Courses and Fun Days
We are the only professional ferret school in the world, established in 1982, and we run a variety of courses on every aspect of ferrets and ferreting. We deliberately limit the number of students on any of these courses to 2-3. This ensures all participants get all the information they require, and that we can usually offer courses on the day you want, and with only short notice.
Contact us for further information or to book any of our ferret experiences.
Situated on the outskirts of the Derbyshire village of Ashover, with over 15 acres of our own beautiful Peak District land, we also have access to over 3,000 acres of local farm land where we run our rabbiting and hawking days.
The ferret (Mustela putorius furo) is a domesticated form of the European polecat (Mustela putorius), and has been used by humans for over 2,000 years to hunt rabbits. The rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) was introduced to Britain by the Romans in the First Century AD, as food for the marching Legions. The ferret is the perfect animal to use to bolt the coney from their underground warren, and many of these animals would be carried by the legionnaires to ensure they could have rabbit stew for supper.
In recent times, the ferret has also been used for many other purposes. As a pet, the ferret is extremely popular, and the furry, fun-loving mustelid is the second most popular pet in the USA (after the cat). Although popular mythology would have us believe the ferret is a nasty, treacherous animal which will bite any human finger within reach, this is totally untrue.
Our ferrets are handled from a very young age, and are completely trustworthy.
FERRET HUSBANDRY - ONE-DAY COURSE (4 Hours)
If you are going to keep an animal, you should find out as much about it as possible well before it arrives, to ensure you have all the correct facilities and requisites (cage, food, bedding etc.) in place. What better way to do this than to complete a course run by professionals who know all about ferrets and their ways? The course can best be described as a “book in a day”, and covers all aspects of ferret keeping. Participants receive a course handbook plus a certificate.
£150/£89* per person per day. (*Under 16s); Family (2 x adults plus 2 x children) - £300
FERRET HANDLING (1 hour)
Enjoy a close encounter with our ferrets and learn how to hold and handle these animals correctly on a fun ferret day! You even get to walk one of our ferrets on a special harness and lead!
Ferrets have been around for over 2000 years, having been domesticated from wild polecats to hunt rabbits for food. Here at the National Ferret School, we have a series of tubes of various sizes, shapes and directions, that simulate the rabbit warrens in which ferrets would hunt rabbits. With these imitation warrens, visitors have the opportunity to see ferrets working as they would in nature.
We also have all our ferrets fitted with state-of-the-art “ferret finders”, which enable you to track the ferrets through the “warren” – even when you can’t see them!
The finale of the day is a chance for you to be a “ferret jockey”, and see how quickly your ferret can cover our race track, in a bout of ferret racing. We even supply the flat caps!
Our Ferret Handling Days are great fun for all the family, with children aged eight and over welcome.
£50/£29* per person per day. (*Under 16s); Family (2 x adults plus 2 x children) - £100
PRACTICAL FERRETING - ONE or TWO-DAY COURSE (5 hours/day)
Ferrets were originally bred for hunting animals such as rabbits, and this aspect of the animal is increasing in popularity, a growth fed by the rapidly increasing rabbit population. Ferreting for rabbits is an excellent method of controlling (in a totally natural way) a pest species, putting wholesome and nutritious food on the table, and even earning a living. All participants receive a course handbook plus a certificate.
£175/£99* per person per day.
*Under 16s - PLEASE NOTE, All under 16s MUST be accompanied at all times by a fee-paying adult (parent/carer etc.)
RABBIT HAWKING DAYS (5 hours)
Hawks, ferrets and our team of English springer spaniels all come together on this course to show what real team work is all about. The dogs find the occupied warrens, and then the ferrets flush the rabbits for the hawks to catch.
£175/£99* per person per day. (*Under 16s)
FIVE & TEN DAY COURSES (5 hours/day)
Designed for those who are really serious about owning and flying a raptor, this course covers everything you will need to know, and is very much a “hands-on” course, with lots of practical sessions. All participants are given a comprehensive course handbook and a certificate is issued on completion of the course. Please contact us for detailed information.
£175/£99* per person per day. (*Under 16s)