Summer Woodland Workshop: Wilderness Skills

Date: Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 August 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Led by: Sam Gardiner, Outdoor Learning and Rural Crafts Leader
Cost: £140 for the 2 days, includes a forest knife to take home.
Max participants: 10

A weekend of bushcraft, survival and outdoor learning. Over this 2 day course you’ll receive a comprehensive introduction to the key skills needed to live comfortably in a woodland wilderness setting. The weekend is designed to transfer as much knowledge as possible through hands on tasks, practical work and demonstrations. Throughout the weekend, techniques and skills are built upon so that by the end, you will have real confidence in your own abilities and judgement.
See the full programme, with information about available discounts…

Summer Woodland Workshop: Foraged Fibres Weaving

Date: Saturday 21 August 10.00am – 4.00 pm
Led by: Stephanie Walker, Forest School and Outdoor Learning Practitioner
Cost: £55
Max participants: 10

Learn how to combine locally foraged vines, roots, leaves and bark using a variety of basketry techniques to create unique miniature functional and structural pieces. The session will start with a walk in the woods to gather natural materials and explore the traditional uses of plants in weaving.  On return to the outdoor classroom, you will be guided through the stages of creating a small container or vessel using your foraged materials at a gentle pace.  Tools will be provided.  Suitable for beginners.
See the full programme, with information about available discounts…

Summer Woodland Workshop: Pewter Jewellery Making Outdoors

Date: Saturday 24 July 10.00am – 4.00 pm
Led by: Stephanie Walker, Forest School and Outdoor Learning Practitioner
Cost: £60
Max participants: 10

Working in a beautiful space in the woods this workshop involves making and using moulds, melting and pouring pewter, finishing and polishing your design and turning it into jewellery. You will learn techniques for fire lighting, tool use and how to construct natural cordage from tree bark. You will leave with at least two pieces of your own pewter work and a new skill too.  All tools and materials are included in the cost.  Suitable for beginners.
See the full programme, with information about available discounts…

Summer Woodland Workshop: Whittle a Wooden Bird

Date: Saturday 17 July 10.00 – 1.00 pm
Led by: Ian Edwards, Ecologist and nature writer
Cost: £35
Max participants: 10

Whittling a life-sized bird, in the Danish-style, is a great way of getting experience in handling a whittling knife and practice the different kinds of cut. Each bird has a unique charm and can be finished to suit your taste.  All tools and materials supplied.
See the full programme, with information about available discounts…

Summer Woodland Workshop: Foraging

Date: Saturday 12 June 10.00 am – 1.00 pm
Led by: Ian Edwards, Ecologist and nature writer
Cost: £35.00
Max participants: 10

As Spring growth dies back finding edibles in the woods takes a bit more searching but delectable and unusual leaves, roots, flowers and the first ripe fruits are there for the eating for those willing to search. Stop midway for tea. See the full programme…

Laura Goble: Nature of Scotland Award Winner!

Laura Goble

Laura Goble, the college’s Community Woodland Ranger, has won the Youth and Education Award at the 2020 Nature of Scotland Awards for her work with Forest College. Newbattle Abbey College is the national accreditation centre for Forest College, a national centre that supports people of all ages in lifelong learning outdoors.

The Youth and Education Award honours schools and youth groups which can demonstrate how they have made a real difference to the conservation and sustainability of Scotland’s wildlife and habitats. Laura has worked closely with local schools in Midlothian, particularly with youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds, to support them to enjoy the outdoors and learn skills in a safe, and healthy environment, an approach which should open up new life opportunities.

Forest College delivers accredited courses to develop knowledge, skills and leadership in the
forest and outdoors, as well as working with local organisations to provide free outdoor education opportunities in Lord Ancrum’s Wood.

“We are very pleased that Laura has won this award for the valuable work she does in generating a love of the outdoors with young people and ensuring that they understand the sustainability needs of Lord Ancrum’s Wood, the125 acres of ancient woodland and parkland surrounding the college”

Marian Docherty, College Principal

Film Night: Robert the Bruce

event cancelled

Unfortunately due to the current situation, we have decided to cancel our film night until further notice. All tickets purchased have been refunded. Thank you for your support.

Open Day on 4th March 2020

Open Day 4th March 2020
Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith will be opening its doors to the local community on Wednesday 4 March from 2pm to 6pm.

The event is aimed at anyone who is thinking of signing up for a college course or is looking at future study or employment options. There will be information available on all of the courses offered by Newbattle and a chance to look around the college. A number of other colleges and universities such as; Edinburgh College, Queen Margaret University and Edinburgh’s Napier University will be on hand to provide advice and information on future study options. Skills Development Scotland will also take part in the event and provide information on employment opportunities.

For more information contact the college on phone 0131 663 1921.

Christmas is Coming Early to Midlothian

Newbattle Abbey College is preparing to get into the Christmas spirit early by opening its doors to welcome the local community to the ninth annual ‘Christmas at Newbattle’ celebration on Saturday 23 November from 11am to 4pm. See the full event programme here.

There will be an array of Christmas stalls selling a wide variety of unique gifts, including pottery, jewellery, artwork, wooden crafts and more, many of which are handcrafted by local individuals. In addition to this, there will be face painting and bee computer games for children, Christmas music, song and poetry. There will also be an opportunity to bring along your instrument to take part in a traditional music session. And of course, Santa will make a guest appearance!

Principal Marian Docherty said: “Christmas at Newbattle is a wonderful community event and we are very much looking forward to hosting this year’s celebration in partnership with many local businesses and organisations. It is one of the first festive events in Midlothian’s calendar with poetry, Christmas readings, woodland walks and Gaelic singing and will appeal to people of all ages. We’d like to invite everyone to come along and enjoy it with us.”

Also on offer to purchase will be home-baking, soup and mulled wine.

Entry costs £3 per adult and children go free. Tickets are available from the College reception or on the day. Disabled access and free parking are available.

For any enquiries please call: 0131 663 1921.

Planning for the Future Together: Weds 22nd May 2019

Conference ProgrammeNewbattle Abbey College is proud to host a national event to celebrate the crucial role of adult learning in Scotland and plan for its future development.

Planning for the Future Together is a conference that reflects a productive partnership between all the main sectors and agencies which support adult learners across the country.

The keynote address will be delivered by Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science. Please click on the conference programme opposite to learn about our exciting programme.

Beekeeping for beginners resident weekend

Click for event programmeOver the 8th and 9th June, we will provide you with the theory of beekeeping along with some practical experience. This is an opportunity to learn about bees in a beautiful, historical location – Newbattle Abbey College.

The fee is £350 and includes all accommodation, food, course fees, workshop notes and provision of protective clothing (deposit £100).

To find out more, please click on the programme opposite, or to book your place email, or call 0131 663 1921

Gaelic Family Learning Weekend on 11 and 12 May 2019

Gaelic Family Learning WeekendFor children and parents in Gaelic medium education. Come and experience a weekend packed full of activities to improve and develop your Gaelic. Free accommodation available for overnight stay (£30 booking fee applies).

Over the weekend you will have the chance to participate in:

  • Campfire storytelling
  • Field craft skills
  • Making a time machine to go back to living in medieval times
  • Making percussion instruments from sticks in Lord Ancrum’s Wood
  • Sing with Gilliebride Mac’Illemhaoil

Literally All Happening at Newbattle

Literally@Newbattle, Midlothian’s first ever literary festival, takes place on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April 2019. The two-day festival of words, stories and ideas focuses on engaging with children, young people and families living in Midlothian. Friday morning is for invited primary schools in Midlothian, but all are welcome for Friday evening’s exciting programme of music and poetry, featuring BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year, Karine Polwart and the Scottish Poet Laureate, Jackie Kay. Saturday offers a diverse programme of events for all ages including; Gaelic storytelling, poetry and writing showcases, script-writing, and rap/hip-hop workshops, contemporary fiction and crime panels. Join us and find out more by clicking here.

Open Day on 13th March 2019

Open Day web graphicCome and find out about Newbattle Abbey College. We are holding an Open House on Weds 13th March 2019 between 3 and 7pm. Please join us to investigate our fantastic college courses and our fascinating guided tours of Newbattle’s A-listed estate and buildings. Explore the potential for holding your weddings, conferences and tailor-made events here. Discover why we are more than a college.

Gaelic Weekend, 9th and 10th March 2019

Poster explaining the Gaelic WeekendA Gaelic weekend for all levels of learners on 9th and 10th March 2019. A chance to improve your Gaelic and meet other learners and speakers. Free accommodation available for overnight stay. Come and experience a weekend packed full of activities to improve and develop your Gaelic.

The weekend is FREE and funded by GLAIF (The Gaelic Language Act Implementation Fund). Contact or telephone 0131 663 1921.

Click here to view the poster with more details.