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Forest Gardening Seminar Series: from practical tips to how to advocate in your area

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[Timing was changed by popular demand so that people can 'clap for carers' if they want to]

As part of the wide-ranging efforts many have undertaken to keep us all entertained/ learning and connected during this time of social distancing, the National Forest Gardening Scheme and its members have organised an 8 week series of seminars covering a variety of topics related to forest gardening. We may run a further series if these prove successful.

The topics are varied so whether you’re just beginning, have a few years under your belt or are looking to advocate to access space to create a new forest garden in your area there will be something for you

Each is a standalone event - so join for as many as you like!

Seminars are all 7.30-8.30pm

[If events are sold out but you are interested in the content or have any other questions or thoughts please email: hannah@nationalforestgardening.org]



  • April 16th: Medicinal forest gardening

Simon Miles (www.theforestgarden.co.uk)

This talk will cover a number of interesting and generally intriguing aspects about forest gardens and our health; including why we eat what we eat, what the implications are and the potential for use to integrate medicinal plants into our forest gardens and our lives

About the Speaker

Our speaker is Simon Miles NCH RHS. He is formally trained in Ornamental horticulture and herbalism, and has extensively studied forest gardening. He has his own 11 year old forest garden and plant nursery in Cornwall, growing and supplying people with some of those tricky to get hold of plants that we would all like to have in our own forest gardens. He runs tours of his forest garden plus courses on forest gardening, medicinal herbs, natural healing and more. Simon will also help you assess the potential for you to have your own forest garden at your chosen location and advise on species and setting out your plants as well as guidance on prioritising the order of planting. He says “forest gardens are a long term project and like building a house, if you don’t get your foundations right you will only create problems for later.”



  • April 23rd: The permaculture principles of forest gardening, and how to forage a super salad

Jo Barker (www.dynamic-equilibrium.co.uk)

In this session Jo will describe Forest Gardening through Permaculture Principles. These are essentially nuggets of wisdom observed in the natural system such as ' Theoretically yields are unlimited' and 'waste is an unused resource'. And, how to forage a Super Salad. Last May we collected over 300 ingredients (over 100 plants) for a super salad.

About the speaker

She was switched on to Permaculture by hearing its co-founder Bill Mollison state “burn down the Universities but keep the Forests. You can learn everything from the forest”. She was at University at the time and quite liked it. This statement was intriguing. After learning to observe how Natural systems can teach us solutions to any problem she went on to train, design and teach Permaculture and Forest Gardening. After all this time she has come full circle to helping people connect with the land and plants through foraging and nature awareness activities. She designs forest garden systems where we are essentially part of the wildlife. She believes we can eat everything if we know how, everyday of the year, everywhere we are!

Jo Barker trained as a Landscape Architect and Permaculture Designer in the early 1990's. She is a forest gardener and loves sharing permaculture. She has a mission to make garden foraging mainstream.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jo-Barker-Permaculture/278087915580196




  • April 30th: How and why to advocate for forest gardens in your local area

Daniel Scharf (MRTPI); Has recently written a 'Supplementary Planning Document' for Forest Gardening and will be describing the document and how to use it for advocacy

Hannah Gardiner; Has recently undertaken a review of the evidence base of the benefits of Forest Gardening and will share useful insights for you to use in your advocacy work

Jane Morris; One of the founders of Birchfields Forest Garden, which has been developed in a park in 2007, she will talk about her journey of getting access to the park and building up the forest garden

https://hsm.manchester.gov.uk/kb5/manchester/directory/service.page?id=uBaYHhGIvUI&directorychannel=6-10



  • May 7th: The Guilds of a Forest Garden

Tomas Remiarz (https://forestgardeninginpractice.com/)



About the speaker



Tomas has 20 years experience in permaculture design, teaching and practice, having worked in the UK and various European countries. Over the years, he has been active in many different fields, with an emphasis on the restoration of land, buildings and communities. He has designed, created and been consulted on forest gardens across the UK and Europe.



Tomas is the author of Forest Gardening in Practice, a comprehensive collection of case studies about forest gardens in many different settings. The book is based on his own research into temperate forest gardens and contributed to the Permaculture Association's forest garden field trial programme. His work has also bean featured on BBC Countryfile.






  • May 14th: Forest Gardening Planning

Jake Rayson (https://www.forestgarden.wales)

We’ll cover the importance of planning, essential forest garden elements to consider, and how to create a basic layout using good old fashioned pencil & paper or a satellite photo and CAD.

About the Speaker

Jake moved to a West Wales farmhouse in 2015. In a time of climate emergency, he passionately believes that a productive garden can be sustainable, wildlife-friendly *and* ornamental. There are 3 acres of hillside under cultivation: a forest garden with annual & perennial veg, an ornamental forest garden with camping area and a nuttery. He divides his time between forest garden design and teaching.



  • May 21st: A tour of Marston Forest Garden (in Court Place Farm Allotments, Oxford)

Antony Melville and Richard Luff

Found out how this garden came into being, enjoy a virtual tour, hear about the planting plans and development plans, and how the group was formed and created.

Perfect for those thinking about setting up their own community initiative!



  • May 28th: Working with ground cover in your Forest Garden

Phaedra Hardstaff



  • June 4th: How can we push forward the forest gardening movement? Opportunities and ideas for 2020

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