Forest Garden

Forest Garden project @ The Old Pavilion, Honiton

To provide an exemplar project that can train both adults and school groups in the art of Forest Gardening. Funding is required to develop a Forest Garden on a currently unused piece of land owned by the pre-school at the site.

Forest Gardening is a way of growing food and managing land similar to that of a woodland ecosystem, but substituting trees, bushes, shrubs for fruit and nut trees, vines, herbs and vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. By exploiting the biodynamic of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow and produce their harvest at multiple levels in the same area, as do the plants in woodland.

Manor School Forest Garden will provide an educational resource for schools, groups and the local community/ volunteers to come and help plant and harvest under guidance of an experienced team. They will learn how a forest garden works, how the plants are interconnected and how they can transfer the knowledge gained to their garden or allotment, whatever its size.
Funding was sought to:

  • Use local contractors to repair the access to pavilion to provide   safe public access and parking, using recycled road scalpings provided by Harvey’s in Awliscombe
  • Bring a digger in for the day to dig a hole for under ground storage of 3,000 litres of rainwater in second hand tank
  • On same day, dig shallow wildlife pond in the centre of the site
  • Provide materials to build a deer and rabbit proof fence around the site
  • Secure Storage for keeping tools and equipment (second hand sea container)
  • Materials to create pond
  • Trees and plants
  • Water storage tanks for recycling water
  • 4 New pages for website to be written and installed

An Experienced ‘forest garden’ team will draw up a planting plan which they will put into action on monthly volunteer ‘Open Sundays’ and sessions with both local schools and Manor House Pre-School children. After the first year they will repeat the process in the next quarter of the fenced site, while revisiting the first section for the next stage of planting. This process is repeated until the whole site is planted and then they move into our second stage where there is very little expenditure, but an educational resource will exist that volunteers and students can work on to develop the skills that can then be used in their own garden. Once planted the forest garden is always developing.