Our hornet friends

This morning, Sonny shares the experience of living with hornets in the eaves of the house, and what a valuable opportunity it turned out to be…

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Steward Wood workshops at festivals…

It truly does feel like Spring is here! And with Spring, thoughts turn to longer days, sunshine and the Summer ahead. Here’s some of what Steward Community Woodland offers at festivals throughout the season…

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The Joy of Spring

In today’s post, Lorna shares her love of Spring and the season of planting and gathering and green things…
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Friday music! ‘Devon is Heaven’ from Ollie

It’s Friday. It’s been a long week, but it seems like Spring is truly on the way. Here’s some music from Ollie to celebrate, sent from the bright Dartmoor sun. Have a great weekend and thanks for all your support so far. We’re so blessed in so many ways.


 


Remember, you can watch our film and read all about our project and the current situation over here at the crowdfunder page. For more about this part of the campaign to save our community and homes, read this blog post.

Thank you for your continuing interest and support – together, we can make an amazing breakthrough for low-impact living in the UK!

Film night in Chagford – tonight at 6pm

Tonight, we’ll be presenting the film at Endecott House in Chagford at 6pm – do come along if you’re in the area, as we’ll be talking about the next steps in the Save Steward Wood campaign and answering some of your questions about the project and its future.

chagford-night-scw


Remember, you can watch our film and read all about our project and the current situation over here at the crowdfunder page. For more about this part of the campaign to save our community and homes, read this blog post.

Thank you for your continuing interest and support – together, we can make an amazing breakthrough for low-impact living in the UK!

Making fire – using the bow drill

Today, Ollie and Lorna show us how to make fire using the ancient bow drill method. You can get your own bow drill kit, made from materials from Steward Wood, over in the crowdfunder, or get a place on one of their courses, if you’re quick…

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Living off-grid – the dark times

Today, we’re returning to blog posts from the community. We want to show you how it is to live off-grid – the highs and lows and the unexpected joys and frustrations. Today’s post is from Mel, who featured as the main voice in the Save Steward Wood film.

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Save Steward Wood – part two

Last week was a whirlwind. The degree of media attention (not to mention press cameras) that we experienced was overwhelming, and the fact that we reached our first target of £38,000 in the crowdfunder caught us drop-jawed and amazed. We’ve taken stock this weekend and after all the high drama, are back to the business of trying to save our community from eviction, to save our homes and this existence on the land we own and love. Continue reading “Save Steward Wood – part two”

For the bees…

Today’s post from Daniel highlights the place of bees in the ecological web that is so rich at Steward Wood.


Bees arrived at Steward Wood on 26th January 2016. ‘What do you mean?’, I hear you say. ‘Weren’t there bees around before then?’ Yes there were – bees of all kinds: bumblebees, solitary bees, and of course honey bees (apis mellifera). But all the honey bees were visiting from their homes in other places.

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Now we also have our own hives – three in fact – generously given to us by our friends Ian and Alex who, after 8 years of beekeeping, have decided to take a break. However, they will be guiding myself, Son & Mel through our first season as the main bee guardians in the woods. This has already been a fascinating journey of discovery and delight and it will, no doubt, continue to be so as we care for these magnificent creatures. Bees hold a critical place in the ecological web and are so threatened at this time by habitat loss, pesticides and other chemicals, disease, and exploitative beekeeping practices.

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I love watching at the hive entrance, seeing the comings and goings. The bees, in the cold winter months in this country, would normally be clustered in the centre of the hive preserving their heat and gradually eating their stores of honey. However, due to the mild, well actually warm, winter we’ve been having, the bees have been flying most days throughout this time. At the moment, they can forage on ivy, snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, and other random plants in flower due to the balmy temperatures.

On the day we brought the hives over, we unplugged the entrance hole and out they came, performing a spiral orientation flight and exploring their new environment. At Steward Community Woodland, they have available lots of tree flowers, apple blossom, all the flowers of the woodland, flowers in our gardens, and in the pasture and gardens around. We will be planting more bee friendly plants such as lavender and herbs such as thyme which the bees love and use the essential oils (which are ant-bacterial etc) in their propolis (the bee’s medicine).

bees in the woods - web

As well as their obvious role in pollination, bees bring bee consciousness to the place where they live. There is a fascinating book on this topic called The Song of Increase – Returning to our sacred partnership with honeybees by Jacqueline Freeman. Bees enrich and harmonise the environment each day, helping Nature in so many ways to fulfil the evolutionary directive. Humans and bees can care for each other and sing the song of shared awareness. Love, of course, is the key ingredient in our relationship with bees and all of life.

The bees at Steward Wood are in National hives at present, the standard hive used in this country. After the first season, we are likely to begin trying out Top Bar Hives and Rose Hives. These latter hives are more suited for a natural beekeeping approach, although it’s certainly also possible to keep bees in Nationals and use a natural approach.

In any event, our keeping of bees is bee centric. We wish them to thrive and thus perform well their vital function in the ecosystem. We also wish to sensitively harvest hive products – honey, pollen, & propolis – when there is a genuine surplus. Tasting our first Steward Wood honey will be an exquisite experience.


Remember, you can watch our new film and read all about our project and the current situation over here at the crowdfunder page.

Thank you for your continuing interest and support – we cannot do it without you!

Sunrise memories

Today, before we get into today’s post, we’d just like to share the fact that over at the crowdfunder page, we’re now more than 60% funded, after only a week!

Thank you all so much for all your support so far – it is going so much better than we dared to believe when we were wondering in the autumn how we could possibly raise the money for our legal fees, and that’s all thanks to you. We are really deeply moved by all your donations and messages and efforts at spreading the word, and we give hearty thanks to all of you!

Meanwhile, this morning, Sonny remembers words from her eldest daughter, spoken 10 years ago…


sunrise behind Ollies DwellingThis beautiful morning view reminds me of something my, now, 17 year old daughter said when she was about 7:

“Mummy, when I opened my eyes and looked out of my window from my bed this morning, the wood smoke was lit up by the suns rays coming through the trees, I felt so lucky and it was so beautiful, I cried…”

Our three children have lived here in the woods for 11 years, most of their lives – we feel so much gratitude for this wonderful life and can’t imagine living any where else in any other way.


Remember, you can watch our new film and read all about our project and the current situation over here at the crowdfunder page.

Thank you for your continuing interest and support – we cannot do it without you!