A new outdoor education centre is opening in the garden at Chatsworth thanks to charitable donations raised by the Derbyshire Charity Clay Shoot.

The ‘Stickyard’ includes several buildings and a large open space and was originally built in 1880 as a cartshed. It later became a base to cut trees, logs and sticks for the many fireplaces around Chatsworth House and Estate and became known as the Stickyard. Having been used as storage space in recent years it has undergone a complete restoration and conversion into an education centre for school groups, families and people of all ages using a £170,000 donation from the Derbyshire Charity Clay Shoot.

Students from Tibshelf Comprehensive School have worked alongside professional contractors and designed a wall at the Stickyard as part of a course run by the Heritage Training Board. The young people have used a range of natural materials and traditional crafts to complete their curved wall featuring stone slates, slate tiles, leadwork, and wooden shingles.

Run by the Devonshire Educational Trust the Stickyard will be open to schools during term time and families and other groups during the holidays. It includes two indoor classrooms with living history and storytelling spaces; a covered barn area for ‘messy’ activities like environmental art and seed planting; and a large open space for other activities. 

The educational programme will encourage children and those of all ages to get outside and reconnect with the natural environment, they can explore in the garden, parkland and surrounding woodlands; learning about plants, landscape, animals, forests, rivers and streams from the teaching team.

Lord Burlington, Chair of the Devonshire Educational Trust, said: “We already facilitate over 22,000 educational visits to Chatsworth each year and this will enable us to do more – both in terms of increased numbers but also the improved quality of the sessions we deliver. We want every visit to Chatsworth to be memorable and hope that the Stickyard will serve as an ideal base for educational visitors of all ages to learn, to be curious, to be creative and to reconnect with nature and the environment.”

Located in Chatsworth’s famous 105 acre garden the design and build has been completed to a high environmental standard using local firms and materials where possible in reroofing, levelling, insulation, new electrics and plumbing, kitchen, toilets and other facilities. 

Run on a not-for-profit basis, schools are charged only to cover running costs. The capital cost of restoration and conversion was met from a donation by the Derbyshire Clay Shoot, an annual charitable event that has raised more than £1.25m over the past decade for local good causes including The Children’s Hospital Charity, Arthritis Research UK, Cavendish Cancer Care and the Devonshire Educational Trust.


Notes to editors:

1.    Devonshire Educational Trust: (DET) was established in 2004 to enhance the educational experiences of children and young people visiting the Chatsworth Estate. Here, we are proud to be able to offer a diverse range of opportunities to learn about matters of historical, artistic and architectural interest as well as to find out more about the countryside and rural landscape. Through guided, self‐guided and specialist education packages and outreach activities the DET aims to provide quality education that reaches all backgrounds and abilities. The DET aims to be a leading charity providing education about the economic, historical, environmental, social and cultural contributions that landed estates make to our society.

2. Chatsworth House Trust: The Chatsworth House Trust is an independent charity (no 511149) set up by the 11th Duke of Devonshire in 1981, to ensure the long-term survival of Chatsworth for the benefit of the public.  All admission and event income from visitors, together with a percentage of income from shops and restaurants, goes directly to this Trust, and can only be spent on the upkeep and improvement of the house, collections, garden, farmyard and park.

3.    Derbyshire Clay Shoot: 2015’s Derbyshire Charity Clay Shoot is scheduled for Saturday 9 May and interested parties are invited to contact the Administrator, Sally Eustace - sally@dcclayshoot.org.uk.

For further information or images please contact:
Liz Bee (lizb@redbrickcommunications.com)
Steve Houghton (steveh@redbrickcommunications.com
Redbrick Communications, 68 St 
James’s Street, Nottingham, NG1 6FJ
T: 0115 910 1500 www.redbrickcommunications.com

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