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Gravenhurst lies equidistant between Bedford and Luton. It's a parish on the edge of 
Bedfordshire's bit of the Greensand Ridge. From its hill-top location there are lovely views to the south towards Shillington and beyond to the last vestiges of the Chiltern Hills - Pegsdon Hill, Telegraph Hill, Noon Hill, Sharpenhoe.

It's a quiet village, hidden away and not really on the way to anywhere, although surprisingly close to Luton, Biggleswade and Bedford. Good walking on public rights of way make it a lovely spot to take in on a ramble through Bedfordshire's middle bits. Read on to find out more.
the view from Wassledine [image thanks to Barry Halton/CPRE]


Training courses
Here at Wassledine we run whole day training sessions in crafts and outdoor education. Make a plant support for your garden, a simple basket, learn to tell a tale, carve a spoon...
Courses take place outside on the farm, in the willow field, in the woods or in the shelter of the barn.
If you would like to book onto one of our courses at Wassledine or arrange a training day at your own venue please contact us; 01462 711815 
email
make an obelisk training day (image thanks to C doherty)

Make a plant support - April 2015 A day session in making simple things for the garden from willow. Make a plant support for your garden.

We make lots of obelisks or pyramidal plant supports from willow each year. They are great for growing sweet peas or any other climbing plant and are relatively easy to make. In the day, you will create something to take away and use in your own garden. We’ll also spend a little time talking about willow – choosing, sorting and selecting.
Held on site, outside on the farm in Gravenhurst, so you'll need to come prepared.

Cost £65 to include all materials, tea, coffee, cake and fruit. Bring your own packed lunch. To book or find out more please contact us on 01462 711815 or email

Date to be announced. To find out more please contact us on 01462 711815 or email
make a willow obelisk - a day workshop

Withie Workshop (to be confirmed)

This new course will give you the chance to make a few simple things from willow ranging from wands to bird feeders and gain ideas for running activity sessions yourselves. Jane’s been making willow crafts with children and adults for many years; she’ll be sharing ideas and providing tips on how to make a variety of willow creations: flowers, fish, webs, whirls, stars, wreaths, lanterns...

Suitable for Forest School or Wildlife Watch Leaders, Cub Scout or Brownie Leaders or anyone who simply enjoys making things form natural materials.

Cost £65 to include all materials, tea, coffee, cake and fruit. Bring your own packed lunch. To book or find out more please contact us on 01462 711815 or email

learning to make willow whils and wands on a Wassledine training course

Basket making for beginners - Date to be confirmed. Hopefully May and July 2015
Join local craftsman Ed Burnett for a day's tuition. You will go home with your very own round basket - no experience required, although if you've done some making before we may be able to try some different techniques.

Bring warm old clothes and secateurs but there will be spares if needed (secateurs rather than clothes).

Ed is a local, self taught green wood worker and basket maker. He reckons his first baskets were dreadful so he'll be able to help you avoid all his mistakes! He enjoys making functional, beautiful things and knowing about where the materials come from. You will go home with your very own round basket at the end of the day.

Cost £65 to include all materials, tea, coffee, cake and fruit. Bring your own packed lunch. To book or find out more please contact us on 01462 711815 or email

Look out for other courses with Ed coming soon...
Finished baskets and happy makers at the end of a Wassledine basket making course

Ed Burnett teaching basket making on Wassledine course

Storytelling in the woods - date to be announced (June 2015)
An introduction to storytelling outdoors. For anyone who'd like to have a go at telling tales and campfire stories themselves.

Location - Bottoms Corner, Gravenhurst

This course is for anyone who works with children in an outdoor setting and /or would like to take the first steps to telling a story themselves.  If you’re a Cub Scout/ Brownie Leader looking to tell a campfire tale; a Wildlife Watch Leader looking for new ideas; a teacher wanting to leave the book behind at story time; or a parent who’s always loved stories, then this course is for you.

The course will look at how to use elements of stories in outdoor activities, how to help children create their own stories through fabulous fibs and will get participants started on telling a tale themselves.

Trainer: Jane Lambourne, Wassledine Storytelling
Jane has been telling stories for over 15 years. She has a wide range of experience that combines storytelling and environmental education with countryside management and farming. In the past Jane has been in employment with The Wildlife Trust, English Nature and Bedfordshire County Council. Jane has worked as freelance storyteller for several years working on school projects and at countryside events; telling stories and leading activities for nature reserves, museums, parks, libraries and community groups.

For more information about Jane's storytelling work click here 

Cost £65 to include tea, coffee, cake and fruit. Bring your own packed lunch. To book or find out more please contact us on 01462 711815 or email
Jane Lambourne on storytelling in the woods Wassledine training day



Interactive storytelling with Jane, Storytelling in the woods, Wassledine course

Come for a walk
Much of our small farm is accessible all the time, either on public footpaths or through permissive access that forms part of our Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
The farm also lies on a promoted walk that passes through Silsoe and Shillington - details at www.letsgo.org.uk so if you just fancy a walk, why not take a look?


Find out more

Lots of locals enjoy walking around our fields every day of the week. People are interested in the cattle and the willow and regularly ask about what we do and how it affects the countryside and the wildlife that lives here; we can often be found chatting – it’s a friendly kind of place. If you’d like to find out more about the farm; what we do, how we do it and why (and a whole load more besides), we would be delighted to show you around. Read on for details.
Jane leading a guided walk


Group Visits

Let us introduce you to the cattle, visit our willow beds, find out about wildlife on the farm and hear about the day to day issues we are dealing with at the moment. Here’s a chance to get a little closer to the land, ask anything you wish about what we do and enjoy this beautiful bit of Bedfordshire. Visits can be tailored to your group and could include storytelling, willow weaving or a “farm detectives” activity. We can provide refreshments or you are welcome to bring your own picnic.

Terrain: unsurfaced, undulating grass with some slopes of up to 1:10. No stiles or other similar barriers.

Charges:
Small group (20 people or less): £50 total
Large Group (over 20 people) £2.50 per person

Charges are for a general guided walk lasting between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. Please note additional charges may apply and there may be a restriction on group size depending on the activity you wish to do.

Refreshments:
If you would like us to provide refreshments please choose form the following options:
Squash and biscuits: add 50p per person
Hot drink and homemade cake:  add £2 per person

If you'd like to book a group visit please call Jane and Guy 01462 711815 or email 

Listening to farmland birds, playing sound moose on a group visit to Wassledine

Wildlife Watch Group meet the cows

Woodland Visits

Bottoms Corner Wood is on a secluded part of the farm with no public access. We can offer guided activities - den building, campfire stories, games and crafts or you can hire the woods to run your own activity session.  The perfect location for youth groups, Guides and Scouts.

If you'd like to bring your group to Bottoms Corner please speak to Jane and Guy 01462 711815  or email

Rainbow Guides visit Bottoms Corner wood

Talks
We are very happy to come to your group's meeting and provide a talk of perhaps 40 minutes to an hour. Currently we offer two standard talks -
'Wassledine's farming year' - a season by season account of what we do, how we do it and why; with the opportunity to get your hands on some willow if there's time.
'Storytelling' - the whys, hows and whens; a chance to hear some tales and perhaps even try some of your own.
We charge from around £50
fresh cut willow
t.   01462 711815
m. 07794 013876
e.  info(at)wassledine.co.uk
 
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Wassledine landscape [image Barry Halton/CPRE]
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