& Rural Skills

Welcome to Traditional and Rural Skills, Bath

We offer a range of certified vocational courses, as well as traditional, rural skills courses, events and demonstrations.

We are based at Friary – an historic location just outside Bath.

We have fully-qualified tutors, well-maintained machinery, good access to public transport, parking, catering and a comfortable classroom with washing facilities on site.

Vocational, career-designed courses

for people wanting to work on the land, get qualifications and set up their
own business.

Courses include: brushcutters and trimmers; using powered pole pruners; chainsaw maintenance; dry stone walling; first aid; health & safety; and business planning. Most courses are certified by LANTRA or an equivalent organisation.

Traditional skills, leisure courses and events

for individuals who do not require certification, but would like a good level
of competence.

Courses include: iron work; the preparation of wild game; dry stone walling (certification available); ditch and grass blade scything; an introduction to bee-keeping; wildflower meadow seeding; creating a sensory garden and cob
oven making.

Corporate team-building and
off-site adventures

with full catering and 5 AA star residential facilities. Private fishing and clay pigeon shooting available.

A valuable and unique experience in working and creating together.

Programmes are designed to order.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Start the day with welcome refreshments.

Sandwich and soup or ploughman’s luncheon is provided for all vocational courses and included in the price.

Equipment purchase advice. Good public transport access and parking on site.


 Living Willow Workshop

Saturday, 9th March 10am - 12.30pm

Mary Cross of Organic Matters, Nunney, will be showing us how to plant willow to create arches, hedges, dens and tunnels or other interesting structures in our gardens. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and hot drinks before we start. You can also watch a video film on the history of Coates Willow showing the historical development of this thriving Somerset industry.  

To book click on date on calendar below

Early Birdsong Walk

Sunday, 28th April 7:30am - 10am

Join us to experience the wonder of the early morning birdsong at Friary.
Lucy Delve, a member of RSPB and Bath and District RSPB Members’ Group and Bath Natural History Society, will lead us on a circular walk of this scenic valley helping us to hear and see the extensive bird life in trees, river banks and meadows.
A hearty breakfast baguette and hot drinks at Friary on your return!
FREE...donations to the RSPB happily accepted.

 Sustainable Bee Gaurdian

Saturday, 22nd June 10am - 12.30pm

North Somerset Sustainable Bees have a nurturing approach, acting as ‘guardians’ for the bee population within their local environment. Members optimise this habitat by planting forage which is available for all insects throughout the year. They avoid chemical interference, to the extent of not treating for varroa, letting natural selection to take its course in order to encourage a genetically-strong, possibly varroa-resistant, bee population.

The honey is mostly left for the bees, which are allowed to swarm and mate naturally, allowing a robust bee population to thrive in harmony with its surroundings. Members meet monthly to share their observations and discuss best practices for their vital new method, a philosophy that encompasses the environment as a whole, supporting pollinators of all kinds with the focus on bees. There wil also be a short demonstration of traditional skep making.
This is a Free Community Event, but please book:

To book click on date on calendar below

The Nowhere Forge

Sunday, 7th July 10am - 12.30pm

                                                            Simon Bushell and The Nowhere Forge will be visiting for an entralling demonstration of traditional ironwork.                                                               This journeyman blacksmith and iron artist is totally unique in his field, travelling all around the country in his converted shepherd's hut.

An experience not to be missed. The demonstration is a Free Community Event, but please book beforehand.

Simon will also be holding a day-class for 4 students, to join Simon's class please contact him direct:

To book click on date on calendar below

1-day Dry Stone Walling Course

Thursday, 19th September 9.30am - 5pm

Jon Bendle is a dry stone walling specialist with many years teaching experience for organisations such as The Royal Agricultural University, The Cotswold Conservation Board and The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Join us for this one-day course, where you will learn the fundamentals of this ancient rural skill from ground preparation, through foundations and footings to construction and capping. Attendance certificate upon completion.

£85 pp including refreshments and 2-course luncheon


Friary Bat Watch

Saturday, 5th October 6.30pm - about 8.30pm

Join Laura Mullholland, Chair of the Wiltshire Bath Group, for an evening of bat facts and a guided wander around Friary listening out for any furry friends that might be flying around. With a good mix of river, woodland and pasture, we should be lucky enough to encounter species such as the greater and lesser horseshoe, Daubenton's, noctules and the trusty common pipestrelle. Laura will tell us about why bats are so special, why the area around Bath and Bradford-on-Avon is so important for their conservation - and what we can do to help bats.

                                            Children are very welcome. We will start of with sausages and a hot punch (soft drinks also available).                                               

Donations to The Wiltshire Bat Group are very welcome. Free Community Event, all are welcome, but please book first.

To book click on date on calendar below

Bath Natural History Society 

Friary Fungus Day and Luncheon

Wednesday, 30th October 9.30am - 3.30pm

Dr Alan Rayner will be bring a fascinating collection of fungi to talk about before leading our members on a walk through Grassland and Woodland to discover the treasures that abound in Friary, from dramatically large examples to microscopic examples of extraordinary beauty.

This is a free 'Members Only' event. If you would like to join Bath Natural History Society, please go to:

To book click on date on calendar below


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Learn new skills

Our events can teach you a host of amazing traditional skills from dry stone walling to iron work