Field of Torwen sheep at South Yeo Farm West


“Debbie & Andrew were very welcoming to our group and provided a detailed knowledge of livestock and tailored it to what we required going forward. This was a fundamental lesson to all our keepers and provided invaluable and up to date information. We will continue to use them for all our keeper training going forward. Lunch & afternoon tea & cake was a welcome treat too!!” The Pig Hotel
“Absolutely fantastic…it was more than fantastic.” OH, The Pig Hotel
“We did really enjoy our time with you and were glad that we had you all to ourselves for the day! I think that the way you farm is something that we could really get passionate about and the level of care and respect you have for your cattle is something we’d really like to emulate. It’s been very helpful in giving us a better sense of direction.” O&E Y, Devon


Devon ruby cow surrounded by calves in a field at South Yeo Farm West

Specially Designed For You

Our smallholder courses have received the most stunning feedback, and people keep coming back for more, so we know that we deliver the goods. But sometimes your timetable might not suit available dates or you may want some very focussed attention to get you up to speed even more quickly than is possible on a shared course, so we offer bespoke courses that are absolutely tailormade to your interests. It may be for an individual, a couple, a family, a small group of friends just setting out on keeping livestock and running a smallholding or a team of co-workers working at a city farm or animal shelter.  We can also offer corporate and team building days with a difference.  Whatever your circumstances, we can pull together a day created especially for you. You may also prefer doing one of our existing courses, but on your own or with a partner or friend or colleague.

“Thank you to you both for such a wonderful day. I think that we both got so much out of it! We learnt so many things and also gained a huge amount of confidence in our land and our own abilities. You are both very motivating and inspirational”. N&R D, Devon


The range of topics we cover include (but are not limited to):

  • the legal ins and outs of keeping livestock
  • animal housing and handling
  • pigs for beginners
  • sheep for beginners
  • poultry and waterfowl
  • cattle for beginners
  • choosing your livestock
  • land management
  • animal health and welfare
  • fencing
  • equipment, tools and tractors
  • encouraging wildlife
  • preserving and using your produce
  • orchard management
  • vegetable growing
  • costings – can I make it pay?
  • the realities of running a smallholding or a small farm
  • DIY websites for smallholders, farmers and small businesses
  • building your own cob oven (we also do lots of these for schools, youth & community groups etc off site)
  • breadmaking: sourdough, enriched yeasted doughs, everyday & special breads (2 people max)
  • and more


Depending on the size of your group, the total cost may not be any more expensive per person than our core courses, and we cost each bespoke course individually once we understand your requirements and the time necessary for delivery.

For one day courses the cost, depending on content, number of attendees and tutors is from £500 (for 1-4 people); livestock/smallholding courses will include a copy of our book The Complete Guide to Smallholding.  We can do half days (from £250) or two day courses (from £1000) as required. For larger groups including staff teams, corporate and team building days please get in touch so that we can discuss your requirements before quoting.

To discuss further, please contact us and you can be sure that we will be delighted to shape a day or a weekend (or more) that gives you exactly what you need. If you are fairly local, we’re also happy to spend time with you on your own property, looking at how you might make the best of your facilities and land.

Accommodation: For those of you travelling some distance, we don’t provide overnight accommodation on the farm but you’ll find some lovely options close by, ranging from B&Bs to camp sites and seriously luxurious treats here.


“We did not just have a good day with you, we had a truly fantastic day! I really feel like we have been lucky to find you, you are exactly what I have been looking for by way of mentors and teachers, and hopefully friends for many years to come.” GB, Devon

“Thanks so much for a lovely day. Really informative and [we are] now persuaded to keep our lambing shed! Also just to say the notes are superb, real added value, so thanks again and [we] will be joining the [Smallholder Training at South Yeo Farm West] Facebook group.” R&C R, Isle of Wight

“It was brilliant. All you could do to improve the course would be to move it closer to us so we could come more often!” Wood Green Animal Shelter.

“Thank you for bringing your expertise to Beechwood, this is an amazing price for everything that you provided. I am in awe of the whole project it is such an exciting thing to have created for our school. I am hoping to make molds for the children to make leaves to slip/cob glue to the outside of the oven next week but until then I am going to lie down in a dark room! Thanks again – I hope you will come back and see it finished soon.” LE, Head Teacher, Beechwood Primary School

Do bring: outdoor clothes, clean wellies, waterproofs and a change of clothes if it looks like rain.

WhiteFaced Dartmoor ewe with twin lambs laying on straw in a lambing pen at South Yeo Farm West
The vegetable garden at South Yeo Farm West in Devon
Close up of a Berkshire pig at South Yeo Farm West

“Many thanks for the course you ran a few weeks back, [we] agreed it was the best course we’d attended and wish there was more on offer like that. We’re far from experts but often find that courses for smallholders are a little basic – well done you for getting it right!!”

logo of South Yeo Farm West in Devon