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.
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.
Schools trips in the forest
Pond dipping in the river nearby
Bird of prey
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 Farm is perfect for groups of families or friends who want to spend time in the countryside and our Treehouses host truly beautiful weddings.
Simple Steps to Reduce your Carbon Footprint
19th October 2019
This will be a fun, challenging informative and very active day for ages 10 and upwards. Through a series of demonstrations, hands-on activities, puzzles and videos we will be asking and answering questions like What is climate change? What is a carbon footprint? How is climate change affecting the New Forest? Is there anything...
Woodland Foraging Walk
20th October 2019
Join foraging and bushcraft expert Joe Peartree at the Treehouse Study Centre for an autumn walk around Hartford Woods. We will spend the morning walking through the woodland and meadow on the hunt for wild edible plants, nuts, and mushrooms, as well as discussing medicinal purposes and other uses of the flora found there. Joe will...
22nd October 2019
Fundraising event in aid of the Countryside Education Trust With Sam Fraser, BBC presenter and guest chefs World class chefs from New Forest restaurants share tips and anecdotes and team up to compete against each other and the clock. Bid for your dinner as each course is auctioned! With nibbles during the interval, a pop-up...
Eagle Owls: Make a Witches Broom
28th October 2019
Use traditional green woodworking tools to create your own witches broom to take home, all made from materials cut from our woodland! This is a really satisfying activity that will require the children and their parents/carers to work together. The majority of the session will take place outside; we suggest welly boots, waterproof coats and...
29th October 2019
Free entry and parking Apple pressing Juice tasting and juice for sale Apple themed games and crafts Story telling Please note that this event will be taking place in the orchard. Access to the orchard is via a steep slope and it may be muddy under foot. Please bring wellies if you can!