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Frequently Asked Questions - Events

  • What is the difference between The Barn, Sharpham House and Woodland Retreats?

    The Barn Retreat offers 5-night meditation retreats throughout the year in a wonderful converted old Devon Linhay. Retreats are based on a contemporary approach to Western Buddhism and participants have the chance to experience a schedule of mindfulness practice, teacher-led inquiry and working meditation in the organic garden.

    Sharpham House offers secular mindfulness retreats with the opportunity to stay in a beautiful Grade 1-listed Georgian mansion house at the centre of the Estate and surrounded by superb gardens. Retreats at Sharpham House are fully catered for with cooks and house-keeping staff in attendance. Retreats include 3-night Mindfulness for Beginners, as well as a variety of themed retreats such as walking, silent and for stress/burn-out.

    Woodland Retreats are a chance to stay in our woodland campsite in the grounds of Sharpham House with a focus on mindfulness and connecting to nature. Guided by our experienced leaders, participants will explore mindfulness in the inspirational setting offered by the Estate’s woodlands, gardens and parkland.

    All of the above retreats are set at different locations across the beautiful 550-acre Sharpham Estate with views over the River Dart in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

  • Why are Sharpham retreats so cheap?

    The Sharpham Trust is a registered charity (number: 285767) and a social enterprise which endeavours to keep the costs as low as possible by subsidising various aspects of the courses and retreats.

  • What do I need to bring on a Bat & Stargazing night?

    It's a good idea to bring the following:

    • Snack - bring a healthy snack if you get peckish along the way
    • Hat
    • Torch
    • Waterproofs
    • Good comfy shoes or wellies
    • Paper and pen if you want to take notes
    • Bottle of water
    • If you have your own bat detector do bring it along
  • What do I need to bring for the Forage for Food workshop?

    • A mug for herbal tea
    • Snack - our lunch will be early and the foraging walk is a long one, so bring a healthy snack if you get peckish along the way
    • Your packed lunch
    • Hat and warm clothes
    • Waterproofs
    • Good comfy shoes or wellies
    • Paper and pen if you want to take notes
    • Bottle of water
    • A basket with a handle or similar for foraging, if you have one
  • What do I need to bring for the Foraging for Wild Medicine workshop?

    •             A mug for herbal tea

    •             A packed lunch and snacks

    •             2 clean glass jars (medium or small, not large)

    •             Hat and warm clothes

    •             Waterproofs

    •             Good comfy shoes or wellies

    •             Paper and pen if you want to take notes

    •             Bottle of water

    •             A basket with a handle for foraging, if you have one (optional)

  • What do I need to bring for the Food Fermenting Workshop?

    •             a packed lunch

    •             bottle of water

    •             Waterproofs

    •             Good comfy shoes or wellies

    •             Paper and pen if you want to take notes

    •             Camera if you want to take pictures

    •             We will supply enough fresh organic veg for all the ferment types you'll be making, but if you'd like to add your own home grown (must be organic) or wild foraged produce them please bring it along

    •             2 clean screw-top jars (2 medium size or 1 medium and 1 large). Also, 2 kilner ‘clip top’ jars if you have them (half litre and 1 litre size would be good, not essential but very useful).

     

  • What do I need to bring on a Dusk Chorus or Marsh & Estuary bird walk?

    It's a good idea to bring the following:

    • Binoculars! Although if you don't have any, we can supply some
    • Paper and pen if you want to take notes
    • Camera if you want to take pictures
    • Hat & warm clothes
    • Waterproofs
    • Good comfy outdoor shoes or wellies
    • Snack - bring a health snack if you get peckish along the way
    • Bottle of water
  • What do I need to bring for the Family Wildlife Explorers Day?

    • Paper and pen if you want to take notes or make sketches
    • A magnifying glass if you have one (if not we have some spares)
    • Waterproofs and layers
    • Good comfy outdoor shoes or wellies
    • A camera if you want to take pictures
    • Bring a healthy snack if you get peckish along the way
    • A bottle of water
    • Bottle of water
    • Insect repellent if you wish

    We advise that you wear long trousers to avoid scratches, cuts and possible ticks.

  • What do I need to bring for the Family Nature Detectives Day?

    • Binoculars if you have your own (if not we have some spares)
    • Paper and pen if you want to take notes / sketches
    • Magnifying glass if you have one (if not we have some spares)
    • Waterproofs and layers
    • Good comfy oudoor shoes or wellies
    • Camera if you want to take pictures
    • Snack - bring a healthy snack if you get peckish along the way
    • Bottle of water
  • What do I need to know & bring for the Family Canoe Paddle?

    Canoe Adventures advice on what to wear

    • Everyone should dress for a day outdoors.  Please note it is often cooler and/or brighter out on the water than you may be used to. Whatever the day’s weather forecast, bring waterproofs and a warm layer. 
    • Sun cream and hats are important when it is sunny, and shades/sunglasses are useful if you have them.  
    • We advise against jeans; they are not good in the heat or cold, and can be dangerous when wet and cold. We provide a 'dry bag' to keep your waterproofs and warm layers dry when you are not wearing them.
    • Footwear: wear shoes that stay on and that you don't mind getting a bit muddy.  Old trainers are ideal.  In summer, sandals with straps over the heel are great too. Flip-flops can get very slippery. Walking boots are fine.
       

    Canoe Adventures skippers are entitled to refuse people if they are not, in their opinion, sufficiently dressed for the day's conditions.

    Given the canoes require a minimum number of people and a specific adult:child ratio, turning away one or two people could cost the whole trip.  

    Canoe Adventures canoe

    Canoe Adventures advice on what else to bring

    Canoe Adventures provide a 'dry bag' for your warm layers, waterproofs and precious things. 

    There is some space elsewhere in the canoe for bags of food and provisions which we advise you put in plastic bags or small backpacks that don't mind splashes or light mud.  You don't need to bring much more gear than that. 

    There is no reason to go in the water if you don't want to!  Nor should your camera or phone get wet, so long as you have suitable cases, good pockets in your waterproofs, or use our on board 'dry bag'. 

    Food

    Bring a snack for the children and, as you will be out until 2pm, bring a light picnic for when we stop on the shore. 

    Water

    Bring a bottle of drinking water each. At least a litre per person is recommended.  You may be surprised how dehydrated you can get on the water.

     

    Canoe Adventures health & safety

    By joining our activity you are presenting yourself as medically fit to do so. Please advise us in advance when you or anyone in your group has any health or fitness condition that may affect safety or ability to participate in canoeing. 

    Non-swimmers should make themselves known to their skipper/guide on the day. Advice given on 'dress' is part of our health and safety policy and risk assessment.
     

    PunctualitySharpham House & Bathing House

    We work on a very tidal estuary so we cannot be flexible over start times, especially on low water trips.  The tide never waits!  One or two no shows or late arrivals could cost the whole trip.

    This event has been carefully planned and numbers are limited - please tell us immediately if you've booked but can't make it so we can give others the chance to come.

  • What do I need to bring for the Wild for Moths event?

    • A healthy snack if you get peckish along the way
    • A sun-hat if necessary
    • Waterproofs
    • Good comfy shoes or wellies
    • Paper and pen if you want to take notes
    • Bottle of water