Heart of England Forest

The Heart of England Forest, a registered charity, is dedicated to planting the largest new native Forest right in the heart of the country.

We’ve already planted over 1 million trees, but our goal is to create a huge, unbroken 30,000 acre woodland,  Surrounded by urban areas, the Forest will be a refuge from the modern world where people can rediscover nature, wildlife can flourish and children can learn about the natural world.

It’s an ambitious vision but one that we’re determined to achieve, one tree at a time.

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“Sow, Grow, Repeat”

Guardian podcast on composting

Presented by Alys Fowler and Jane Perrone with Jeff Lowenfels, Emma Cooper and produced by Alice Williams
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How to make aloe vera gel

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Sustainable Business Awards 2015

Highlights from the Guardian awards:-

  • Cafeology, farming coffee in Guatemala in a way that protects the rainforest, encourages migrating birds and improves the growers’ livelihood.
  • Ikea (yes, that Ikea) investing €1.5 billion in renewable energy equipment, and buying cotton from sustainable sources
  • Divine Chocolate making a profit but still giving cocoa producers a livelihood
  • Interface, a carpet tile maker using discarded nylon fishing nets
  • Wyke Farms, now totally self-sufficient in solar and biogas energy
  • GENeco, making biomethane from sewage as a substitute for natural gas
  • Neals Yard installing a well for its frankincense collectors in Kenya
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WATER IS LIFE – The Water Retention Landscape of Tamera

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Huxhams Farm survey

Dear  Week Project Members and Devon Friends,
We have suggested that all those people who are local and/or interested in produce, farm activities and/or being in nature on our land at Huxhams Cross are  warmly invited and encouraged to participate in the surveys that the Apricot team are conducting regarding what might be grown, how the farm might interact with the local community, what services are looked for and how the farm might be designed.

If you know of anyone, or group of people, who may have views and ideas please ask them to join the surveys. This is an unique opportunity to be involved in turning a piece of bare land into a real farm that interacts with the local community and environment.

Please express your views, desires, needs or wishes for local food, place to walk, make jam or take the children …… if you have not already done so.

The Design courses are due to start after Easter and so your input is requested ASAP so that it can be taken into account.

See the Biodynamic Land Trust page

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Heating a million homes

A million properties across England could in future be heated by water from rivers, canals and the sea, the government says.
The Department for Energy calculates this is the potential of a technology known as the water source heat pump.
This relies on a heat exchanger, which uses a system akin to refrigeration to amplify warmth from pipes in the sea.

If the energy from the process comes from renewables, properties can be warmed with near-zero carbon emissions.

See this BBC report.

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Listen to the sounds of nature

The tranquil chorus of the natural world is in danger of being lost to today’s generation as people screen out the noises that surround them, a senior US researcher warns.

Rising levels of background noise in some areas threaten to make people oblivious to the uplifting sounds of birdsong, trickling water, and trees rustling in the wind, which can often be heard even in urban centres, said Kurt Fristrup, a senior scientist at the US National Park Service.

The problem was exacerbated by people listening to iPods through their earphones instead of tuning in to the birds and other sounds of nature that can easily be drowned out by traffic, music and other noises, he said.

See this Guardian article.

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Tree planting in the Evenlode Valley

Working in the second plantationPlanting trees at Honeydale Farm for the Wychwood Project.  We planted about a thousand bare root saplings of various kinds in the course of a rather chilly morning.  The trees are intended for use in coppicing, e.g. for firewood.
Much of the standing water in the picture, which comes from a spring higher up the slope, will be absorbed by the trees.

Justin stands alone

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600 trees in Milan


Inspired by Amma’s message to save the planet, Italian devotee volunteers took to planting 600 trees in a town near Milan in Northern Italy.

In one of her talks, Amma said “There is an inseparable bond between man and nature. For man, there cannot be an existence removed from nature. However, because of his thoughtless actions, the equilibrium in nature is getting disturbed; the pulse of human life is becoming erratic, too. ..We cannot delay anymore. We must make the right decisions and embark on the right course of actions.”
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