About the course

Introduction: This course covers a range of smallholding topics on a weekly basis.

What are the entry requirements? There are no entry requirements other than an interest in the subject.

How long is the course? The course consists of nine, 2-hour evening sessions held on a weekly basis together with a 5-hour practical session on hedge laying held on a Saturday.

What will the course involve? The course will involve taught sessions at weekly 2-hour evening sessions that will cover the following topics: Grass & Forage, Vegetables & Fruit, Pigs, Beef & Dairy, Administration & Legislation, Sheep, Goats, Machinery & Equipment, Poultry. In addition, a 5 hour practical hedge laying session will be held on a Saturday on a date agreed at the start of the course.

How long will I be learning?

The total duration will be 23 hours split into nine 2-hour evening sessions and a 5 hour Saturday session. Evening sessions are from 7.00pm to 9.00pm – although with questions/interactivity some sessions finish a little later.

What equipment will I need?

For outdoor sessions you will need strong boots, suitable cold and wet weather clothing that is resistant to being torn – especially when hedge laying.

How will I know if I am making progress?

Sessions are interactive and delivered by subject specialists – questioning and natural interest from delegates is encouraged by the teaching staff and this will ensure individual needs are met and progression is made. Paper handouts of each session will be available to support delivery.

What course work will I be expected to complete?

There are no specific coursework requirements. Handouts will be available for you to make notes on should you need to.

What can I expect to learn from this course?

You can expect to gain a good insight into the various aspects of running a smallholding to support you in making decisions on what to do with your existing smallholding or what to consider if purchasing/renting a smallholding.

What other training programmes and progression opportunities are there?

The course has links to following courses:

Practical Cattle Handling

Practical Sheep Handling

The Lambing Ewe


Dry Stone Walling

A range of full or part time agriculture or horticulture courses at both FE and/or HE.