The following will be available for booking at different times in the year
please see the Event listings for current dates and availability.
This is an illuminating and practical workshop where you will discover the tradition of using herbs to cleanse, purify and scent the home. From medieval times, strewing herbs like sage, tansy, violets, roses, mints, marjoram, hops lavender, juniper, rosemary, chamomile, “daisies of all sorts’’, cotton lavender, sweet woodruff and many more were mixed with rushes to cover stone and earthen flooring. We shall show you how to use some of these strewing herbs in a contemporary manner to provide natural uplifting botanical fragrance throughout the home.
Come along to this rejuvenating workshop and explore the wonderful ‘spring tonic’ herbs like nettle, cleavers, chickweed and hawthorn. They all have both fortifying properties and alterative actions. The restorative effects of specific herbs encourage our systems to release toxins that have built up over the sluggish winter months and their actions enable us to redress any imbalance in the body and restore homeostasis. Begin your healthy spring cleanse with a boost from our carefully selected herbal tonic and tea recipes using essential knowledge of herbs. Learn how to replenish vital minerals and vitamins using these plants and help your body move from the darkness of winter to the light and warmth of spring. Most of the chosen herbs have a history of use to invigorate the body for the endeavours and activities that we all enjoy with the arrival of the new season.
Be creative and take a herbal step beyond black tea or coffee. During this workshop we will explore various methods of blending and tasting ‘teas’ or infusions – both hot and cold. This workshop enables you to feel confident to cultivate, gather, store and prepare herbs for use in the home as flavoursome and colourful personal blends. You will learn how to prepare your own creations to enjoy for yourself and/or package as individual gifts to friends & family. We will also look at the properties of the herbs and at some herbal combinations to aid digestion and to enhance sleep. There will be discussion and experimentation with herb actions, flavours and aromas whilst mixing and measuring with seeds, leaves, berries and roots.
Soap / Shampoo Bars
Personalise your soap by creating a bar that expresses your favourite scent, texture and specific skin type. Aimed at beginners using the melt and pour method, this workshop leads you gently through the process of soap making for home and personal use. The herbs we use can enhance our experience of how we cleanse ourselves by invigorating our skin and our senses or by calming our minds and addressing sensitive skin problems. This is an exploratory introduction to the use of herbs for enhancing natural soaps making and we will cover combinations like rosemary and lemon to invigorate and oats, hops and lavender to sooth.
Cream & Ointment Making
Most of us use a moisturiser every day on our face or body. This is a practical workshop introducing methods of preparing your own fresh moisturising cream using herbs such as marshmallow root, rose, lavender and even sea buckthorn to suit your skin type. We will explore the preparation of herbal infusions and oils to use as cream making bases and you will be able to compile your own unique moisturiser to take away and use at home. This workshop is aimed at beginners and aims to start you off on your own personal adventure armed with basic knowledge for differing skin types, appropriate herbal use and knowledge of important seasonal adjustments.
A tincture is a concentrated liquid extract of an herb. ‘ Like good wine it is a living compound and takes time to mature’. This preparation enables us to preserve and store an herb for use in home remedies primarily as a medicinal compound. It is a very practical workshop and you will become confident to collect and use herbal roots like dandelion and burdock. Using combinations of dried or freshly dug roots you will discover how to prepare and tincture root herbs for your own use in creams, tonics and other preparations. The roots can be tinctured in various liquid solutions and we will discuss the use of alcohol, water and vinegar to produce unique and blends to experiment with at home.
Protein Bars Using Nutraceutical Herbs
Discover the joys of creating your own edible, nutritional, herbal powerhouse. This workshop enables you to discover potent, easily digestible remedies by combining delicious flavours and nutrients in a natural protein bar or ball which is full of goodness. Gathering fresh herbs and combining with delicious fruits, grains, nuts and seeds, you will spend this practical day learning about the many possible combinations of herb and plant nutraceuticals. Explore and perfect a recipe, then make unique protein bars to take home and enjoy knowing how good they are for you!
Using ethically sourced beeswax and natural herbs you will discover how to extract the active constituents of herbs to combine and create your own balm. Sustainable beeswax and plant oils have their inherent goodness which makes them first choice ingredients for lip balms. In reality lip balms will also become an essential ‘on the go’ natural remedy imparting both moisturising and protective skin properties. Using a selection of healing herbs such as calendula and yarrow, we will explore the methods of preparation to create your own balm to take home and enjoy.
Symbolism & Plantlore
Have you ever wondered about the Anglo Saxon 9 charm herbs or why Ivy was hung outside pubs to suggest a good vintner? Why children were passed through blackberry hoops to cure whooping cough and is there any scientific evidence to support rosemary’s reputation for remembrance. Or simply about the origins of kissing under the mistletoe and why are there so many Yew trees in graveyards. This practical workshop day is a starting point for untangling and making sense of some ancient traditions, so called ‘old wives’ tales’, herbal folklore and includes an exploration into the ‘doctrine of signatories’. Focusing on a select choice of familiar native herbs you will discover their attributes both practically and historically. Add that to a sprinkling of a little magic and create your own good luck remedy or personal amulet as a keepsake.
Chocolate is a happy herb. It’s an official mood enhancer packed with nutritional goodness which increases serotonin levels in the brain. This workshop explores ways of using chocolate as a healthy vehicle to enable us to enjoy consuming delicious herb combinations. We only use good quality dark chocolate as a base and will suggest a host of beneficial herbs and berries to add in to compliment the positive actions. Expect to discover the benefits of berries, ginger and less obvious herbs like rosemary and mint. ‘A bite full of chocolate helps the remedy go down’ - You will be able to take home your ‘bark’ samples to pass round friends and family to start your experimental journey.
Hydrosols & Floral Waters
This is a workshop for fragrance lovers and budding kitchen chemists. The preparation of true floral waters is nothing short of magical and should not be compared with the conventional ‘off the shelf’ rose and orange waters both in terms of depth of perfume and therapeutic energy. This is a practical indoor workshop which makes use of kitchen equipment to create herbal distillates. Used externally as a skin tonic spray, helping restore pH balance, moisturise and tone the skin. Some hydrosols work well as room sprays for refreshing, relaxing or cleansing. By the end of the workshop, you will be confident to continue experimenting at home.
Percolation & Alchemy
The percolation method presents us with another way of extracting the therapeutic energies from herbal plant matter. The process is fascinating, precise and quicker than the folk maceration method and this workshop also invites discussion about the features of extraction in general and relevance to specific household herbs which we use most frequently. For this workshop, we will be concentrating on the synergy of herbal formulation. An exploration into the world of Nicolas Flamel, the Philosopher’s Stone and the Alchemist will complement your understanding of the percolation process.
What to Expect?
To understand better what’s involved in our Walks, Talks & Workshops see…