We hold events throughout the year, from willow-weaving workshops to wildflower identification courses.

Mid-Winter Charcoal Burn

Our small charcoal-burning kiln will be fired up on Tuesday 19th December.  We use small wood from managing our woodlands and turn it into charcoal, suitable for barbecues and we also make artists pencils from small willow wands. Charcoal burning is an ancient and fascination process and you are welcome to come and watch. We will fire up the kiln at 9am, monitoring the ‘burn’ until it is time to shut it down. This can take between 5 and 8 hours. The kiln is then left for 24 hours to cool down, and we will be opening the kiln to see what we have made on Thursday 21st December at around 11am. Charcoal making involves an on-going learning curve and we are fairly new to this so the end result is always exciting. If all goes well it is a fitting prelude to the winter solstice! Entrance is by ticket (just £3.50 covers both dates, free for age 16 and under and  for ‘Friends’).

New Year Plant Hunt – Tuesday 2nd January

A great way to get to see some wild flowers and brighten up your winter! We have organised a New Year Plant Hunt at Natural Surroundings each year since 2015 and they have developed into very sociable events with just a hint of competitiveness. The next ‘hunt’ will take place on Tuesday 2nd January 2024, meeting at the café at 10.30 am for a walk around our grounds and the nearby estate (maximum 3 hours). Suitable for beginners and experts, there is no charge and no need to book. For more details and the resuts from previous years click here.

Simon’s Winter Tree Challenge – Saturday 17th February

We have a wide range of native trees and shrubs in our gardens and grounds, making Natural Surroundings a great place to compare and contrast the various species. Most trees are deciduous and loose their leaves in winter and can be a challenge to identify, but they can still be named by looking at their twigs, buds and bark. Join Simon for a two-hour stroll around the grounds and get to grips with winter trees. 11am to around 1pm, £15 per person, numbers will be limited so booking is advisable.

Two events have been hed every year, a ‘fungus foray’ in October and the ‘New Year Plant Hunt’ in easly January. Our annual fungus foray took tyear place this year on Friday 27th October 2023, and we were delighted to welcome back Dr Tony Leech as leader. Click on the links below for further details.

Fungus Foray

New Year Plant Hunt

Simon Harrap regulars talks to garden clubs and societies on a variety of subjects. Details here.