Coed Hills Rural Art Space


In 2009 I visited Coed Hills Rural Artspace for a few months and ever since I have been going back to help in the gardens, make art, and generally get involved with the various projects that they have been putting on.



Coed Hills is a remarkably creative space. People from many walks of life are attracted to visit and stay at Coed to help with the projects, because there are many opportunities to learn, and there are many like minded individuals who come to Coed to contribute to the collective projects.

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One of these projects has been the creation of the Coed forest garden, a 2 acre plot of land planted up with edible and medicinal perennials in a pattern that mimics that of a largely self managed woodland. See photo above, taken in 2010.


Forest gardening is a method of making land productive using natural woodlands as their model for design. By focusing on perennial plants like fruit trees, soft fruit and edible ground covers, forest gardens are maintained with minimal effort and produce very large yields of food. This benefits the environment by reducing food miles, building the communities self sufficiency, locking up carbon from the atmosphere, and by creating a model for others to follow. The wide range of plants that can be grown in a forest garden also benefit the wild life; insects, birds and other animals all make there home in the garden, and add to the beauty and diversity of the garden.

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Here are Rich Wright and Jess Clynwood, the designers behind the forest garden, sharing the first fruits in 2010. In the next year or so the forest garden will move into medium production of food, as the tree crops mature.


By planting fruit trees and nut trees we are preparing the ground for a sustainable future in the most practical of ways. Food production is one of the biggest demands on fossil fuel energy, for transport and agricultural machinery. Forest gardens do not require mechanical means to maintain their productivity, and once the canopy crops  have matured to full size, they will produce much bigger yields from the same area as mechanical farming does.



In the spring of 2013 I ran a fruit tree pruning workshop; pruning fruit trees to ensure healthy happy trees, and a fruit tree grafting workshop; teaching a method of propagation of fruit trees, that ensures the continuity of specific varieties of fruit and depending on what rootstock you graft onto, controls the vigour of the tree (how big it gets), so that you can grow fruit trees to what ever size you want and so plan your garden space better. For more info about grafting click here. For more info about pruning click here. 

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