Centre for Alternative Technology

Centre for Alternative Technology
Machynlleth
Powys
SY20 9AZ
Wales

Website

www.cat.org.uk

E-mail

education@cat.org.uk

Telephone

School day visits

01654 705983

Eco-cabins residential visits

01654 705982

Educational projects

01654 705963

Fax

all

01654 702782

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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Educational exhibition centre demonstrating sustainable building techniques as well as renewable energy, energy efficiency, organic growing, water conservation and environmentally friendly sewage systems. The site buildings display a very wide range of sustainable building materials and techniques including timber frame, straw bale, rammed earth, earth block, hemp lime, local stone and a variety of insulating materials, including wool. Renewable energy technologies include wind and water power, combined heat and power biomass, log and pellet boilers, heat pumps, solar energy used to heat space and water and generate electricity.

Venue Type:

Museum, Science centre, Environmental or ecological centre

Opening hours

Every day Winter 1000-1600
Every day Summer 0930-1730 (1800 August)

Closed: A few days over Christmas and a week in early January

Admission charges

school groups
winter 2008/9 £3.80 per pupil
summer 2009 £4.05 per pupil
Accompanying staff free

Additional info

Drop-in information service.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
photograph of charcoal making

Charcoal and Biochar

  • 6 September 2014 10am-4pm

The course will cover the theory behind traditional charcoal making. It will then explain the advances in design using retort systems. The making of biochar will be explained and its credibility as an tool for environmental management analysed.

This course is tailored to those interested in making charcoal on a small-scale and/or the principles and applications of charcoal or biochar as a soil improver.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£55.00 per person. Please contact CAT for information about concessions.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/woodland-and-crafts/charcoal-and-biochar-detail

Sparrows

Bird Identification

  • 2 May 2014 10am-4pm

The course will be field based with indoor sessions used to consolidate and reinforce field techniques. Most field work will be undertaken in the area directly surrounding CAT where we will look, primarily, at song birds and the habitats that they require.
The course is fully accredited by Aberystwyth University giving you the opportunity to study at Higher Education level 1, giving 10 credits which are excellent for professional development.
Note: the course starts on 2nd May and ends on the 4th May.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fee is £90.00. Optional accommodation at CAT costs £120.00.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/birdidentification-detail

photograph of bread oven

Woodland and Crafts: Earth Oven Building

  • 3 May 2014 10am-4pm
  • 9 August 2014 10am-4pm

Experience each stage of construction of an oven including mixing the clay and sand, laying the base out and constructing a mold/former.
At the end of the day you will have completed the first layers of the oven and will be able to see how to use a finished oven on-site as you make your own pizzas!

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£55.00 per person. Please contact CAT for information about concessions.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/woodland-and-crafts/earth-ovens-detail

photograph of building made from rammed earth

Building With Rammed Earth

  • 30 May 2014 6-9pm

It’s a cliché, but the technology really is only limited by your imagination.
Rammed Earth walls have superb thermal mass, load bearing and fireproof qualities and with impressive acoustic attenuation.
They also look good, they are the colour of the surroundings they are from, and with minimal carbon dioxide emissions could be part of an answer to fast growing pollution from construction.

This three day course gives a good grounding in this building method and its application around the world.

Fri 30th May, course starts at 6pm. Course ends Sun 2nd June 2014 at 2pm.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Waged £350.00, Low Waged £300.00, Concessions £225.00. Includes full board accommodation.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/sustainable-building/buildingwithrammedearth-detail

Wood

Sustainable Living: Greenwood Crafts

  • 30 May 2014 2-4pm

A diverse craft which is open to artistic exploration as well as its more practical applications, green wood working can be an excellent way of localising production loops, preserving traditional knowledge and skills, and helping to conserve our environment by protecting native woodland and reducing demand for oil based products.
The use of the tools such as a shave horse, pole lathe, draw knife, side axe and many more will be demonstrated.
Note: this course starts at 14:00 on 30th May and ends at 14:00 on the 1st June.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Waged £350.00, Low Waged £300.00, Concessions £225.00. Includes full board accommodation.

photograph of man making a basket

Willow Basket Making

  • 7 June 2014 9:30am-4:30pm

Used mainly for agricultural purposes, especially potatoes, these baskets were made by the country folk themselves, using the local willow and few tools.
You will learn the essential knowledge and skills needed to weave beautiful, functional baskets using traditional techniques.
You will also learn about the growing, harvesting, and preparation of willow for use.
And you will be able to take home your own hand made basket.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£65.00 per person.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/woodland-and-crafts/willow-basket-making2014-01-31-10-27-58-detail

photograph of wind farm in Denmark

Introduction to Wind Power

  • 16 June 2014 10am-4pm

The day will include an introduction to the subject, specialist guided tour of CAT's systems and a 'Questions and Answers' session delivered to you by our very own CAT expert engineers.

The course will enable participants to make informed decisions about installing wind power at their home or workplace.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£55.00 per person.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/energyrenewables/introduction-to-wind-power-detail

Cherry blossom

Botany for Gardening

  • 27 June 2014 10am-5pm

We'll be looking at how seeds germinate, the growth processes of plants, photosynthesis, plant nutrition, soils etc with the aim of seeing how it all applies to garden practice.

No previous knowledge is required, and the course is suited to those who just want to satisfy their gardening curiosity, but others may be taking the course as part of the Certificate of Higher Education in Field Ecology.

The course is fully accredited by Aberystwyth University giving you the opportunity to study at Higher Education CQFW level 4, giving 10 credits.

Course runs Fri 27th - Sun 29th June 2014.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £90.00. Optional full board accommodation at CAT costs £120.00.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/botany-for-gardening2014-01-15-13-51-22-detail

photograph of onions growing

Dig for Resilience - Sustainable Organic Gardening

  • 27 June 2014 2-6pm

High-emitting foods like meat and dairy will be extremely expensive, and imported foods, currently over 40%, might not be available.

The course focuses on different types of diets from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions and other measures of sustainability.

It would show how systematic shifts from typical diets would both reduce emissions and increase food security and health.

These changes all favour home production of vegetables and fruit.

Fri 27th June, course starts at 14:00. Course ends Sun 29th June 2014 at 14:00.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Waged £350.00, Low Waged £300.00, Concessions £225.00. Includes full board accommodation.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/dig-for-resilience-sustainable-organic-gardening-detail

Snowdrops

Identifying Flowering Plants

  • 4 July 2014 10am-5pm

We will focus on common species to gain an understanding of the terminology involved. The habitats around the venue will be investigated and a diverse range of other specimens will be available. By the end of the course you should be able to tackle the identification of unknown specimens and recognise a good range of common species. Complete beginners will be challenged but no prior knowledge is required to tackle the course.

Course run Fri 4th to Sun 6th July 2014.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £90.00. Full board accommodation at CAT costs £120.00.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/identifying-flowering-plants-detail

photograph of wind farm in Denmark

Zero Carbon Britain

  • 18 July 2014 2-6pm

This course offers a robust, evidence-based scenario that explores ways we can deliver a climate positive future, whilst also maintaining a modern lifestyle.

The course also covers how Zero Carbon Britain can be successfully used as a powerful tool for groups and individuals to inspire positive action, stimulate debate and build consensus in their communities and places of work.

Fri 18th - Sun 20th July 2014.
Course starts at 2pm and ends at 2pm on the last day.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Waged £350.00, Low waged £300.00, Concessions £225.00.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/sustainable-living/zero-carbon-britain-rethinking-the-future-detail

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