Frequently Asked Questions
Where do the courses happen?
At Dernwood Farm, in a beautiful 70 acre private woodland. Near Lewes, East Sussex, UK.
Who are the courses for?
Native Hands courses are designed for adults, although 16-18 year olds are very welcome if accompanied by a participating, responsible adult. Family Wild Pottery, however, is designed for children and young people aged 7-17.
Most of the courses are suitable for beginners, but some are not, you’ll see this indicated in the description on every course page.
What level of fitness/ability is required to participate?
I aim to make Native Hands courses as accessible as possible within the context and limitations of a woodland setting, with uneven ground and basic facilities. Some walking is involved, of 10-30 mins duration, over level but uneven terrain. By their nature, all courses involve foraging and physical activity. Therefore a certain degree of physical ability is needed, and all the activities require good hand-to-eye coordination.
If you have mobility issues or other physical needs please get in touch before making a booking, so we can see how your needs can be accommodated.
Are the courses catered?
We have a kettle on the fire and herbal teas available all day, as well as plenty of biscuits. A simple vegetarian lunch is provided (a large pot of hearty soup cooked on the fire), with artisan bread and a gluten free bread option (lunch is also suitable for vegan diets).
What are the facilities like?
There’s a flush loo 7 mins walk from our working area in the woods. Otherwise we have a bush loo arrangement (ie. find a bush). We have simple wooden benches to sit/work on, and sometimes people bring a small cushion if they like a softer seat. We have a kettle on the fire and hot drinks (herbal teas) are available all day.
Is there accommodation?
Camping on site (April-October): the farm venue will always make space for people coming to my courses, and details about arranging this are sent to you when you book.
The farm venue has really nice wild camping and also various glamping options (April-Oct): wagons, cabins, bell tents, all with wood stoves. You’ll find all details here. Accommodation isn’t included in the course price, but there’s a special offer for camping (but not glamping) if you’re attending a course. Details about this are sent with your booking confirmation.
Can I get to the venue by public transport?
Can I bring my dog?
Sorry. Native Hands has a no-dogs policy on all courses.
What about cancellations etc?
If you cancel your booking, for any reason, the following conditions apply:
More than 28 days before the event an 85% refund.
Less than 28 days before the event no refund.
However, if you want to give your place to a friend, that is possible if you supply their name and contact details no less than 3 days before the event.
Please read the Booking Info page for full details.
What measures are in place in the light of Covid19?
Group size is limited and courses take place in the open air. There are hand washing facilities for the group’s exclusive use in our area of the woods. Participants bring their own cup (kettle on the fire, herb teas available), and a thermos of their own drink if they’d like. The campsite facilities are cleaned at frequent intervals through the day.
Can I dig clay at the farm?
The ancient woodland is sensitively managed and there are no extraction rights for digging clay. It it not possible to supply clay dug from the farm or woodland.
Native Hands has special permission to dig small amounts of clay with participants on Wild Pottery courses. This permission does not extend to people who aren’t part of the group on the day of the course.