Courses for all at County Hall

County Hall, Matlock.
County Hall, Matlock.

Lots of exciting courses are being offered by Derbyshire County Council for people wanting to learn new skills.

The authority offers a range of courses from cookery, computing and languages to zumba, to give people the chance to gain qualifications, new career skills and have fun.

And for those interested in developing their sustainable skills, Derbyshire Eco Centre in Middleton-by-Wirksworth is running Level 1 dry stone walling training.

The national qualification is delivered by master craftsmen and advanced certificate holders who are all working wallers.

Councillor Mike Longden, Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for education, said: “The Eco Centre helps to support the rural economy and conserve its heritage which is ideally demonstrated by the popular dry stone walling training.

“But there is something for everyone with a wide range of courses on offer from healthy living, buying and selling on eBay, to free courses to help improve your communication skills.”

The dry stone walling course starts on March 13 and then there are four more two day training sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays, finishing with a test on July 13.

It costs £311 or £106 for those on certain benefits, plus there is a test fee of £100.

A lot of previous trainees who have completed the Level 1 course have gone on to gain a Level 2, which is fully booked for this year but there are plans for another later this year to meet demand.

The Eco Centre also offers courses at Level 3 for very experienced wallers, with the next course planned for 2013.

Other courses on offer at the Eco Centre in February and March include one-day introductory courses on sustainable building and renewable energy, two-day courses on hedgelaying, building with straw, renewable energy for real and lime mortars and renders, and a five-day sustainable construction course which covers building with timber, straw, stone, lime pointing/rendering and heritage roofing.

For more information contact the Derbyshire Eco Centre on 01629 533038, email or visit