It is encouraging to learn just how much the team are doing to provide a safe space for social interaction and their recent work supporting the education of children.
The Rewild Project’s news, July 2021:
With the easing of lockdown restrictions, we have finally started our home education project! It has been a great success, with both parents and children taking part in willow weaving, needles felting, whitesmithing and greenwood work in the first few weeks. Parents are finding that the group is a great support - especially after the extended periods of isolation due to the pandemic. We are thrilled that we have been able to support them and will continue to do so until March 2022. By moving to a fortnightly delivery, we will be doubling the number of families we can engage with and can’t wait to meet them in the next couple of weeks.
As a Foresters’ Forest project partner we are delivering activities for 7 days a week across three sites.
The New Leaf Social Forestry Project is now engaging with participants three days a week at Kensley Sheds. Thanks to some matched funding from The Barnwood Trust, we run a ‘try it out’ craft session every Tuesday, greenwood work on Wednesdays and Forestry on Fridays. Along with a volunteer day at our community permaculture allotment at Noxon Farm. With the number of people in need of a safe space for social interaction on the rise in our post-covid community, we have noticed a marked increase in the those coming to the sheds and taking part and we hope to be help as many people as possible who have been suffering in silence during the pandemic. The Tuesday sessions are enabling us to provide craft sessions in whitesmithing, natural textiles, ceramics, tanning and leather work. Our participants are enjoying learning new skills and we are providing much needed work for local crafts people. ‘Woody Wednesdays’ have gone from strength to strength, regularly having 15-20 participants, practicing greenwood work skills and drinking copious amounts of tea.
Our Growing Futures Project, with support from Thirty Percy, now supports three local primary schools, developing allotments and veg gardens within the school grounds and teaching kids the process of growing food, allowing them to experience the whole cycle from planting to plate. We have had amazing feedback from parents, teachers and the kids themselves and will be looking for more growers to support the delivery of this project as we continue to expand. If you are interested please get in touch.
We have been working with young people from local schools, those who do not fit into the conventional education system or are viewed as being at risk. The Rekindle Project gets them away from their phones and is teaching them heritage craft skills and even gives them the chance to take part in painting our minibus. Big thanks to Thirty Percy for helping us to purchase the bus, and with the help of Nick Olas, the young people have designed the artwork for the bus and sprayed it. Over the Summer months we are designing a qualification for the young people to work towards as part of the project. The young people will get to co-create a qualification that suits their interests and method of learning while achieving an accredited qualification that will help them after leaving school. As much as we love people calling in to say hello and have a look around, on days that we have kids or young people on site, we keep the gate closed and ask that you don’t visit on these days.
We have recently launched our next series of workshops, 15 workshops are now live on our website, and we have managed to organise some amazing crafts people to deliver some truly fantastic workshops. Nat Merry, archer and bow maker extraordinaire, is leading a two-day bow making workshop and Elizabeth, the Wild Wool Shepherdess, joins Scott leading a sheepskin making workshop. By attending these workshops, you help to fund our essential work within the Forest of Dean as well as learning from expert crafts people. Thank you in advance for your support. Check out our workshops at www.therewildproject.com/workshop-feed.
We are looking for help with our SEED project; we want to establish a community land trust and environmental education centre, designed from the ground up using sustainable building practices, locally sourced materials and involvement with the local community. We are looking for land near or within the Forest of Dean that we can rent or buy to begin this project. If you can help or know anyone who might be interested in helping, please get in touch. More information about this project and our organisation is available on our website .
By Amy Kemmett, Director, The Rewild Project CIC