent provide short courses on pest control, soil fertility, propagation, seed saving, and bee-keeping.
  • Bee the Change provides all sorts of events and courses to do with Bees and beekeeping.
  • Devon Association of Smallholders runs low cost practical training courses to provide their members with the knowledge and skills needed for running a successful smallholding.
  • The Eden Project in Cornwall, in association with Duchy College provide a 12-month training course leading to a Level 2 Diploma in Work Based Horticulture.
  • Emerson College in East Sussex offers a full-time course in Biodynamic Agriculture.
  • Food Systems Academy offers a free online open education resource to help increase understanding of our food systems – where they came from, how they change, what the challenges are and how to meet them. A free library of talks giving a succinct overview of food in our world today.
  • Schumacher College in Devon offers a whole array of short and long term courses both theoretical and practical including an MSc in Ecological Food Systems.
  • Schumacher College also offers a 6-month apprenticeship in Sustainable Horticulture at their grounds in Devon.
  • Crossfields Institute offer a distance learning course - Researching Holistic Approaches to Agroecology as either a postgraduate certificate, a postgraduate diploma or the option of undertaking a full Master’s degree. The course is supported through online tutorials, individual supervision with one of the Crossfields faculty and optional intensives.

Woodland Management

  • Ben Law runs courses on coppicing, timber framing & charcoal burning and also offers apprenticeships at his woodland in West Sussex.
  • Guy Furner runs a week long course on Low Impact woodland management from Monkton Wyld Court, Dorset.
  • Trees for Health holds regular volunteering days in Beeson. Different seasonal tasks include planting, sowing, weeding, scything, tree care, mulching, pond work, willow work, raised bed maintenance, composting, harvesting and processing/cooking foods.

Rural Skills

  • Crofting Training provide information on farm and horticulture training through the Scottish highlands and islands.
  • Duchy College Rural Business School in Cornwall offers a wide range of courses including growing food for your B&B, dry stone walling and building compost toilets. Some courses have a 50% discount for those eligible.
  • Simon Fairlie runs courses on scything, grassland management and dairies at Monkton Wyld Court in Dorset.
  • Visit My Farm provides information on the Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme. The training is to help farmers prepare for school visits and public open days.

Practical Ecology

  • The Centre for Alternative Technology run short-courses on general ecology, the diversity of plants and animals and plant identification. Courses can lead to a Certificate of Field Ecology.

Business Skills for Farming

Fresh Start Land Enterprise Centre specialises in farm business academies, mentoring, matchmaking and working with land owners and entrepreneurs to look at innovative ways with land agreements and joint ventures.

Future Growers Placements

The Soil Association is offering a six-month traineeship where trainees can learn the basics of organic growing. Farm-based work is combined with a series of structured seminars to build upon the practical knowledge gained out in the field.