High on the agenda when moving to Corn Helyg was planting edible woodland. Part of our ethos is about “reconnecting people with nature”, and focusing on the beneficial relationship we can have with trees and the natural world.
The woodland will also support future projects, coppicing and increase the natural diversity of the wildlife. *This has been achieved with the help of Coed Cymru; we received a grant to plant 3,000 native trees.
One of our first plans was to establish a forest garden, which will provide fruit, nuts and vegetables: reclaiming the land is very important. So far, we have planted a number of Native Apple and Pear Trees which have been purchased from Ian Sturrock Apples.
- Martin Crawford (of the Agroforestry Research Trust) states: “A forest garden is a designed agronomic system based on trees, shrubs and perennial plants. These are mixed in such a way as to mimic the structure of a natural forest – the most stable and sustainable type of ecosystem in this climate.”
We hope that when visitors wander into the woods it will be like entering another world, with all the greenness and wealth of natural food it possesses. We hope it will characterise a moving diversity compared to the surrounding bare fields and farmlands. In the future, we plan to offer educational courses, including lunch found from natural forest foods… foraging a meal should be considered as a very pleasurable task!
I believe that the principal focus within an edible woodland should also be of spirituality and peace, and it should also be prolific in fruits and perennial vegetables, nuts and therapeutic herbs. A forest garden can be designed in a small back garden – anyone can do it, and that’s what makes it so appealing.