Course: Introduction to Composting

One-Day Practical Composting Course:

Introduction to Composting


Learn how to make and use compost at the Stokes Wood Allotment Composting Demonstration Site,  2B Stokes Drive, Leicester, LE3 9BS.

    This one-day course will introduce attendees to the many benefits of composting and help them explore the methods that will best suit their circumstances.

The course is designed to equip those new to composting with the basic knowledge and practical experience to compost successfully and take remedial action if things go wrong.

It is specifically designed for those who have recently purchased, or are considering purchasing, a  compost bin through a Council subsidized  scheme or have recently taken a new allotment plot.

Participants  receive training to develop a composting skill set, and a knowledge of:

  • The environmental benefits of composting and  role of composting in reducing waste sent  to landfill:
  • The Benefits of composting in  building healthy soil
  • The main methods of composting available to the home,  allotment and small-scale community composter
  • Home and allotment  composting operations including the use of bins purchased through Council schemes.
  • Stages in Microbiological decomposition of organic material  during composting
  • “Greens and Browns” getting the right mix of materials for effective composting
  • Compost bin “first aid”. Measures to be taken if things go wrong
  • Harvesting and using compost

The session will include a site tour and  practical experience  of aerobic composting operations using the wide range of  bins available on the demonstration plot.  Depending on the weather it may include  the sorting of  feedstock from the reception bins, the layering and  loading of bins, aeration by turning and aeration tools,  use of plastic “dalek”  and similar bins,  the harvesting  of finished compost .

 COURSE Administration

The course will be presented by  Garden Organic/LCC Master  Composter Rod Weston

 Pre-registration is required for all participants, with pre-payment of the course fee by the student or sponsor. Fee includes refreshments, handouts and participation in course activities. Online material will be available to download at

Each session can accommodate 10 (min) -16 persons. Course fee £10 per person. Material will be freely available for download on the CarryonComposting website or a ring binder containing information can be provided.  


Introduction to composting



9.30-10.00       Arrival. Tea and coffee will be available


  • Welcome  Introductions to the  course and participants
  • General and compostable waste discarded in the UK
  • Environmental and climate issues relating to composting
  • Local compostable waste collection and  disposal systems
  • Garden, allotment and  small-scale community composting


11.15-11.30     Tea/Coffee Break


  • Initial demonstration site visit
  • Methods and Techniques:   Sheet and lasagne composting,  pit and trench,   compost pile or heap,
  • Types of bin available  moulded  plastic, tumbler and rotary, wood including pallet and beehive bins.
  • Aerobic decomposition in the compost heap
  • Composting microbes (bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi)   and minibeasts involved in   the composting process. Practical
  • Compostable materials,  Greens and Browns  C:N ratio
  • Temperature, CO2 , air/water, Particle size – air spaces

          13.00-13.30      Lunch (soup and ploughman’s)

  • Hot and cold composting, advantages and disadvantages
  • Site Visit:  types of bin available uses and advantages & disadvantages of different bins.
  • Preparation of materials  chopping/ shredding/mixing/soaking
  • Layering v pre-mixing,  Aeration and turning,
  • Maturation, screening and sifting,
  • Properties of finished compost.
  • Uses of finished compost

                       3.30  Finish  & Feedback


A second day with sessions on Hot Composting, Waste Food Composting (including cooked food), Bokashi Composting, Wormeries, Liquid Feeds (plant & compost teas), and Community Composting will be offered shortly leading to certification as a Compost Mentor.

Course Information

Please contact for course dates etc