How to build a home…

Today, Mel takes us on a photo journey through the house build that she and her family have undertaken in the woods…


We moved to Steward Community Woodland 10 years ago with our young son, and built a low impact structure intended to last 5 years or so. Nine years and two more children later, the time came to rebuild. As we were applying for planning permission that year, we decided to move location a little further down the hill (below the water line!) and rebuild a home from the timber around us. Using a mobile saw mill to plank up some of our Douglas Fir and Larch trees, we were able to make a start.

Our chosen location
Our chosen location

Continue reading “How to build a home…”

Merlin writes in Permaculture magazine

Today, we’re just directing you over to Permaculture magazine, where an article by our Merlin from a few years ago is still making waves…


Building your own renewable energy systems from recycled materials

Merlin Howse of Steward Community Woodland describes how a low impact, sustainable community in a Devon woodland generates its own power…

pelton-wheelYou can read the full article here or by clicking on the picture above…


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!

Volunteering at Steward Wood

Many, many people have been moved by the experience of coming to volunteer at the woods. Today, we’ve got a few words and a beautiful picture from Sine, a volunteer from Denmark… You can find out when the next volunteer day is on the main website front page. Thanks, Sine!

Continue reading “Volunteering at Steward Wood”

Today’s perk: Hedgerow Medicine Walk

Today, we’re featuring Sonny’s Hedgerow Medicine Walk – come and join us for an educational and enjoyable walk in the woods on our land.


192-d.spero0002r.resizedWe are offering wild herb walks from our beautifully untamed land on the edge of Dartmoor where the 32 acre woodland includes a bounty of organic and wild, edible and medicinal plants.

Experience an array of wild herbs and learn to identify, harvest and preserve you own medicine chest from Mother Nature.

Our walks will include an introduction to sustainable and safe wild harvesting, a 2 hour forage and plant introduction, exploring their edible and medicinal properties and a chance to ask questions and share herbal success stories.

Join us by clicking on the image above or here – it’ll take you to the crowdfunding page, where this can be your perk in return for a £150 contribution to the campaign fund.


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!

 

‘Look to the Skies’ by Daniel

In all the excitement of the last weeks, we’ve hardly begun to tell you about all the amazing perks we’ve put together for your delight – there are still plenty available before the crowdfunder finishes. Today, take a peek at the ‘Look to the Skies’ poetry book by Daniel Lionheart.

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This collection of poems, written by Daniel LionHeart, arises out of his love for the feathered ones that surround us at Steward Wood. These poems will lift your heart and help to connect you with the birds from Peregrine to Chiffchaff and Robin…

A copy can be yours for just a £25 contribution (+p&p) to our campaign fund over at the crowdfunder, where you can find details of all the perks on offer… Seize the opportunity to get a copy – 23 people already have!


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!

Steward Wood village hall open day 2015

This morning, we’ve got a short video we shot of the open day in Moretonhampstead last year. Have a look around the village hall with us to get a closer look at what we do!

Continue reading “Steward Wood village hall open day 2015”

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…

Continue reading “Our hornet friends”

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…

Continue reading “Steward Wood workshops at festivals…”

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!