79. Cotswolds Rural Skills

In the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Trainees in the Cotswolds learning the art of thatching, a rural skill that takes years to master. Picture © Cotswolds Conservation BoardNatural Beauty (AONB), traditional skills such as dry-stone walling, hedgelaying and woodland coppicing have played an important role in moulding the distinctive and unique landscape that we see around us today.

Unfortunately, the significant change in land management practices over the past century has resulted in many of these features being left neglected and falling into disrepair.

The Cotswolds Rural Skills website aims to promote rural skills and crafts courses run in the Cotswolds by community groups, organisations, charities and colleges. This is in addition to those courses run by the Cotswolds Conservation Board.Hedge-laying is another of the Cotswolds Rural Skills that people can learn through specialist courses. Picture © Cotswolds Conservation Board

The Cotswolds Conservation Board runs an annual programme of training courses aimed at teaching people the methods and techniques involved in traditional Cotswold skills and crafts.

The programme has been going eight years and offers a wide range of enjoyable, practical courses from which trainees can leave with new-found skills and the knowledge that they have helped to conserve one of the country's most important landscapes.

Courses usually take place over two days and are ideal for beginners. By working with local instructors, organisations, community groups and landowners, the courses are not only informative and practical but also make a noticeable and lasting contribution to the Cotswold landscape. 

Traditional skills such as dry-stone walling help to preserve the special characteristics of the Cotswolds landscape.    So whether you want to try your hand at blacksmithing, rebuild a 200-year-old dry-stone wall or have a go at the ancient art of thatching, one of these courses could be for you.  Booking online is an easy way to enrol.

The  Cotswolds Dry-stone Walling Academy provides accredited training courses in the traditional skill of dry-stone walling.

With an annual programme of courses aimed at different levels, the academy aims to give new and existing wallers the opportunity to gain industry-recognised qualifications and advance their skills and knowledge in this age-old craft.

Based in the grounds of the Cotswolds Conservation Board's 'Old Prison' site in Northleach, the academy provides the perfect environment for trainees to develop their skills and attain accredited status in the dry-stone walling profession.

By working in partnership with the Cotswolds branch of the Dry-stone Walling Association and by only using Dry-stone Walling Association approved instructors, the academy ensures that courses are delivered to the highest standard by experienced and knowledgeable instructors.

More information

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