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Pioneering sustainable land-use

Landscope is Schumacher College’s programme on sustainable land-use; applying many of the teachings, ideas and inspirations of the College to regenerate the landscape with innovation and enterprise.

Our vision is a vibrant landscape of interconnected business and enterprise, of healthy and productive soils and woodland, and an abundant and fulfilling quality of life for all.

Our model is to attract, support and promote small-scale, innovative and financially-viable ventures that put people and enterprise back on the land and enable a resilient local economy that will provide prosperity for the long term.

We have scope to host a range of small-scale sustainable businesses and experimental or demonstration projects on the Dartington Estate, with a view to putting the immediate land into service as a living classroom. We also aim to work with a growing network of landowner partners across the country, through which new sustainable business models can be promoted in order to proliferate and have maximum impact.

Open to business – If you share our vision, like our approach and see how you could be involved – either as a prospective pioneer, landowner, investor or educator – please contact us on or call 01803 849390.

Please see below for a selection of the projects currently underway on the Dartington Hall Estate and email us to receive our newsletter (please note that this is not the same as the main Schumacher College newsletter which you need to subscribe to separately).

Greyfield Timber

A carbon and waste-neutral integrated wood business. A saw mill sits at the heart of the operation which aims to be fuelled by its own waste and supplies local markets with quality, affordable, locally-sourced timber products, including biomass fuel made from the timber mill waste.

The saw mill is housed in a purpose-built, timber-frame, straw-bale building – the largest of its kind – which minimises sound emissions to such an extent that it sits comfortably in close proximity to a residential area.

Proposals for a synergistic CHP plant to sit alongside are being developed.

School Farm

An ambitious low-carbon horticultural project. Quality vegetables, soft-fruit and cut flowers grown in a ‘minimum tillage’ and ‘low-mechanisation’ practice that is working towards organic certification.

The operation has become an established part of the local food supply and community infrastructure, and an important piece in the region’s strategy to relocalise food production and revive essential skills. It serves contracts with local florists, reducing their dependence on imports, sells fruit and vegetables wholesale and via a weekly box scheme and provides year round salad.

School Farm is also a training centre for the Dartington Certificate in Sustainable Horticulture, delivered in partnership with Duchy College.

Dartington Certificate in Sustainable Horticulture

A one-year course providing essential skills and recognised qualifications in horticulture, linking into a future when cheap fossil-fuel products and energy will be scarce.

Combining theoretical teaching and practical application, the course covers the equivalent content as the national Level 2 Certificate in Horticulture but does so in a sustainability context and by providing practical experience on three pioneering horticultural projects on the Dartington Estate. This is the first course to introduce concepts such as permaculture, forest gardening and minimum-tillage growing techniques at this level.

For further information please visit the dedicated page for this certificate.

Green Funeral Company

A complete undertaking service covering traditional funerals and ecological alternatives. A quality, compassionate service that meets the needs of the bereaved, giving them the freedom to do whatever feels right to them in order to enable a ceremony or service that is in keeping with the person who has died. An intimate and accessible chapel of rest, locally sourced seasonal flowers, woven bamboo, willow or cardboard coffins, and access to woodland burial sites all enable an emotionally and ecologically sensitive burial.

Green Funeral Company is also working with the Dartington Hall Trust to develop a natural burial site on the estate which will restore land to woodland and meadow, provide additional revenue for the Trust, create additional employment and address a very pressing shortage of burial sites in the region

Living Classroom Educator

A new addition to Schumacher College’s faculty,bringing the Dartington Hall Estate into service as a Living Classroom. This new position is enabling the Dartington Hall Trust to realise its potential to meet the local and global needs for practical education for sustainability, by bringing many of its pioneering sustainable land-based projects together as an emerging ‘living classroom’. Bethan Stagg, who also works part-time as a community scientist for the University of Plymouth was appointed in August 2009. Initially developing the Dartington Certificate in Sustainable Horticulture, Bethan will also be developing practical elements for some of the College’s other courses.

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Schumacher College is part of the Dartington Hall Trust, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and as a charity (company no. 1485560, charity no. 279756). Registered office: The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EL, United Kingdom