New Horticulture and Forestry qualification launched

New Horticulture and Forestry qualification launched

Crossfields Institute and The Orchard Project are delighted to announce the launch of

Crossfields Institute Level 2 Award in Forest Gardening

This qualification is open for registrations from 10 February 2021

This Crossfields Institute qualification was created in collaboration with The Orchard Project in order to provide learners with:

  • an understanding of forest gardening
  • a thorough understanding of how to plan, plant and manage a forest garden
  • the practical skills to engage in planting, pruning, grafting and soil enhancement
  • plant identification skills and familiarity and understanding of botanical terminology

This qualification was developed in response to the growing interest in forest gardening as a way of producing food in a way that is low maintenance, has a low carbon footprint, encourages biodiversity, and is resilient to climate change. This is a relatively new area of expertise however and is not well understood by the public, so there is a need to teach people the skills to create well designed and well-maintained forest gardens.

  • Any learners who are interested in finding out more about this qualification should contact The Orchard Project on 07525 115209 or at
  • Any organisations wishing to deliver this qualification should contact Crossfields Institute at or 01453 808118

Crossfields Institute is a Gloucestershire based education charity, approved by Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations in England) as an awarding organisation. The Institute specialises in the development of specialist qualifications for providers with a particular vision or ethos.

The Orchard Project is the only national charity dedicated solely to the creation, restoration and celebration of community orchards. We aim to make a serious contribution to a better food system, based on people working together where they live to produce and harvest their own fruit.

Animal Nature: Understanding the Nature of Animals

Join us for this workshop in which we will seek a deeper understanding of ‘animal nature’. Drawing on insights from a range of disciplines (science, art, agriculture and ecopsychology) we will delve into the many ways in which our lives interface with those of the animals around us.

Saturday February 23th 2019
9 AM- 7 PM
The Museum in the Park, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Full attendance: £65 (light lunch included)

Morning Sessions

Animals Underground – Dr Liz Hamilton
Environmental Sciences: University of Gloucester

Seeing the Animal Whole – Ed Berger
Biodynamic Land Manager: Ruskin Mill Trust

Afternoon Sessions

Encountering Animal – Roger Duncan
Systemic Family Therapist

Animal Ethics: Perspectives – Dr Isis Brook
Research Fellow Crossfields Institute International

Animals & Transformation – Jonathan Code
Director and Researcher Crossfields Institute International

To book the course by phone 01453 808118
or email

Raising happy girls

The author and childcare expert Steve Biddulph’s latest book is out today 20th April.  Following on from his book on raising boys the new book: 10 Things Girls Need Most To Grow Up Strong and Free,  tackles the possibly even trickier subject of how to raise girls.

There is a great deal of concern about girls health and wellbeing at the current time.  Much of this focuses on the way social media can work to undermine a girl’s confidence and set up damaging rather than empowering role models.  For a taste of the book’s central message have a look at the article by Lorraine Candy for the Sunday Times magazine.  This is available on Steve’s website.  There is quite a harsh message for parents here but see what you think, even if you don’t have young girls to raise.

Emergency Bulletin: Firefox Security Problem

Thanks to Wordfence, the makers of the security plugin we use on our websites, we have been alerted to a severe security vulnerability in Firefox.

From the Wordfence website:

“If you use Firefox, we recommend you temporarily switch browsers to Chrome, Safari or a non-firefox based browser that is secure until the Firefox dev team can release an update. The vulnerability allows an attacker to execute code on your Windows workstation. The exploit is in the wild, meaning it’s now public and every hacker on the planet has access to it. There is no fix at the time of this writing.”

You can read more here:
Emergency Bulletin: Firefox 0 day in the wild. What to do.

Crossfields Institute Achieves Awarding Organisation Status

We are very pleased to announce that as of Friday 16th January, Crossfields Institute has been recognised as an awarding organisation by Ofqual. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
This means that the Institute is now both an approved awarding organisation and a higher education institute.

Click here to view the press release that has been issued today.

Crossfields Institute now has the same level of recognition as other awarding organisations, such as Pearson (Edexcel), CACHE, NOCN and more. We can now develop Ofqual regulated qualifications in a range of sectors, particularly in our sectors of interest including environment, health and social care, child development, education and professional development.

As an awarding organisation we are in a better position than ever to champion holistic and integrative education and support the unfolding potential of each individual.

This achievement is the culmination of seven years of hard work. We are grateful for the support we have received during that time from individuals, organisations, charities, centres and learners, who recognise the value of our vision and our work.

Ethical Leadership Research contribution

In the context of the Crossfields Institute research into leadership and social innovation, this link from a conference at the International Monetary Fund is an interesting study in where contemporary leaders in the international finance sector are at with regards to the question of ethical leadership and the acknowledged need for a change in paradigm:

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