The natural world is a treasure trove of learning and wisdom...
Acorn Education is dedicated to integrating nature and education, and providing experiential learning for all of the senses.
Seeking to improve our connections to the natural environment and gain a greater awareness, a sense of place, a sense of history, roots and culture, arts, crafts, skills and knowledge.
Workshops at Westmill Farm
Our aim is to create a safe and nurturing environment for all to explore
nature and express themselves.
Skep Making and Skep Beekeeping Days
Learn about skep beekeeping, visit the bee garden, then practice
Storytelling Workshop 'Telling Taller Tales'
An opportunity to improve your storytelling, learn enchanting techniques, tricks of the trade and a tale, or two, or three...
Wild Food, Wild Medicine
Join a wild food and wild medicine foray, make tinctures and balms, discover the medicines of the beehive
Bark Horns and Willow Whistles.
watch this space
Wild Food Foraging .
A day of exploring the fields, hedgerows, woodlands and wetlands of Westmill Farm. Learn the identification and uses of various roots, berries, seeds, leaves and funghi for food and drink, medicines and pigments.
Wood Wise Day
Brush up on your Tree I.D. and discover which woods are good for which purposes. Learn some fun nature awareness techniques. Then practice fire lighting skills, whittling and green woodwork.
Thursday 28th May 10-4 Plant Wise Day
Brush up on your plant I.D. Then learn about wild foods, dyes and pigments, string and rope, medicines, magic and folklore.
A whole day of learning about bows and arrows. then shave down your own bow stave and fletch some arrows ready for target practice.
Making Bark Horns
Learn about the time honoured Grass Green Horns of British and European Folklore... then create horns and whistles and reeds and make some traditional noises!
Besom & Broomstick making
Come along and make some sustainable brooms and brushes from Birch, Heather, Broom, Bramble, Hazel, Ash and Willow.
Natural Pigment Days
Experiment with plants, minerals and natural materials. Creating pigments and pictures
Outdoor Skills & Ancient Technology Days
Learning and practicing a myriad of natural crafts and skills
Eco Wind Westmill Windfarm Public Open
Join in with a range of acticities beneath the graceful turbines
Gather and sing sacred songs and share food cooked on an open fire
Skinning, Curing & Tanning
Traditional work with furs, skins and hides (families/adults)
To Westmill Farm: From the A420 take the Turning signposted Highworth and
Kartong Festival of Arts, Music & Culture
in The Gambia
BBC RaW Cities Festival, Trafford Centre,
'Folklore and Mythology of Smithcraft & the Forge'
News and Events:
Marcham and Frilford Archaeology Open Day
Storytelling at Swindon Festival of Literature
Children & Families Day
Methyglynn and Barks Horns at Highworth May Day
Conversations With The Earth, Community Festival
Chris is an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker on all things ancient and he will have you enthralled with tales of our ancient history and will also have artefacts for you to see and touch.
Alfred Williams Heritage Festival
Burwardsley Outdoor Education Centre, Cheshire.
Replica Iron Age House with living history and ancient crafts: smithing; weaving; carving; bodging...
Faringdon Eco-Week Eco-Yurt and Eco-Den
Medieval May Day Market
Market Place, Highworth,
May 2010 May Pole, 'Green Jack', Stories and more... Highworth Historical Society
6 path Beehive Labyrinth created with Westrop Primary School
'Highjackers' Mummers Play 23rd April, Wharf Green, Swindon. 4:30p.m.
22nd April, Lunchtime Lecture 1p.m.Swindon Centrral Library
'Saint George - the multi-cultural heritage of a good old English icon'
Alfred Williams Folk Song Evening
April 2010 King & Queen, Longcot
Hen House on Stilts
Wildlife Garden Wattle Fencing
Totem Raised at Root & Branch
photos :D Butterworth
Skep Making & Skep Beekeeping
Storytelling for Outdoor Education
Bread Oven at Bridewell Organic Gardens
Bee Hives & Tree Hives at The Tree House Gallery in Regent's Park, London
Sounds Like Summer!
'Greenspace Project' at Longcot & Fernham School
outdoor classroom collaboration with artists Sarah-Jayne Ebdon, Chris Park and the school children
Storytelling Chair carved at Longcot & Fernham School
Making the Gaea Labyrinth at 'Gaea', Emerald Valley, Wendover Dean.
Caduceus Totem Pole project for Root & Branch
Coleshill Open Day & Food Festival
photos and Video by Mike Grenville of Changingworlds.info
story walks - willow sculpture - moving and erecting a megalith!
Bark Horn Making Project April/May '08
Whit Horns, May Horns and Shepherd's Horns
MUSICAL HAPPENING IN DUPNICA CAVE, SLOVAKIA
Maytime Bealtinne Art Exhibition, Taste Cafe, Swindon.
Green Man crafted and photographed by Lynette Thomas
Wood Carving and Green Woodwork Workshops
Root & Branch Horticultural Therapy Centre
January, February and March 2008
Neolithic & Bronze Age Living History
at Durrington Walls with the
Burn the Wicker Man at Ragged Hedge Fair 2007
and Art & Architecture Week
Round House Hermitage being built
at Compton Verney
Habitat Houses for Hedgehogs
at schools and outdoor centres!
Seasonal Birch Besom Making!
Home Made Kayak Project:
Round houses by Acorn Education
To have one built for you or to come along to a roundhouse building weekend email [email protected]
Round House for Bedgrove Infant School October '06
The Round House at Barbury is Complete!
Many thanks to the dedicated crew,
the vibrant volunteers, the bright eyed schools groups,
the Swindon Ranger Team, Nature For All... and the Heritage Lottery Fund
Jim, Orc and Des... Thatchers, Wattlers and Daubers
Artists Romilly Swann and Nancy Gladstone painting the interior with natural pigments
Dan carving some of the oak lintels
...Visit Barbury Castle Local Nature Reserve and Iron Age Hill Fort to enjoy this Ancient British style shelter
designed and built by Acorn Education
named 'The Wrens Nest'
Living History at Barbury Castle
During three free family workshops
at Acorn Education Centre, Westmill Farm, Watchfield, Oxon. SN6 8TH
we constructed a celebratory Dragonfly Sculpture
that was decorated at the Dragonfly Ball
and will be displayed on the Coate Water Nature Reserve lake later this year
sponsored by the Big Lottery 'Awards for All' initiative
Plant Kingdom and Mineral Kingdom Labyrinths designed and created
by Chris Park of Acorn Education for Creative Landscspes,
Whitlenge Gardens, Hartlebury, Worcestershire... April '06
Materials and landscape consultant- Keith Southall of Whitlenge... the paths are made of Red Gra... the standing stones are Welsh Slate and sea washed stones
to visit the beautiful gardens for your self click here
Heritage & Folklore
St. George's Day Mummers Play, at The Quarry, Swindon, a day celebrating the saintly heritage of England and the dedication of the Local Nature Reserve and SSSI... Sunday, 23 April '06
above photo by Lynette Thomas
Tree Dressing at Stanton Park. In collaboration with the Ranger Team and Nature For All... The dressing of two Yew trees in the beautiful park, teaching nature awareness and the folklore of the Yew.
Storytelling Tours for the White Horse, Uffington Castle, Weyland's Smithy and the Avebury Complex....
ACORN EDUCATION ADVENTURE
THE CORACLE ORACLE JOURNEY FOR PEACE
Ecological artist Chris Park took a unique Pilgrimage for Peace last year. He single-handedly navigated a home crafted, primitive coracle boat from an Oxfordshire spring to the sea, through 190 miles of Britainâ€™s water ways, carrying a magic Egg.
The voyage began on Wednesday, August 17 2005. Chris, 32, and his strange cargo, ageless, departed from Bath House Spring in Watchfield, near the White Horse at Uffington, and travelled along the river Cole to join the Thames near Lechlade. He then continued down the Thames to London and to the river estuary, pausing to visit various places of worship, education and art.
â€œOur journey seeks to integrate and unite many divided faiths and cultures,â€ says Chris. â€œIt celebrates water as a unifying bond between all races, creatures and creeds, nourishing all and rejecting none. The waterways pass through all kinds of communities and I hope many will be inspired to come and greet the magic Egg.â€
To read a diary with pictures of the whole journey click here.
Making of the horsehide coracle
Making a green willow framework for a coracle
Coracles are prehistoric craft, made traditionally from animal skins stretched over a wooden frame. Chris has built several coracles using only primitive technologies; he made the craft for this pilgrimage from willow and horsehide, cured in salt.
Rawhide used to tension the frame and the seat...
The horse hide is salted and de-fleshed with flint and bone tools
â€œWillow represents the plant kingdom and the horsehide heralds the animal kingdom,â€ explains Chris. â€œThe salt is from the mineral kingdom and the journey will unite the human kingdom along the way. May the harmony of our lands be complete.â€
Strips of hide are cut to sew the hide to the frame...
the finished coracle above made with just willow & horse hide
Chris Park worked with the BBC for the seven week project called Surviving the Iron Age and works extensively with schools and artistic projects all over the UK. He is a descendant of Mungo Park family, the Scottish explorer, who navigated the African river Niger exactly 200 years ago.
For more information on Chrisâ€™s coracle adventure, including details of the route, the construction of the coracle and the concepts behind the work, call: Chris Park 07816591151 [email protected]
To read a diary with pictures of the whole journey click here.