The Rewild project is based in the forest of dean and aims to revive traditional, land-based skills to connect people back to ways of living off the land. Through community growing projects and various craft workshops and courses; the Rewild Project aims to use Agro-Ecological and Permaculture approaches to create thriving food growing spaces, a renewed interest in land and food, newly skilled people and improved eco-systems.
Our way of life has changed dramatically from where we once began as hunter and gatherers. Ancient knowledge and skills are fast being forgotten and we appear to be seeing the ill effects on people through a disconnection to land and nature. Once thought of as an invaluable resource for food, shelter, medicine, craft and much more land is being stripped to make way for large scale agriculture and monoculture farming. Facing a crisis in people’s health, maintaining wildlife species and soil fertility due to loss of habitat, deforestation and chemical farming we need a new approach to land use and our food systems.
Agroecology is a whole systems approach to agriculture and food systems development based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture and local food system experiences.
Permaculture is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.
A Forest Garden is designed and maintained specifically, not using the normal tenets of gardening but taking its vision from nature and very much based on a natural ecology of a young forest.
The project aims to actively improve environments by using Agro-Forestry growing methods that build soil fertility, are resilient to climatic changes, are low energy inputs and create varied ecosystems for wildlife to thrive and people to enjoy.
Using education and awareness to build enthusiasm for growing food and sustainable rural living The Rewild Project aims to work with schools and community groups on fun and engaging project’s; not only giving people the skills to be more resilient and self sufficient but also empowering communities to take control of their food systems and land.
The Rewild Project has a fruit and medicinal herb garden where various forms of Agro-Forestry are being experimented with to grow organic vegetables, fruit, nuts and herbs. Sited at the fruit and medicine garden is also the projects edible, bare root tree nursery where trees, shrubs and plants are propagated for outreach projects such as community Forest Gardens, Permaculture orchards and sensory gardens.
The Forest of Dean has a rich heritage of orchards, small holding and farming the commons and still has a strong sense of small scale farming and commoners rights. The Rewild Project has propagated heritage varieties of fruit trees so community orchards can preserve these local varieties.
The project also has a sixteen foot yurt made from coppiced ash and sweet chestnut that is used as a mobile workshop space to teach ancestral and traditional skills such as organic tanning, coppice crafts and primitive skills. As part of a holistic approach to teaching land based skills The Rewild Project likes the use of outdoor classroom spaces, encouraging connection to the land and nature, hopefully giving people an improved sense of wellbeing.
Whilst currently being a mostly mobile project The Rewild Project is aiming to set up a more permanent base from which to expand demonstration growing projects, teach and create eco build structures such as timber frame, cob and straw-bale and run courses on traditional crafts and ancestral skills.