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.
Owlets: Bunnies in the Barn
22nd February 2024
Who doesn’t love fluffy bunnies? Come and join us for a morning of fun on the farm, meet our cute rabbits and guinea pigs in the barn, and take part in some bunny themed activities! Please note: All Owls must be accompanied by an adult (who will be included in the Owl ticket), and...
Volunteers: Garden- Long Grasses cut back
26th February 2024
A new growing season is almost upon us and today we are tackling he grasses at the front of our residential centre.
Volunteers: Conservation- Meadow and Woodland cut back and burn piles
4th March 2024
Back in the wood today. We made a valiant attempt at clearing two burn piles a few weeks ago. A bit more still remains though and it will be good to clear before Spring gets a grip down in Hartford Wood and the meadow.
Little Owls: Hopping Mad
7th March 2024
Let’s learn all about frogs! We’ll be looking at their life cycle, habitats, and maybe even searching for some in the pond, along with a range of other fun and froggy activities. Note: Please note: All Owls must be accompanied by an adult (who will be included in the Owl ticket), and we’re unable to...
Eagle Owls: Tern Decoy Workshop
17th March 2024
Did you know that decoys can be used to attract birds to ideal nesting locations? Using a method called ‘social attraction’, birds will land near the decoys believing they are part of an existing nesting colony. This strategy is important in conservation work with endangered bird species whose nesting sites have been threatened by disturbances...