Start Learning at the Derbyshire Eco Centre

It's at the heart of our drive to combat climate change

Moving Forward With Sustainability At The Derbyshire Eco Centre

Firstly, the Derbyshire Eco Centre is set within the grounds of the National Stone Centre just a short journey from Wirksworth. Its fundamental purpose is to create an awareness of sustainability within our society.  As such, it runs short courses on a huge variety of subjects. Naturally, these are based on being friendly to our planet.

The Building And Grounds

We should mention, the man behind the design of the Derbyshire Eco Centre is Patrick Watson. His architectural skills have incorporated a truly sustainable build.

Additionally, the construction of the build is sympathetic to its beautiful surroundings. It has been built using sustainable materials. These include the local stone and a living green roof. Also, included are a rainwater harvesting system and an air source heat pump.

Moreover, there is a second phase planned which will allow the building to become completely self-sufficient with respect to its energy requirements.

The facilities included are:

  • A large multi-purpose area where courses in subjects such as heritage building skills, renewable energy, arts, and crafts can be learned.
  • There’s a clean teaching space where lectures and theoretical subjects can be covered. This includes network connections.
  • An office base.
  • Outside there is a canopy which allows for practical courses to be held undercover.
  • There is further space available within the grounds for craft and energy demonstrations/courses.
  • W/C, washroom and shower facilities.

The Eco Centre was financed by Derbyshire County Council, The Skills Funding Agency and the Derbyshire Economic Partnership. In total, the cost of the build was £1.34 million.

A Wide Variety Of Courses Available

With a focus on sustainability, the courses held at the Derbyshire Eco Centre cover a vast array of subjects. In fact, there are more than 150 courses available throughout the year.

There are many short courses too,  that include one-day and weekend workshops. For the most part, these are practical courses although there are also supporting subjects such as maths, writing and computer skills available.

Below, is just an example of just a few of the courses available at the centre. If you would like to see the full list of courses currently available please see the documents available for download at the Derbyshire County Councils webpage (see below).

  • Family Paper Making
  • Family Mosaic Making
  • Family Pottery
  • Dry Stone Walling Taster
  • Ceramic Tiles
  • Introduction to Horticulture
  • Introduction to Pole Lathing
  • Landscape Photography
  • Incredible Edible Gardens
  • Book Binding
  • Decorative Stone Carving
  • Green Roofs
  • Introduction to Stained Glass
  • Hedgelaying

Comparatively, the cost for these courses are very reasonable and in some cases they are FREE.

Naturally, many of these courses would make an ideal gift for someone and there are vouchers available. Simply get in touch with the centre to find out more.

Bespoke Courses

On the other hand, if you’re interested in using the Eco Centre to hold courses on subjects that are not covered in the guide you can contact the centre. You’ll receive expert guidance on the availability of tutors for your chosen subject and also advise on the facilities available.

Getting there!

For public transport details contact: or 0871 200 2233

The Trent Barton bus 6.1 bus stop: Steeple Grange, National Stone Centre.

Alternatively, travelling by car or bike please check the map link.