About our Teaching Sites...Castleward
Since 2008, we "lease" a small site from the National Trust in return for services we provide to the National Trust. This has been good for the school, as it provided some stability, and a place to call "home". This can be noticed in the presence of more permanent structures on site such as our yurt and a toilet, as well as many remnants in the form of long-term shelters built on previous courses.
The site itself sits on a small "island" surrounded by boundary wall and water, reacheable only via a bridge we take down after the course is over. The island measures some 100 by 150 yards and is covered in a large amount of old broad-leaf trees. Some tree-species present are Beech, Sweet Chestnut, Oak, Ash and Holly. Undergrowth consists of Fern and Bracken, Blackberries and all manner of small shrubbery.
There is a lot of wildlife present on our teaching site. Some regular visitors are Pine-marten, Irish (or Common) Lizard and badger. While the cry of a group of hunting Buzzards is a constant back-ground noise. The site is away from all the hub-hub of the estate, providing a true sense of wilderness.
The estate of Castleward is a beautiful 332-hectare (820-acre) walled demesne, with walking trails, exotic garden, stunning vistas and picturesque farmyard which wraps around a tidal shore-line (Strangford Lough). If you find the time to enjoy a walkover the estate, you would find a Castle Ruin (Audley's Castle), An 18th-century eccentric house with two distinctly different styles, classical and Gothic (The current Castle Ward) and a fortified tower-house. Those of you familiar with "Game of Thrones", may recognise this tower-house as one of the regular scenes in the series.
Certain courses are on occasion arranged at Anthonio's home. These courses are mainly day or evening courses dealing with flint-knapping or basketry. Anthonio's house is situated about 15 Miles south of Belfast among the Co. Down drumlins. The land around the house contains a small orchard and wild garden, grazing-fields and a few copses of trees. The property allows the privacy required for courses, as there are no neighbours over-looking the land.
The benefit of running certain courses here are that indoor work-shop space is available and that it is centrally located.
Those of you booking courses taking place here will be provided with driving-instructions.
Carraig Dulra regularly organise courses for us in County Wicklow. They are situated on the side of Carraig mountain behind Glenealy towards Moneystown. At the top of Carraig Mountain are extensive Sitka Spruce forests, filled with deer, providing a wonderful tracking-oportunity and an unmissable view.
Carraig Dulra is an organic small-holding run by Suzie and Mike Cahn. It is also a space where a variety of other educational and community initiatives take place. These include: teaching organic growing, permaculture, gardening for bio-diversity, sustainable and traditional skills, permaculture, nature courses for children and families, and creative healing workshops combining Art Therapy Techniques with Eco Psychology and Nature, as well as other gatherings and Eco/hikers' camping.
If you are interested in joining or registering your interest for a course in Wicklow, it is best to contact Carraig Dulra directly, as they will be happy to organise a course once there appears to be enough interest.
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