Beginners smallholding course at Kate Humble's Farm Humble by Nature Tim catching a sheep on the smallholding course at Kate Humble's Farm Humble by Nature Hands on with the pigs on the small holding for beginners course at Humble By Nature Liz Shankland Beginners Smallholding course at Humble by Nature Learn about Goats on Beginners Smallholding course at Humble by Nature with Liz Shankland

Course Agenda

Arrive for tea, coffee and a tasty bite to start the day
Getting to know the basics

This first session in the classroom will take you through the essential of starting and keeping a smallholding. Learn about the practicalities, including: how much land for different animals, legal requirements of keeping livestock; producing meat from your livestock; and selling produce.

Getting hands on with the animals

Meet the carefully-chosen livestock in our smallholding fields and find out what breeds of poultry, sheep, pigs and goats might best suit your requirements. We normally start off the day with chickens – so often the first choice for newcomers to smallholding - before moving on to four-legged livestock.


Looking after animals is always hungry work! We’ll eat a delicious home-made lunch in the barn. This is a lovely opportunity to discuss what you’ve learned so far, get to know your fellow course members and enjoy some great local food.

Getting to know the pigs and goats

Every species has its own requirements, so we’ll take a look at fencing and housing and explain how to avoid unwanted escapes! You’ll have the chance to get close to the various breeds of different ages and learn about their behaviour. Depending on the time of year, there may be piglets or kids running around.

Getting hands on with the sheep

We have a variety of native and rare breed sheep on the farm – including Jacobs, Welsh Badger-Face, Kerry Hill, and Dorset Horn – as well as a large number of commercial cross-breeds, so there will be plenty to see. We will spend time getting you familiar with catching, handling, and understanding sheep and discuss basic husbandry like caring for feet.

Course closes

We’ll finish the day with some well-deserved treats and the opportunity to ask any further questions. Liz is always happy for you to contact her by email after your course with any follow-up queries.

Smallholding for Beginners

Sunday 14th May 2017
Sold out
Sunday 11th Jun 2017
Sold out
Sunday 9th Jul 2017
Last few
Sunday 6th Aug 2017
Sunday 3rd Sep 2017
Sunday 1st Oct 2017
Sunday 5th Nov 2017

The Humble by Nature Introduction to Smallholding course does exactly what it says on the tin.  Our smallholding expert Liz Shankland will give you a full and fascinating day learning about how to keep livestock, how to prepare your fields for the arrival of sheep, pigs and goats, the best breeds of poultry to choose for eggs and/or meat, how to register your land as a smallholding and how to manage the paperwork involved.

This course is very practical. There’s plenty of hands-on experience with our animals - big and small - in our specially-designed smallholder fields and animal barns on the Humble by Nature farm. Liz is assisted on this course by Humble by Nature's farmer Tim Stephens, who has decades of specialist experience of farming sheep and has a large mixed commercial flock on site.

A day spent with Liz and Tim will give you the confidence to go home and start making plans for your very own smallholding. Don't forget to send us updates!

Liz Shankland Smallholding tutor at Humble by Nature

A townie by birth, Liz now runs a successful smallholding 800ft up a windy mountain near Caerphilly in Wales, where she keeps pedigree Tamworth pigs and a flock of sheep, as well as chickens, turkeys and ducks.

What to bring and other essential info

This is a hands-on course, so a lot of the activity will take place outside, in the smallholding fields and livestock barns, which form part of our working farm.

Bring clothes that are weather-proof and which you don’t mind getting wet or dirty, you may also find it useful to bring a change of clothing for the journey home!

There is no obligation to handle our animals but you will have plenty of opportunity should you wish to.

If you or your partner are pregnant please read the advice from the NHS about lambing before booking your course. We normally lamb from February to April.

Reviews & Tweets about this course

Great Day. Lots of hands-on experience and information to think on before making the leap. Food lovely too!

Helen & Andrew

Hands on approach VERY helpful! Loved the course – brilliant way to see if it’s the life for you. Fab food too!


Thank you for a most enjoyable & truly interesting & fascinating day.


What a great day, well worth the trip from Scotland. Absolutely sold on the idea now.

Shona & Norry

Thank you for and interesting, informative, invigorating and encouraging day. Brilliant.

Elaine & Toby

Other courses you might like