Red Heart Tree CIC
We set up the Red Heart Tree CIC earlier this year to promote and support community participation in permaculture in the St. Just area of West Penwith, Cornwall. We are in the process of making a website and applying for funding as well as continuing to do forest gardening work on the land.
Our central purpose is to help with humane an sustainable development. - To co-create and care for efficient, abundant gardens that regenerate and improve ecosystems whilst also developing resilience to the longer term effects of environmental damage, particularly global warming. We are working on setting up a demonstration site, and we are on call to give advice about/assistance with forest gardening. We link up the Town Council, other projects and participants from the community with local plant producers and qualified teachers. We also use original poetry and children’s stories with ecological themes to help with education, networking and fundraising.
Two years ago we started renting an abandoned 2.3 acre field that was over grown with bracken and bramble, and began clearing and planting. It curves around the NE to N facing side of a valley that continues to curve towards the the sea. It receives a goodly amount of sun from down the valley in the morning, from up the valley in the evening, and from over head during the day. We usually work in groups of 2-5 people, but we have also hosted three community planting days with a picnic that were each attend buy 10-12 people. We have planted a 1000 + trees and bushes of many varieties, for shelter and other purposes including wild fruit and nut trees, orchard fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, willow fencing and a willow hut that we can harvest for withies, plus varieties of climbers, vegetables, herbs and flowering plants for bees. We have also made a compost loo and a community composting area, and we are planning for a tool shed, pond, bird hide and bird boxes this year.
We qualified for some Woodland Trust community tree packs, and purchased the rest of the trees ourselves (as many as possible from organic local suppliers). We also planted perennials that were propagated and seeds saved from a previous garden.
We are gradually increasing our ability to produce goods for local supply, such as fresh food, preserves, withies, wood and propagated plants/trees (we also save seeds to pass on); and to provide spaces for healthy exercise, learning skills, useful work, enjoyment of nature, and for events such as courses, workshops, nature trails and celebrations.