February 2012 newsletter


Two new courses this month:  goat husbandry and decorative rope-work.  Next month sees another two new ones:  how to use a scythe and organic vegetable-growing.  For the latter we have Pauline Pears as the tutor, from Garden Organic (used to be the Henry Doubleday Research Centre).  There has been a strong revival of interest in growing unsprayed vegetables and most allotments have lists of people waiting to take over one.  Here at Assington Mill, we share the old kitchen garden with four other families, in return for fresh produce for the course lunches.

Newsletter - October 2011

This year's strawbale course project was to build a two-bay cartlodge, re-using an old concrete base to a barn that once stood near the mill pond, We asked John Bradshaw from Assington to construct a double-thickness concrete block foundation to raise the building at least 18" off the ground, the width of a strawbale.  The bales came from the Johnson brothers at Yorley farm just over the hill, and had been baled extra dense.  As soon as the students left, John added a pantiled roof (County pantiles from Sandtoft) on factory-made trusses with black painted capping boards at each end.  The ga

August Newsletter 2011

Hi!  Hope you are having a good summer.  Here in the East of England we have had wonderfully sunny weather since about mid-March.  Luckily our new Landshare Scheme allotments (we share the old kitchen garden with four other families) have the Assington Brook running on three sides, so the veggies have done amazingly well.  We have been able to feed students on the courses with organic vegetables for the last two or three months, which was always the aim.  In the strawbale owl tower, constructed on a course here in 2008, the barn owls have had a successful season with three chicks raised out

Online Booking from today, 25 February

From today, 25 February, you will be able to book the courses online with a card.

For those who prefer, you will still be able to book by sending the boooking form with a cheque through the post, but be aware that the online method will result in a booking straight away.

You can see how many places are left on each course by looking at the website.  I will of course add the postal bookings to the website list as soon as I receive them.

I do hope you find the new system useful.  Let me know if you have any problems.


Happy new year!  Last year was a good one for us, with 25% more students attending the courses than in 2009, and many days completely full, so we are looking forward to more of the same.  Something else to look forward to is the arrival of Tim & Sophie's prize-winning English Longhorn cattle, now that the fields have all been fenced in for them.  This is a move encouraged by the Higher Level Stewardship agreement and will be of benefit to local wildlife.  We have also set up a small "landshare" scheme, so the area behind the tractor shed (the classroom) is fenced against rabbits and wil

August newsletter

We've had a great summer with wall to wall sunshine (the joys of living in East Anglia - luckily we don't have a garden as such), two new barn owl chicks fledged and ringed and the millwheel reinstated in the existing pit in front of the cottage.  It should generate some electricity for both the cottage and the workshop where the courses are held.  The pond had a dreadful infestation of blanket weed but, thanks to a new product called Viresco, it has virtually disappeared.  Many thanks to the Forest School Campers who valiantly battled with it on two occasions.


The new pig-keeping course for beginners proved to be very popular, with five people waiting for places at the end.  We shall run another on Sunday 3 October 2010 - early booking is advisable!

The morning was spent indoors with tutor Kevin Blundell focussing on traditional free-range pig-keeping.  Students learnt about legal requirements, the differences between the various breeds, housing and feeding, illnesses, slaughter and butchery.

Special deal for students, pensioners and the unemployed on basket-making and willow-weaving!

Thanks to the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project's "Managing a Masterpiece" project, we are able to offer (subject to funding approval) an extremely special rate on the basket-making (2-4 July) and willow-weaving (22/23 May) courses.  Click on OUR COURSES to see more and book as soon as possible.