We set up a training organisation called Rural Skills Trust in Spring 2014 and delivered our first hedgelaying and coppice practice courses the following Autumn. Any DIY training set up needs to be financially independent and sustainable, we do not intend to get involved with any government funded qualifications and schemes. So we have had a small group of committed members volunteering their time to deliver courses. We also rely on the generosity of independent donors.
RST is a practical manifestation of the four noble truths of climate change project. It initially serves to attract anybody who needs to learn new skills. Through this process we intend to look out for those interested in becoming tutors and being more involved. We are also looking at offering short residential placements in the future.
Being Safe: Risk Assessment
Appropriate risk assessment is a core skill and is necessary to be built into all the training activities. Pioneers then become accustomed to considering hazards and risks associated with practical field operations. This is important as farming and forestry are areas where real risk is encountered and obtain benefit from learning to consider the risks in what they do.
Outdoor Living and Working
Working well together: Cooperation
We would suggest that co-operation be taught as a subject in a similar way as it was at the founding technical college of the Mondragon Cooperatives in Spain in the 1950’s. This would open students to the alternative forms of economics and organisation.