Photo of sky through top of yurt frame Workshop Under the Sky nomadic environmental art workshops

The Big Draw Picture


About Us

Picture of yurt in Lydford Forest

Exciting projects in our nomadic yurt, where artists and scientists work together to enable participants to explore and learn about the natural world around them.

We use scientific methods to identify and explain, then record our findings through observational drawing.

Workshop Under the Sky can bring its yurt to your school or neighbourhood as a base to find out more about the world around you through exciting science and art activities. We cater for all ages and abilities and teach techniques to capture what you see through art and words.

Watercolour painting of newts in a pond


The starting point for each workshop will be exploration through observation, with activities:

  • Moth Trapping
  • Small Mammal Trapping
  • Pitfall Trapping
  • Pond Dipping
  • Mud Trapping for Prints
  • Reptile Refugia
  • Botany
  • Bird Identification
Children drawing owl pellets

Collage of pictures


Sunset behind yurt frame

Getting creative

Observational Drawing is a core element to each workshop.

Drawing what we have found will be a core element of each workshop, using pastel, coloured pencils, watercolour, pen and ink, pencil, charcoal and conte.

We will be using recycled materials wherever possible.

Drawings made during wildlife in the woods project

Watercolour painting of newts in a pond


Slide shows and talks relating to the workshop will be given in the yurt by experienced artists and naturalists.


The starting point for each workshop will be exploration through observation

Collage of pictures

Contrsucting the yurt in Lydford Woods

Each workshop will be unique

Before you book we will discuss with you the focus for your individual workshop. We offer workshops for a single day, or for several days, which enables schools to use the facilities for several groups. Core activities of investigating the environment, observational drawing and will be common to all workshops - but the other elements will depend on the needs of each group. We can cater for children and adults of all ages and abilities; for school groups or village and community groups. We will tailor each workshop to the local environment and to the interests of the people taking part.

Coolage of different groups

We have agreement from the Forestry Commission and Coryton Estate and other land owners to site our yurt on their land - or we can set it up close to your school or neighbourhood (subject to permission from the landowner).


Yurt by Bluebells with Brentor Church in the background


Jennie Hale is a well-known wildlife artist and potter. With her enthusiasm and passion for the natural world, she founded Workshop Under The Sky in 2002. She brings her experience as a naturalist and artist to each of the workshops. The nature diaries that she has kept since 1994 have now been compiled and published. Her ceramics are exhibited locally, nationally, internationally in collections throughout the world.


Workshop under the Sky works regularly with the natural history team including lecturers, under graduates and post graduates from The Biology Department in Plymouth University. Dr Kevin Brown entomological consultant, Helen Shaw of The Devon Bat Group, The Forestry Commission, The National Trust, Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Mining Heritage Trust, Dartmoor National Park Rangers, members of British Butterfly Conservation, members of The British Trust for Ornithology, Community Scientists, botanists, geologists.

We will bring in other experts according to the needs of the workshops. We will also offer slide shows and talks on specialist subjects. All personnel working with children will have been through the current Disclosure security system.

The Team

Workshop Under The Sky Team

John Walters - wildlife artist, wildlife consultant and autor.

Terry Bumford - ex-marine and yurt constructor.

Jennie Hale - artist co-ordinator.

Mary Gillett - print maker and painter.

Pat Bates - textile designer and painter.

Special Events

The Big Draw

Open Days

The Yurt

Our yurt was made for us by Tim Hutton, in St Breward Cornwall. It is a Kyrgyz style yurt based on a traditional central Asian design with a steam bent wooden frame. All the wood that Tim uses for his yurts is locally grown from well-managed sustainable woodlands. To find out more about these beautiful structures visit his website

Keep an eye on our website or contact us for more information. If you would like to find out more about Workshop under the Sky


Jennie Hale
Workshop Under the Sky
Longham Pottery
EX20 4AA

01822 860287

Yurt at Night

Logos of supporters

Link to Butterfly Conservation Website Link to Dartmoor National Park Website Link to Forestry Commission Website Link to West Devon Environmental Action Website Link to West Devon Borough Council Website Copyright 2013 Jennie hale