EAQ Banbury Hill Equine Assisted Learning
Banbury Hill, New Road, Sturminster Newton, Dorset DT10 2HF
Jan Matthews
07979 217522
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About EAQ Banbury Hill Equine Assisted Learning
EAQ Banbury Hill Equine Assisted Learning is a not-for-profit organisation based on a 7 acre site beside an old Roman Hill Fort near Sturminster Newton in North Dorset. 

There are lots of things to do on the site for people of all ages, from helping with the ponies to digging the vegetable plot or planting seeds in the polytunnel and the greenhouse. There is also a small pond that needs renovating and a wonderful view to sit and admire!

A mobile home provides a ‘classroom’ and space to work when the weather is too wet or cold to be outside.

EAQ Banbury Hill offers sessions for children, young people and adults and is a place where people can be at one with nature, develop their self-confidence and explore communication skills through interaction on the ground with ponies and the natural environment.

The centre offers equine assisted learning and outdoor activities in the natural environment for children, young people and adults.

Bespoke sessions and nationally-recognised qualifications are available for:

  • children from the local schools who need to increase their self confidence and self esteem
  • those with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties;
  • young people on the autism spectrum or with ADHD;
  • children and young people who have been excluded or are close to exclusion from school
  • carers - young and older
  • parents and foster carers
  • adults in recovery from addiction
  • people with mental ill-health
  • people with learning difficulties
  • those wishing to learn more about horse awareness and develop their skills in natural horsemanship.

There is a highly successful maths programme for individuals or small groups of children aged 8-13 who are under-achieving at school and a pre-GCSE maths group to support understanding for 14-16 year olds.

Outdoor activities are available throughout the summer holidays with pony picnics, den-building, outdoor cooking, bonfires, and arts and crafts which all form part of the week-long programme.

For adults there is ‘Green Therapy’, ‘Mindfulness’ and ‘Walking for Wellness’ aimed at improving well-being for people with mental ill-health, dementia, low self-esteem, learning difficulties, those who are caring for others or who have a life-limiting diagnosis. It is open to anyone who would like to spend time in the peace and quiet of this stunning natural environment.

'Volunteer Sunday' at EAQ Banbury Hill is open to anyone from the local community who would like to get involved with the centre by offering their time to plant vegetables or look after the ponies.  EAQ Banbury Hill is an EAQ Approved Centre and as such is able to offer accredited OCNLR units and qualifications at Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2 including functional skills, employability and animal care.

The centre has a team of trained faciliators and professionals including teachers, counsellors and therapists who are on hand to support learners who attend. The specialist staff team are able to provide therapy, counselling and are able to deliver all aspects of the curriuculum including maths, english and information communication technology, art, history, geography and science.



  • school pupils
  • out of school tuition for young people
  • elderly
  • people with dementia / Alzheimer’s
  • autism spectrum conditions (ASD / ASC)
  • learning difficulties
  • mental ill-health
  • depression
  • in recovery from addiction / substance misuse
  • unemployed
  • economically inactive
  • adult learners.

Banbury Hill is an EAQ Approved Centre and as such is able to offer nationally-recognised qualifications from OCNLR in a range of subjects including employability, animal care, horticulture and functional skills. 

“I have taken part in my school sports day and won a prize for maths since coming on the maths course at Banbury.” J aged 12.

“The change in S has been amazing, he doesn’t want to come home - and I love it here too!” T, S’s Mum


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