Frequently Asked Questions

Where do the courses happen?

At Dernwood Farm, in a beautiful 70 acre private woodland. Near Lewes, East Sussex, UK. Map link

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 7-14.

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?

A simple but delicious and hearty, organic vegetarian lunch is provided: a large pot of soup cooked on the fire, with artisan bread and a gluten free bread option, cheese and hummus (lunch is also suitable for vegan diets).

We have a kettle on the fire and teas available all day, as well as plenty of biscuits and fresh fruit (feel free to bring a thermos of your preferred drink if you’d like. No alchohol).

If you’re camping on site, there’s a small cafe for light meals, teas & coffees. It’s open sat/sun mornings, but in school holidays is open daily. There are also options for buying food from the farm shop/cafe.

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 (feel free to bring a thermos of your preferred drink if you’d like. No alchohol).


How about the weather?

We aim to go ahead whatever the weather (except in the case of torrential rain and high winds). If needed we’ll have a very large tarp in place, as cover, and we always have a campfire going. If the weather is looking prohibitive I will contact you the night before. For this reason, please be sure that the phone number you give when booking is one you can be reached on.


Is there accommodation?

Camping on site (end of April-  25 Sept): the farm venue has really nice wild camping and also various glamping options: wagons, cabins, bell tents, all with wood stoves.

The farm venue will always make camping space available for people coming to my courses during the camping season (end of April – 25 Sept), and details about arranging this are sent to you when you book. For courses outside the camping season (or if you prefer four walls), you’ll find off-site accomodation options 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 in your booking confirmation).

You’ll find more detailed info about accommodation options  here

Vans / campervans: the venue isn’t able to accommodate people staying in vans, but Horam Manor Park (5 min drive away) has pitches all year round.


Can I get there by public transport?

The nearest train station is Lewes, a 20 minute drive by taxi. You can book a taxi from there (GM taxis,  Lewes taxis, Lewes Town taxis).

It’s often possible to get a lift from Lewes station (or a taxi share) with someone else coming on the course. Please get in touch two weeks before your course if you’d like to request a lift share.

Return journey: it’s often possible to get a lift share back to Lewes at the end of your course, but if you need to book a taxi, you’ll find local ones listed here.

The venue address is Dernwood Farm, Dern Lane, Waldron, TN22 0PN, this link shows a map and directions.

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.

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.


Any other questions? Please see the Booking Info page or get in touch

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