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Chris went straight from Writtle College into farming. 

He started his own flock of Wiltshire Horn Sheep (Reve flock) in 2009, each year increasing the size of the flock and hopefully leaving plenty for the freezer too!

Chris works full-time aon a 2,000 acre arable farm in North Essex.

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Sheep for Smallholders Saturday, 7 April, 2018 view

Trained in agriculture at Writtle College.  Runs the family fruit farm, which he joined in 1975, .  Used to be an instructor and examiner for the former Agriculture Training Board, on fruit pruning. 

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Fruit Tree Pruning Friday, 20 April, 2018 view

Chris Riley is an experienced scythesman and scythe trainer. From hay harvest to reed cutting, Chris has a wide-ranging expertise in the use of the scythe, and has appeared as a scything extra in films. He has won awards for 'quality' mowing in competitions, and also enjoys exploring ways of making one's own 'snath' (the scythe handle) using a variety of materials.

Chris is committed to the promotion of the scythe, as a prime example of a low tech, low carbon alternative, and is membership secretary of the Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland. His background is in nature reserve management, and in the instruction of volunteer groups.

 

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Scything for beginners Saturday, 12 May, 2018 view

Clare began studying yoga aged 20 in Australia, where her first teacher taught her to choose the relaxation-response over the stress-response when faced with challenges. She learned that by cultivating the relaxation-response it is possible to promote health and well-being, increase strength and suppleness and at the same time, calm the mind and release tension. Clare fulfilled a long-held desire to become a yoga teacher at the Arhanta Yoga Ashram in Madhya Pradesh, India. This training was in the classical style which focusses on the breath, challenging asanas, relaxation, bandhas, mudras and pranayama.

Clare has also had specialist training with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli author of Mother's Breath and Teach Yourself Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth. This practice is also supported by Clare's work in shiatsu massage for women's health and pregnancy.

Clare is a member of Yoga Alliance and she is insured.

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I trained in costume design at Wimbledon Art School  and have taught art and design in adult education, (including for the Crafts Council) for most of my adult life.  A few years ago I "rediscovered" indigo, having been introduced to it very early on as a student of Susan Bosenced at Dartington in Devon.  Jenny Balfour-Paul has been a more recent inspiration, as has the shibori writer Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada and others.  I make indigo based fabric collages, wallhangings and shibori dyed jackets, scarves and handmade cards.  Japanese design and philosophy orf life very influential.  See more on my website.

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Clive is one of the best-known beekeeping authorities in Britain, and was the County Beekeeping Instructor for Essex for fifteen years.  He has also studied, worked and presented papers in Jamaica, Peking, Cape Town, Lausanne, Brazil, Thailand, germany, France, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Finland and Nepal.  He has written several books, some in collaboration with others, including "Practical Beekeeping".

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Craig Fellowes has over 30 years experience in dealing with wildlife laws as a police officer, and over 15 years delivering training to over 1000 police officers, and police staff, from all over the UK.  He set up the Wildlife Training Consultancy to enable the continued support for the need to protect our wildlife, be it national or international species.  Education plays a key part in that and not only for the envorcement agencies and supporting agencies, but most importantly the general public as well.  Craig will teach you how to give advice and carry out site visits.

Craig has run and managed the nationally accredited Police wildlife Crime Officers Foundation Course since 1997.  This is the only course of its kind within the UK.  He has delivered training overseas, addressed conference and presented seminars in other countries.  He has worked in partnership with the UK Border Agency on the trade in endangered species, and assisted in reviewing legislation and regulations.  He has been involved in a number of badger cases over the years, acting as a competent witness in such related cases.

Craid has recently delivered training to some wildlife trusts, wardens, hawk and owl trust, BAWC, RSPB, along with some of their very valuable volunteers, in wildlife crime awareness. He has led training sessions at the Natural History Museum, for tree surgeons, pest controllers, and currently in discussions, with several other wildlife trusts, and even as far a field to Cornwall.

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Dan has worked within the fitness industry for 18 years.  After school, he studied Leisure and Tourism and then worked at Ufford Park and then at Stoke by Nayland Club for 15 years as a fitness instructor.  Following a spell on the management side, he joined the Fire Service, where he has been for 10 years.  The shift system allows Dan to train himself and still work within the industry.

He has qualified as a personal trainer, a boot bamp instructor, and a circuit trainer.  He leads the physical training at Clacton Firestation, where he also gives trauma training for the service personnel.   This year he took part in a body building competition for the first time, and intends to compete again next year.  His section of the Fire Service was picked to take part in Ashley Banjo's "Secret Street Crew".  After four weeks of training in secret, two or three times a week, they did the performance at Clacton Town Hall, which was disguised as a quiz night, on Sky 1.

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Born in rural suffolk in 1989, Daniel Hume is a naturalist and wilderness adventurer, and an authority on traditional bush skills from around the world.

One of his deepest interest throughout his life has been the art of making and using fire and, as a youngster, he set out to learn every method used to conjure it.

In more recent years he has made it his mission to travel the world, often to the most remote corners, to meet people who still directly interact with fire from a traditional sense and learn from their wisdom.  ~This combination has enabled him to master some of he most extraordinary native fire-making techniques from across the globe and gain a unique insight into what fire means to the human race.

Daniel has been an instructor at Ray Mears' Woodlore School of Wilderness Bushcraft for eleven years and, from 2011 to 2017, he served as the company's Head of Operations.  He is the author of The Art of Fire, published by the Penguin Random House Group in November 2017.

Daniel says, "Although often perceived rather like magic tricks or treated as activities in their own right, the traditional knowledge and skills that I learn and teach are ultimately stepping stones to adventure.  They clear a pathway to a greater understanding of and a closer interaction with nature".

"I have taught bush skills on courses and expeditions all over the world but I am incredibly excited to be working with Assington Mill and sharing my knowledge in Suffolk, where I was born and raised."

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Fire Making Saturday, 30 June, 2018 view

Darren has a life long interest in history and archaeology and started field walking with his grandfather on local farms from the age of five. He had his first metal detector ten years later and has been pacing the arable fields of Suffolk and Essex ever since.

Some spectacular finds have come his way, many now to be seen in local museums but his greatest discovery is always 'the next one out there'. He worked out long ago that the metal detector is just part of the tool box of the keen local historian. By researching extensively in the Records Office, poring over old maps and taking on board local tales and folklore, farm surveys needn't be a long, foot slogging task out in the colder seasons of the year. With this concise and informative course he intends to give you the benefits of his experience, that have seen him win numerous detecting awards and write for both The Searcher and Treasure Hunting magazines.

Seeking out the losses of yesterday can help explain the journey that brings us to the modern villages of today.

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Metal detecting for beginners Friday, 13 April, 2018 view