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Landowners and managers are crucial in maintaining the character of the New Forest, but the use of traditional skills is decreasing every year.

To help revive these vital skills, a training programme has been developed as part of the Our Past, Our Future scheme.

The Building Skills project

The National Park Authority is delivering a training programme for agents, builders and landowners about the importance of traditional buildings to the area’s character, and equip them with skills in specialist repair techniques through both practical and technical training events.

Course for homeowners – Beaulieu Abbey Church Hall

An overview of Course Content
• History and change: interpreting the historic development of a house and its fixtures and fittings
•  Materials and structure: what materials the house is built of; how it was put together; how the structure works
• Everyday maintenance needs: what problems to look out for; what are the warning signs; dos and don’ts of simple maintenance; looking after the fixtures and fittings and the historic setting
• Limitations of DIY work: sources of advice and training; sourcing the right materials
• An examination of a selection of historic buildings to look at these issues in context.

Dates for 2018:
17 February and 3 March, 9.30am – 5pm. Book here.
16 June and 30 June, 9.30am – 5pm. Book here.
3 November and 24 November, 9.30am – 5pm. Book here.

Courses for professionals – Buckler’s Hard Shipwright School

Understanding Historic Masonry Structures

When? Friday 9 March, 9am – 4pm. Book here.

Understanding Historic Timber Framed Structures, Historic Roof Structures & Traditional Roof Coverings

When? Friday 27 April, 9am – 4pm. Book here.

Understanding Historic Lime Mortars, Renders and Plasters

When? Friday 8 June, 9am – 4pm. Book here.

Understanding Cob Structures

When? Friday 14 September, 9am – 4pm. Book here.

The Identification of Historic Joinery

When? Friday 19 October, 9am – 4pm. Book here.

New Forest Rural Skills project

The New Forest Land Advice Service and the Commoners Defence Association have developed a training programme for young farmers, young commoners, farmers, commoners and other landowners and managers around the Forest.

The 2018 Training course calendar is available on the right hand side of this page. For more information and details on how to book onto current courses, please visit the New Forest Land Advice Service training page.

The scheme will also set up a mentoring programme to pass on knowledge from experienced commoners to new and young commoners. Find out more about this on our Mentoring Scheme page.

Get involved

If you would like further information about training or would like to receive our training newsletter, please contact:

Richard Austin – Volunteer, Training and Mentoring Co-ordinator
Email: or tel: 01590 646661

Rural Skills training courses calendar

Land Advice Service Manager


'We help commoners to continue their ancient way by providing grants, training and advice.'

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