Wintertime at the ATC is our time for fire-making, harvesting timber, preparing the
fields for planting, sowing our crops, building fences and hurdle gates. The colder
weather makes many of our summer activities unsuitable and we like to keep the children
warm with good doses of hard work. The focus of a winter day is placed on the realities
of past lives alongside timeless issues of sustainability and seasonality. The ATC
in winter is a place where children use sharp tool such as loppers, bow saws and
sometimes axes to shape their surroundings and build something semi permanent.
Our winter days can be tailored to a specific time period or can be a useful way
of generally introducing the past. We offer two types of winter day, each of them
finishing in a building with an open fire and a chance to relax and ask questions.
The Coppice Day.
The Coppice Day is designed for Year 3 children and older.
For schools who have a longer day, the Coppice Day begins in the RSPB reserve of
Garston Woods just 5 miles from the ATC and puts your children in touch with materials
sourcing and sustainable living. We meet you there and take you on a walk through
this ancient woodland to our work area. After a demonstration of ancient tools for
harvesting hazel and a safety demonstration for the bow saw and loppers, your children
divide into small groups and begin the physical task of coppicing. Having spent
the morning in the woods, we all return to the ATC with our gathered wood and have
lunch around the fire in the Earthouse. The afternoon’s focus is using your coppiced
wood to rebuild woven fences and hurdle gates and making fire by friction in the
Roundhouse. The Coppice Day is a unique opportunity for your children to experience
a working wood and genuinely understand the processes that were so familiar to our
The Winter Day.
For schools who have limited time with us, the Winter Days covers some of the tasks
our ancestors had to do in the past. The children rotate around three activities
of Farming, Fire-making and Fence building. Farming involves breaking the ground
with ancient ploughs and ards, fertilizing with wood ash, and sowing seed for our
crops. Fire-making explores three methods of fire by friction in the past and children
have to gather their own tinder around the site – the aim is to produce a fire that
will keep the whole group warm at the end of the day. Fence building lets the children
process hazel rods from Garston woods, saw up firewood and stack it for next year
and build our lovely hazel fences to manage the movement of our sheep and pigs. The
Winter Day is a day of hard work and enjoyment for your children and they will gain
an understanding of the effort and time that was required to live in the past.
From the 1stApril 2014 to the 31stMarch 2015 our prices are:
Dorset County Schools: 21 – 33 children £370.00 for two ATC tutors and includes all
materials. up to 20 children £260.00 for one ATC tutor and includes all materials.
Dorset County Schools: 21 – 33 children £380.00 for two ATC tutors and includes all
materials. up to 20 children £270.00 for one ATC tutor and includes all materials.
Day Visit prices will increase slightly from 1st April 2015