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What we do

Established in 1975, The Countryside Education Trust’s mission is to connect people with the countryside. Forty years ago we were pioneers, but now we are experts! We introduce people to the wonders of the British countryside, rural life and farming. Our expert teaching team tailors national curriculum-based modules to the needs of each school and we have great feedback from our visitors.

Farm Life

We welcome schools all year, with an emphasis on hands-on, outdoor learning. Schools visit for a week, half a week or a day. Residential visitors experience daily life on the farm, collecting eggs from our hens for breakfast, helping with animal feeding and picking their own vegetables from the garden.


Based at Home Farm in the New Forest, we also have Treehouses close by in ancient woodland. Blessed by a wonderful position, close to woods, a river, heathland and the sea, we have a variety of habitats on our doorstep and teach a wide range of environmental and bush craft activities.


Beaulieu village, the historic Palace House and monastery, and the National Motor Museum are all within walking distance. Slightly further afield is Bucklers’ Hard, a historic shipbuilding village, reached by a lovely riverside walk.

The Countryside for Everyone

We run regular playgroups Owlets (0-2), Little Owls (2-4) and Big Owls (4-6). The general public is welcome for family days and we hold a variety of events and courses throughout the year to introduce people to country living, rural crafts and wildlife. Home Farmis perfect for groups of families or friends who want to spend time in the countryside and our Treehouses host truly beautifulweddings.


Upcoming Events

Owlets - Birdwatching at Needs Ore

28th January 2019 10:00am

Owlets Club for 0 - 2 years. Activities for Parents and Babies - a morning of fun and adventure!

We aim to provide time and space once a month for parents to step back from their busy lives, to reflect and interact with the world at nature's pace.

The Owlets sessions will bring together a fun, friendly and caring group of parents who enjoy the activities we provide and the social aspect as much as their children!

Needs Ore Birdwatching Walk - Monday 28th January 2019 10am – 11.30am

Come and join us for a birdwatching walk on the private Needs Ore nature reserve – a special treat to access this area which is not available to the public. Enjoy a pleasant walk at the reserve and visit the hides; expect to see waders and waterfowl.

We will meet at the Countryside Education Trust farm site at 9.30 am and travel to Needs Ore by minibus so please bring a car seat and binoculars if you have them too. Please note this walk is not buggy friendly and not suitable for small toddlers to walk so baby carriers/slings are necessary. The walk may be muddy and wet in places so wellie boots are advised. Refreshments will be provided. Places are limited (maximum of 10 places) so ensure you book early.

There is the option to meet at Needs Ore - you will need to be there for a 10.00 am start. If you decide to meet us there please let us know and we will give you instructions on where to meet.

Book one place per child with an adult free of charge.

Introduction to Garden Birdwatching

26th January 2019 9:30am

NEW FOR 2019!

Introduction to Garden Birdwatching

Many of us enjoy looking at the birds in our gardens but are not sure how to identify a coal tit from a great tit or willow tit. The session will start with an introduction to Garden birds in the classroom followed by an hour of Birdwatching from our new bird hide. We will then finish up with refreshments back in the classroom and a chance to discuss what we have seen.

We will be using the data we collect to participate in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Little Owls: What's the Weather like Today? Thurs

24th January 2019 10:00am

Happy New Year to all our Little Owls! This month we will be making some of our own weather recording equipment as well as doing some weather related crafts and games.

Refreshments are provided so please let us know if your child has any food allergies

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