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Planning Retirement Online

The Field Studies Council offers exciting courses for 2020

January 2020

Expert discussing moth
Specialists help explain wonderful facts about our environment

The New Year is often a time when we think about trying something new in our lives.

Add to this the increased general concern for the environment, and the Field Studies Council might tick all the boxes. It is an extraordinary organisation which surprisingly few people know about.

The Field Studies Council (FSC) is an educational charity with an aim to help everyone have a greater understanding of the environment. Today it has 29 centres right across the UK and provides enjoyable opportunities for people of all ages to discover, to explore and generally to appreciate many aspects of our wonderful natural environment.

Key areas of the FSC that could be of interest to us as we get older are the courses and holidays they hold throughout the year. These cover the widest range of subjects all based around a natural theme of the countryside, wildlife, the environment and traditional skills.

Education and learning are key to the courses and holidays and they are all run by knowledgeable, experienced and friendly specialists in the field. The range of courses is exceptional. The art courses alone cover a huge choice from acrylics for beginners and painting and drawing animals and pets to flora illustration and landscape photography and film making. Short courses include some exciting areas such as basic bushcraft; basket weaving, lace making, jewellery enamelling, book binding and even coracle making!

The FSC’s natural history courses and holidays cover the natural world and especially animals, plants, habitats and conservation. Every trip has a special theme, and this year exciting new ideas include a Botanical Odyssey holiday...see 300 species in 3 days! This course includes day time walks of up to four miles long through the stunning rural scenery in and around Snowdonia and Anglesey in north Wales.

The specialist FSC walking holidays could be of especial interest to our age group as they cover a wide range of specialist areas from natural history, geology and scenery to local history.

The trips are varied in length but are generally around 4 or 5 days, and are based at the various FSC centres around the UK. These centres have all been chosen for their very special locations and each centre has its own unique character. Many are fascinating historic buildings set in wonderful surroundings that have been adapted for modern use.

For residential courses, the centres provide a mix of twin, shared and dormitory bedrooms although some single rooms are available on request.  Some centres offer ensuite bedrooms. The courses include up to 8 hours of teaching/assistance time a day, full board and accommodation including cooked breakfasts, picnic lunches and homemade cakes plus an evening meal, and the use of resources throughout the day.

Older people and those with disabilities are very well catered for.

If you want to learn something completely new or develop an interest you already had, it really is worth looking at what the FSC offers.

Interestingly, there are also opportunities to volunteer with this organisation. Find out more at:

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