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Hedgelaying courses in Devon & South West with Hush Farms. The John Muir Award in Countryside Skills  in Devon & South West with Hush Farms.

Conservation, Coppicing & Hedgelaying

Price: from £50 per person, per day

On these Hush Farm countryside management courses, you can gain a better understanding of conservation and the environment, as well as learn practical skills to help you improve the countryside.

Both farmers and conservationists favour the traditional skills of coppicing and hedgelaying. They’re a fantastic way to help encourage the protection of wildlife, new habitats and environmental conservations.  

For anyone interested in conservation, we also offer the John Muir Award – a progressive course designed to help you learn about nature and all things wild. Hush Farms couldn’t be in a better spot to help you develop your understanding of and responsibility for wild places.

There are many schemes available to support farmers and non-farming owners or managers, in boundary management and conservation, including the Countryside Stewardship Scheme; the Woodland Grant Scheme; the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme; the Rural Enterprise Scheme; and the Energy Crops Scheme.

Course Detail:
Conservation – The John Muir Award - From £50

Accreditation: John Muir Discovery Award (Introductory) 

Price: from £50 per person, per day, based on 8 attending

Course length: 5 hours of activities per week, spread over 6 weeks – all around the farm setting

Course outline:

Discover – Discover a wild environment – ranging from an old quarry, to the woodland walk; there are many hidden gems around Hush Farms.

Explore – Surveys, twitching, and art and photography are a few of the activities interwoven in the game of playing "wildlife detective". Reading clues in the landscape, following tracks and looking for signs of wildlife, all offer you the chance to explore and uncover the mysteries of the countryside.

Conserve – Along the way you will also test out traditional and practical skills, such as hedgelaying and coppicing, as well as following the cycle of plants – from seed to planting out saplings, or starting a new wildflower meadow – helping us to conserve the natural beauty of the area. Tools of the trade range from a hand held pair of secateurs, to the mechanics of chain saws – the choice can be yours.

Share – The final element involved in completing the John Muir Award is to share all that you've discovered, with new friends and the local community. You can do this either through art or photography, perhaps with story-telling or story-writing, or even in kite-making, creating colourful posters or whittling wood. 

Further learning: Once you have completed the John Muir Discovery Award, we can offer the intermediate and advanced awards, which spend more time on each area of learning. The Explorer Award requires 8 days of learning, while The Conserver Award takes 20 days (over 6 months).

Coppicing - From £75

Training only, with a Hush Farms Certificate of Attendance on completion

Price: from £75 per person, based on 6 people attending

Course length: one day

Course objectives: Care and maintenance of coppicing tools; safety procedures; restoration of derelict coppice back into management; cutting material already in management; use of coppiced materials and market.

Hedgelaying - From £75

Training only, with a Hush Farms Certificate of Attendance on completion

Price: from £75 per person, based on 6 people attending

Course length: one day 

Course objectives: Care and maintenance of hedgelaying tools; safety procedures; cutting pleachers (stems) and propagating; laying the hedge (in combs); increasing the height of the barrier, squaring off the base of the bank and making the face more vertical.