Spring 2016 Newsletter

Spring has finally arrived! Buds have burst and the fruit trees are well and truly in blossom, yay.
We have had a busy winter, we have planted many trees, got projects underway and had a successful beginning to running workshops for Foresters’ Forest. Here is a little update of what has been happening…

Sensory Garden at Sevenoaks

P1080196The Sensory Garden has been coming along nicely despite the awful weather we had over the winter, the paths are now finished, raised beds have been built, trees planted and benches are going in. We are now building the main pond and have started to plant up the beds. There has been great support from volunteer groups including the outdoor education students from Gloscol. Thanks to all that have helped so far: Check out the website page for more info…

1000 trees planted!

P1080013P1080001A new coppice woodland has been planted at Angus Buchanan recreation ground in Coleford. After many many hours of school groups and volunteers planting trees in the wind and rain there is now an exciting new young coppice woodland of 1000 trees. The project was run by Tom Cousins and Sarah Cheese with some help from Scott and other volunteers. A fantastic effort.Visit our facebook page for more photo’s of this project: https://www.facebook.com/therewildproject/

Berry Hill Community Orchard

berry hill orchard designP10709964Had its official opening on April 30th! Just in time for the buds to burst, the day went brilliantly with a great turn out from the community to celebrate such an amazing project. It has been an absolute joy to work with this group of dedicated people and we cannot wait to see what the orchard looks like when everything has grown a bit. The committee and friends and volunteers planted fifteen heritage variety fruit trees, another 23 productive trees and 55 fruit bushes! Including the original blackcurrant varieties used to make ribena. Nichola designed a board to show a map of the orchard and all its trees and bushes, the board can be seen as you go in the main gate of the orchard. The map shows the permaculture style the group adopted for the orchard with advise from Scott and it is a fantastic example of a permaculture orchard. Visit our website page for more info and links to the community orchard facebook page…

FOD (white-376)Foresters’ Forest Heritage Lottery funded programme


P1070825We have had great fun running workshops since January this year for our pilot project with Foresters’ Forest. The programme is organized by the P1070977forestry commission, funded by the heritage lottery and aims to promote the heritage of the Forest of Dean. We have been running training courses with the support of this funding, offering opportunity for people to learn new and old skills in Edible forest gardening and heritage craft skills. Our ‘Edible Forests’ series started off with ‘Design a forest garden’ and continued with ‘Pruning’, ‘Grafting’, ‘Planting’ and ‘foraging for birch sap’. People learned about designing an P1080218edible perennial garden or orchard, pruned fruit trees, grafted new fruit trees, planted a forest garden at Crooked end farm and tapped birch trees for their sap. Lots of interesting knowledge was shared about the local history or orchards and varieties of trees specific to the area, and lots of useful skills learned by people who went home to tend to their old neglected orchards.
During April and May we have been running the ‘Heritage craft skills’ series at The Dean Heritage Centre and the Salvation Army, in which we had Jimbo Saunders teaching green woodworking where everyone made a stool, Gareth Thomas teaching blacksmithing, Scott Baine teaching traditional orgP1080192anic tanning and Stella Berg teaching spinning. It has been fantastic to see these old skills coming alive and we hope with the success of this pilot project we will have more opportunity to offer people through the Foresters’ Forest funding next year.
Visit the Facebook page to see photo’s from this exciting project…


Coming up this summer 2016
Gloucestershire_CC_logoWe have received funding from Gloucestershire community chest grant to enable us to get new equipment and tools for a green woodworking area at the Dean Heritage Centre. As part of this project we are going to be running 3 one day workshops in green woodworking skills over the summer. Details coming soon…

That’s it for now.
Happy spring time, enjoy the sunshine!

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