Thwaite Mills is used by many school groups as an educational facility. As it is on an island, there is a lot of land around the buildings that meant that some of the millworkers who lived in cottages there could be practically self-sufficient. During WWII food was grown there as part of the 'Dig for Victory' campaign. There are orchards and woodland, wildflower meadows and garden plots, and an air-raid shelter in the herb garden. Nowadays children can learn about Victorian life, WWII, the environment and science, all in one place.