Have you ever wanted to learn how to forge tools? Identify mushrooms? Install solar panels? Garden organically?
The Centre for Alternative Technology, which has been running courses teaching the public in all aspects of sustainable living since the late 1970s, recently released details of the courses it will be offering in 2012 in its new short courses brochure.
Alongside popular favourites such as an introduction to renewable energy systems and eco refurbishment are new courses in hedgelaying, open source tools for energy monitoring and biomass for installers, keeping CAT at the cutting edge of alternative technology education.
As well as enjoying the beautiful backdrop of Snowdonia National Park, learning at CAT offers students the opportunity to benefit from the Centre’s decades of experience in sustainable living. Course participants enjoy delicious meals from CAT’s vegetarian restaurant, and benefit from what electrician Owen describes as an “informal nature… the students and staff socialise together and become more like a band of friends than colleagues.”
Owen, who recently completed a course in solar PV installation, has found the experience hugely beneficial. “I found my skills in high demand from well-established companies,” he says, “and job opportunities were presented to me that wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t chosen to undertake the course. I’ve gone from no experience to having worked on multiple inverter brands, roof and ground mount systems, and fault finding on pre-installed systems.”
Studying at CAT was also a great experience for Ruth, a local government official. “I’ve used the knowledge gained to implement an energy plan for department,” she says. “It’ll help drive down energy waste and consumption and educate colleagues about their carbon footprint.”