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.
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Study area icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

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 forest

Gardening for Wildlife

  • 8 November 2014 10am-5pm

Learn how to encourage and enjoy more wildlife in the garden, whatever your style and preferences. This course will help you to plan a garden for people and wildlife – one that, importantly, reflects your personal situation and available resources. By introducing the principles of how to garden with wildlife you will discover how to make the most of features by helping them to work together for mutual benefit.

Course runs Saturday 8th - Monday 10th Nov 2014.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/gardening-for-wildlife-detail

photograph of glasshouse

Introduction to Permaculture (1)

  • 20 February 2015 10am-5pm

This is the first long weekend in a three part, accredited Permaculture Design Course. Each weekend can stand alone if preferred. However, all three modules are required for a Permaculture Design Certificate. The focus of this course is on how to meet our fundamental human needs more sustainably. There is a particular emphasis on how we can design things to work well together.

Course runs Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd Feb 2015

See also Permaculture (2), 21st – 23rd March 2015 and Permaculture (3), 18th – 20th Apr 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/introduction-to-permaculture-permaculture-design-course-1-detail

photogrpah of strawberry plant in polytunnel

Permaculture Design Course (2)

  • 21 March 2015 10am-5pm

This is the second long weekend in a three part, accredited Permaculture Design Course. Each weekend can stand alone if preferred. However, all three modules are required for a Permaculture Design Certificate. The focus of this course is on how to meet our fundamental human needs more sustainably. There is a particular emphasis on how we can design things to work well together.

Course runs Saturday 21st - Monday 23rd March 2015.

See also Permaculture (1), 20-22 Feb 15 and Permaculture (3), 18-20 Apr 15.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £110.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/permaculture-design-course-2-detail

photograph of toad

Understanding Amphibians

  • 27 March 2015 10am-5pm

The course begins with the question “What are amphibians?” How have they evolved and what characteristics do they have, particularly those which separate them from their reptile relatives?

We discuss range of amphibian species worldwide and the groups to which they belong before focussing attention on native and introduced species in Britain.

The course then considers species distribution both at a UK scale and at the level of habitat in relation to life cycle and general ecology.

Course runs from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th March 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

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

photograph of glasshouse

Permaculture Design Course (3)

  • 18 April 2015 10am-5pm

This is the third long weekend in a three part, accredited Permaculture Design Course. Each weekend can stand alone if preferred. However, all three modules are required for a Permaculture Design Certificate. The focus of this course is on how to meet our fundamental human needs more sustainably. There is a particular emphasis on how we can design things to work well together.

Course runs Saturday 18th - Monday 20th April 2015.

See also Permaculture (1), 20-22 Feb 15 and Permaculture (2), 21-23 Mar 15.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £120.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/permaculture-design-course-3-detail

photograph of cricket

Habitat Restoration and Creation

  • 22 April 2015 10am-5pm

Modern methods of creating habitats from first principles will be investigated.

You will gain an insight into the reasons why such techniques are necessary in the context of modern nature conservation and land management and be introduced to a range of situations where habitat recreation has been, or needs to be carried out.

A variety of methods of restoring all components of ecosystems will be discussed.

Participants will be encouraged to discuss the validity, in the context of recreating habitats that have been destroyed.

Course runs Wednesday 22nd - Friday 24th April 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/habitat-restoration-and-creation-detail

Nightingale

Bird Identification: An Introduction

  • 1 May 2015 10am-5pm

You can hear that birds sound different but you are not sure how to remember the call.

All you need is an expert guide and tutor to help you focus, develop observation skills and note their key features.

The number of species and the range in shape, colour and call may surprise you.

Come and gain an enormous amount of pleasure and knowledge from observing and learning about birds in the wonderful habitats.

The majority of the course will take place outside, observing a wide range of species in a variety of habitats.

Course runs from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd May, 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/bird-identification-an-introduction-detail

photograph of vegetable garden

Botany for Gardening

  • 8 May 2015 9am-2pm

The aim is to reveal through observation, practical work and experimentation the principles of botany which have a direct relevance to ecology and gardening in particular.

This will give you knowledge and understanding of the responses of plants to their environment and specifically to gardening techniques and practices.

It should help you become a better gardener and have a greater understanding of the diversity of plant life.

This is an excellent course for anyone interested in gardening, horticulture or botany.

First session Friday 8th May 2015. Further sessions follow.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, or £80.00 for concessions (payable once for all four dates). Please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 622682.

Website

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

photograph of moth

Intriguing Insects: Natural History Illustration

  • 16 May 2015 10am-5pm

This 5 credit painting course is ideal for anyone undertaking field studies as well as art students who wish to broaden their handling of watercolour techniques and colour mixing.

You will be given demonstrations, group discussions, individual advice and assistance.

Specimens will be available for you to work from.

Course runs Saturday 16th - Sunday 17th May 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £35.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University on 01970 62 2682.
Full board accommodation at CAT £70.00, call 01654 704952 to book.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/intriguing-insects-natural-history-illustration-detail

Beetle

Entomology: The Larger Insects of Wales

  • 29 May 2015 10am-5pm

The mainly field-based sessions will focus on observing and identifying large insects such as butterflies, dragonflies, moths and beetles.

Practical methods of capturing and handling specimens found in various habitats around the venue will be tried.

This will include using pit-fall traps for those that crawl, beating and sweep-nets and hopefully light trapping for night fliers.

These insects are large enough to have plenty of features that can be easily seen with the naked eye and their behaviour can be readily observed.

This course starts on Friday 29 and ends on Sunday 31 May 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University on 01970 622682.
Full board accommodation at CAT £120.00, call 01654 704952 to book.

Website

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

photograph of apples on tree

Introduction to Forest Gardening

  • 13 June 2015 10am-5pm

A forest garden is primarily a food-producing habitat, based on the model of a natural woodland. Comprised of several layers which are usually composed of fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, perennial vegetables and herbs, it can be tailored to fit any garden. With informed design, a forest garden will be low maintenance and highly productive for many years to come.

Course runs Saturday 13th - Sunday 14th June 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £35.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University on 01970 62 2682.
Full board accommodation at CAT £70.00, call 01654 704952 to book.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/introduction-to-forest-gardening-detail

Spider

Wildlife Photography

  • 26 June 2015 2-5pm

While the fundamental aspects of digital photography will be covered (handling and configuring the digital camera, lens selection, exposure, composition and image critique), this course will concentrate on taking photographs of specific wildlife subjects in the field (e.g. insects, birds or flowers).

The learner will be given the opportunity to observe and photograph a range of wildlife subjects unmolested and in their natural habitats.

Course runs Friday 26th - Sunday 28th June 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £90, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682. Full board accommodation at CAT £120.00.

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/wildlife-digital-photography-detail

Summer bloom

Identifying Flowering Plants

  • 3 July 2015 10am-5pm

The essential skills developed during this course make it ideal for professional development but also for anyone simply fascinated by plants and ecology.

Examine specimens and become familiar with the huge variety of flower and leaf forms and the equally huge and often confusing terminology used in the wild flower books and ‘keys’.

Emphasis will be on practical skills with examination and identification taking place mainly in the laboratory but with excursions around the venue to put new found knowledge to the test!

Runs from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th July 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

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

photograph of grass

Identification of Grasses, Sedges and Rushes

  • 6 July 2015 10am-5pm

Learn the fundamentals of grass, sedge and rush identification, essential and valuable skills for any field and conservation ecologists and hopefully, by the end of this course, you will know this statement is not true.

Emphasis will be on practical skill with identification taking place mainly in the laboratory where there is time and equipment to fully examine specimens.

The focus will be on learning how to identify and develop the skills and confidently use a flora.

Course runs Monday 6th to Wednesday 8th July, 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/identification-of-grasses-sedges-and-rushes-detail

Snail

Ecology

  • 23 August 2015 10am-5pm

Ever wondered why some plants won’t grow in your garden why the ‘weeds’ (and slugs) thrive?

Ecology explains the patterns we see in the natural world and the way in which people have changed them.

It is all about relationships between living things (from flowers to fungi to fluffy or feathery animals) with their surroundings and with us humans.

So come and find out, you can’t be truly ‘green’ unless you know something about ecology.

Course runs Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

http://courses.cat.org.uk/biology-and-ecology/ecology1-detail

Sweet Pea

Plant Diversity

  • 25 September 2015 10am-5pm

What’s the difference between grass, ferns and mosses? They are plants and have green leaves. Yes, but we need to know a great deal more about the diversity of plants to develop an interest in the environment, field biology, wildlife and gardening.

From A for Anemone to Z for Zinnia and all types of conifers, horsetails, ferns and mosses in between, their relationships to each other will be revealed.

Course runs Friday 26th - Sunday 28th Sept 2015.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Course fees are £100.00, please book onto the course through Aberystwyth University 01970 62 2682 before booking your optional full board accommodation at CAT (£120.00)

Website

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

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