Our project here started in 2011, when we purchased 2 acres of land and began planting a forest garden. Back then things were very basic. We lived in a converted transit van, with minimal facilities. We collected some experience from volunteering on other projects and reading books.
In the first year we planted over 1000 trees, put in a track and some ponds and built a small wooden tool shed and composting toilet. The next year we began creating an annual vegetable garden, a small polytunnel and planting fruit trees and bushes.
The first few years were a massive learning curve. Many plants were lost to the thousands of slugs which inhabited the land. We had clashes with the local planning authority over the legitimacy of our project. However romantic our life back then may sound- the truth sometimes we were wet, cold, muddy and beginning to doubt what the hell we were doing. As time went on we began to see the fruits of our labour. Wild life began to flourish, the land began to feed us and finally, in 2016, the local planning authority saw sense and approved our retrospective application.
Recently we have bought the neighbouring field and a further four acres about 600m away so that we can extend and diversify our project. In total we have 8 acres. In December 2016 we received permission from the local council to build a One Planet Development which will include a house, a carpentry workshop and a fruit wine brewery. Watch this space!