Site survey

I have done several surveys of the land, detailed below.

Initial sketch map & site survey

  • ecological value – not known
  • form of the land (slopes, etc) – significant sloping – will measure
  • regional climate
  • microclimates (light, shade, wind, frost, etc) – little shade, sometimes strong winds from south-east over fields
  • water (supply, drainage) – taps nearby, well-drained soil
  • soil – depth ranging from 25 to 70 cm, sandstone base, free draining loam
  • existing plants – grazed pasture, predominantly grass
  • existing structures – none
  • further areas for cultivation – below the polytunnel, Ashurst field

Base map

forest garden base map

Sector map

forest garden zones sectors

Site survey with Hans-Guenther June 2012

I surveyed the site with Hans-Guenther, former teacher of biodynamics at Emerson College.

  • Hans-Guenther advised to observe the elements – water, fire, earth and air – at the site as well as their movements and interplay
  • noted the history of the site – originally impenetrable, boggy forest, then cultivated, possibly as a meadow for cattle, recently used as grazing land for sheep
  • noted the soil can be a limiting factor – perhaps compacted, probably poor quality and thin
  • light a limiting factor in temperate forest gardens, therefore needing clearing
  • windy site
  • forest gardening is a new way of gardening
  • the HHFG group has a new consciousness for HH, not as currently people aiming to have their individuality respected, rather communing with each other and nature
  • nature is savage, human beings are here to cultivate, plants bring heaven and earth together
  • we surveyed the plants growing

Measuring the slope

As a group we measured the slope using a bunyip and an A-frame. We also used the A-frame to mark out some of the main paths.

Sit spot

I also regularly observe the site by practising a sit spot.