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Forest gardening in the West Country

  • by JW

The natural forest can be divided into distinct layers or ‘storeys’.

Prizes and awards … new and established projects.


Some ten years ago, the VGS went on a visit to the forest garden at Dartington:

Research Site Tours – The Agroforestry Research Trust

Courses, talks and tours are still very much in the offing by Martin Crawford:

Forest Gardens and Edible Ecosystems 2019 | Schumacher College

And here he is being interviewed earlier this summer:

Forest gardener Martin Crawford on how he created his forest garden – Gardens Illustrated

His ways are being studied from afar, including India, where large-scale experiments are happening:


Martin’s mentor set up his project decades ago in Shropshire, where, based on the observation that the natural forest can be divided into distinct layers or ‘storeys’, he developed an existing small orchard of apples and pears into an edible landscape consisting of seven dimensions:

Robert Hart (horticulturist) – Wikipedia

picture: Forest gardening – Wikipedia


Meanwhile, down the road in Somerset, we find out about some unusual uses of plants from a gardener who has developed his own forest garden:

Gardener’s World | Episode 28

Rob Handy’s garden was shortlisted for a prize earlier this year:

AJ Small Projects shortlist 2020

It’s “an oasis of biodiversity and abundance”:

Home | Rob’s Forest Garden

Take a virtual tour:

Rob’s Forest Garden | Facebook


It’s happening everywhere, as with this piece from the weekend:

“Many practices such as forest ‘gardening,’ using fire, and other cultural practices to work with seasonal flow of the sun are critical to current and future forest regeneration,” says Katie Kamelamela, who studies the relationship between Hawaii’s Indigenous communities and their environment as a postdoctoral fellow at the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests in Hawaii.

How to build forests to combat climate change – Axios

And here’s an extraordinary project happening in the States, reported on earlier this month:

AKRON, Ohio — A food forest is taking root in one of Akron’s most impoverished neighborhoods: The Cascade Valley food forest in Elizabeth Park is designed using permaculture to address a food desert in one of the city’s most neglected neighborhoods.

Akron’s First ‘Food Forest’ Takes Root in Cascade Valley

Finally, earlier this month, back in the West Country, another project is recognised:

Eden horticulture apprentice Patricie Zeleznikova has won The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Horticulture for her outstanding work on a forest garden at the project.

Eden Project Cornwall apprentice wins Prince of Wales award | South West Farmer