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.

" Outstanding" Chris Faultey, Times Educational Supplement.


Workshops at Westmill Farm 

Our aim is to create a safe and nurturing environment for all to explore

nature and express themselves.
contacts & booking

Skep Making and Skep Beekeeping Days

Learn about skep beekeeping, visit the bee garden, then practice
the ancient art of skep making.

               Workshops 2012

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.
Discover the magic of bark horns and willow whistles. Learn the age old
practise of winding the grass green horns of folklore and putting a
fipple in your green whistle!

Work Weekends

watch this space

Acorn Education Work Weekend
Join in with the many creative projects at the Acorn Education Centre...

Storytelling Circles

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.

Storytelling Circles
Gather by the fireside in the round house for an evening of tales, poems
and good old-fashioned entertainment.. Please bring food, drink and stories
to share or ears to listen with

Druidry... and natural wisdom traditions
Learn about contemporary nature based spiritualities and natural
philosophies. Old and new ways of connecting to the natural world and ones
own nature.

Woodland Crafts

Become wood-wise and learn some tree-lore. Create some beautiful and
practical birch besoms, make a hurdle, tread the pole lathe, or carve ‘til
your heart’s content.

Earth Ovens
Learn various techniques of making, using and maintaining an earth oven
for your home, garden or as a community resource.

Skin & Bone
Learn about skinning, curing, smoking and tanning in the morning... then
make some bone tools and sinew cordage in the afternoon.

Fire Skills
Practice your fire skills: experiment with fire lighting by percussion and
friction; broaden you knowledge of tinder and kindling; practice some
interesting cooking methods; learn how to make a
charcoal clamp.

Bee-skep and Basket Day
Come along and learn to make skeps for your bees or baskets for your needs practicing the ancient art of lipwork using grasses, briars and withies.

Games, crafts and adventures inspired by the natural world. Enjoy a morning of exploring the woodland and hedgerows… then spend an afternoon creating pictures, poems and plays.

Animal Wise Day
Brush up on your animal knowledge. Learn some fun nature awareness techniques. Practice tracking and stalking skills. Then enjoy some tales of this island’s beasts and their folklore.

Prehistory Day
Become part of a prehistoric tribe for a day and learn about the ages of Stone, Bronze & Iron. Hands on experience with artefacts, tools, clothes and a prehistoric lifestyle, then settle down for some storytelling in the roundhouse.

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!

'Green Woodwork'

Come and enjoy a day making something rustic for your garden on the pole lathe and shave horses
using no electricity!

Fire Lighting!

Come and light safe and supervised fires using many different techniques practiced through the ages.

Tracking and Stalking days

identifying and following trails and tracks, then practicing cunning ways of silent movement and stalking.

Besom & Broomstick making

Come along and make some sustainable brooms and brushes from Birch, Heather, Broom, Bramble, Hazel, Ash and Willow.

'Shelter Days'
family days of making Hurdles, Wattle and Daub, Dens and Debris Huts form
100% natural materials.

'Willow Days'
A whole day of learning about Willow! Its botany, uses, history and
folklore... with a chance to weave, make a sculpture and get creative.

'Wild Food Harvests'

'Tree Lore Days'

A whole day of brushing up on tree I.D. Practical sessions on some of their uses. Art, folklore and storytelling to help the woodland come alive.

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

Sacred Singing

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
Sevenhampton, B4508. The new wind turbines will be on your right. Look
out for the Acorn Education sign on the left

Kartong Festival of Arts, Music & Culture

in The Gambia

Storytelling Yurt

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
Lower Shaw Farm, Old Shaw Lane, West Swindon
Tel 01793 771080 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01793 771080 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Methyglynn and Barks Horns at Highworth May Day 

 Red Kite

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.

Burns' Night!

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

Spring Watch

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

Woodland Crafts

Hen House on Stilts

Wildlife Garden Wattle Fencing

Totem Raised at Root & Branch

photos :D Butterworth

Skep Making & Skep Beekeeping

Bee-skep and Basket Days
Learn how to make skeps for your bees or baskets for your needs practicing
the ancient art of lipwork using grasses, briars and withies... and
discover more about skep beekeeping

Storytelling for Outdoor Education
This highly interactive and hands-on workshop will explore the potential of stories and storytelling to inspire and inform learning in the outdoors.

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

"The Bard of Barbury Castle"

stories, songs, poems and accoustic arts to enter the
circle of bards, or simply come to support and witness this hilltop
happening. The theme for entrants this year is: Life, Death & Re-birth

Coleshill Open Day & Food Festival

photos and Video by Mike Grenville of

story walks - willow sculpture - moving and erecting a megalith!

Bark Horn Making Project April/May '08

Whit Horns, May Horns and Shepherd's Horns

in commemoration of Michal (Kern) and Ivans (Laucik & Korman)

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

click for more details


Neolithic & Bronze Age Living History

at Durrington Walls with the

Stonehenge Riverside Project

Burn the Wicker Man at Ragged Hedge Fair 2007

The Natural House Project

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

Giant Dragonfly


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....



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 Britain’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.

“Our journey seeks to integrate and unite many divided faiths and cultures,” says Chris. “It 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.”

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

“Willow represents the plant kingdom and the horsehide heralds the animal kingdom,” explains Chris. “The 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.”

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 Chris’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.