A TRADITIONAL CRAFT AND RURAL SKILLS CENTRE IN THE FOREST OF DEAN
- To set up a craft centre with open access workshops providing tools, equipment and work space for members.
- To be a non-profit community interest company.
- To run affordable courses, workshops and events promoting traditional crafts and rural skills.
- To plant a demonstration forest garden and permaculture orchard as a teaching tool and to produce food and materials for the centre.
- To be inclusive and accessible to all and use a sliding-scale system for fees.
- To provide facilities for green woodworking, tanning, blacksmithing, coppice crafts and textiles.
- To have access to woodland for coppicing, forest schools, foraging, primitive living and survival skills.
- To promote outdoor learning and sustainable organic practices.
- To create employment for local crafts people, land workers and communities.
- To create a hub; a place to learn new skills, share ideas, meet new people and feel part of something exciting.
We feel there is an increasing amount of land-based skills and knowledge being lost as well as an increasing need to become more resilient and connect back to nature. We want to create a place that is centred on learning in an empowering and sustaining way so the skills people learn are part of a broader vision of strengthening communities.
We will be open to everyone and actively work with people on the margins of society offering opportunity to those who need it as we believe this kind of work and activity can have long-lasting positive effects on peoples health and sense of well-being. We also believe that in creating a welcoming and open door atmosphere we can create a community of its own that is supportive and nourishing to the people within it.
When we say ‘traditional skills’ we don’t want to go back to pre industrial times and stay there, we feel we should preserve the skills and knowledge learned and passed on for thousands of years but also use our new knowledge of the world and innovations in technology to come up with radical solutions for the challenging times we live in today. We feel a place such as this with its core objectives in sustainability could be a great centre for learning and also invention and creative solutions.
We think that connection to the land is key to creating a more resilient future for ourselves and solving many current issues facing young people today, we want to spark this interest in people when they are young so they grow up with knowledge like this so we would like to provide space for kids to learn, play and explore what we have on offer.
To complete the picture of sustainable living we would also like to build the structures and workshops out of local and sustainable materials and actually turn the building of the centre into a learning experience itself. We would like to explore many different building methods such as timber frame, straw-bale, cob, dry stone walling, turf roofs, tree houses and round wood log cabins. We hope to run courses as part of the building process and as many of the methods involve low levels of skill but many hours of work we hope to involve lots of people along the way, helping out in exchange for learning new skills, so as many people as possible can have the opportunity for the experience.
We are yet to find the perfect site for all this to happen so if you think you can help us make this vision a reality then please get in touch. Follow the link for all our contact details: Contact us
Otherwise watch this space for developments!