Vision, aims and benefits

Vision

To establish a forest garden at Hoathly Hill to provide

an educational, productive and beautiful space for Hoathly Hill

and the wider community.

Aims

  • ┬áTo create an outdoor classroom, an environment for learning about food production in a forest garden system for the Forest Garden Group themselves, for Hoathly Hill Community, for established initiatives at Hoathly Hill Community, for home educators living in Hoathly Hill Community and beyond, and for the wider community.
  • To create an outdoor classroom to host other learning and educational groups, such as participants of the adjacent Community Supported Agriculture scheme, the Gaia theatre group, permaculture courses and retreat events.
  • To increase the food growing area at Hoathly Hill and to complement the existing food production of the Community Supported Agriculture scheme in cultivating perennial leaf vegetables, nuts, fruit, unusual and medicinal plants.
  • To provide a windbreak to the existing food growing area.
  • To create possibilities for traditional woodland crafts.
  • To create a beautiful and natural space for the community.
  • To increase biodiversity at Hoathly Hill.
  • To create a space supportive for more bees.
  • To start on a small scale with potential for expansion.
  • To create a beautiful and well-serviced area for camping at Hoathly Hill.

Benefits of a forest garden at Hoathly Hill

  • it is a designed ecosystem based on working with natural patterns
  • an edible garden
  • a medicinal garden
  • a garden for unusual fruits
  • low cost project
  • can be established gradually
  • needs relatively little maintenance
  • a no-dig garden benefitting the soil
  • high yield in terms of diversity
  • as a result of the diversity there is resilience to pests and to changes of weather
  • high botanical diversity as a educational tool
  • a productive garden supporting wildlife
  • a place for relaxation, contemplation, play and work
  • educational value in the observation and experience of a productive ecosystem
  • an outdoor classroom for kindergarten, homeschooled children and schools as well as a serviced outdoors space to hold courses in permaculture, woodland crafts or retreats
  • a performance space
  • commercial possibilities in terms of selling produce
  • a windbreak to shelter the West Paddock growing area
  • an extension to the West Paddock growing area
  • potential for coppiced timber, basket willow and other craft materials e.g. for Kindergarten, Pericles, community members
  • more productive use of the land in social, educational, biodiversity and productivity terms
  • an additional contribution to a healthy social life for the community members and visitors
  • a regenerative project for the community at Hoathly Hill encouraging a connection with the land, working together as a community, engendering enthusiasm for and participation in community life
  • a place of beauty