Conservation, Preservation, Education, Sustainable Living
What we do & why we do it
In 2012 Deer Wood was purchased as the ideal location for a small conservation based, sustainably managed woodland business.
In 2015 due to Deer Wood's popularity with locals, the woodland was opened for regular events:
- Bluebell Open Weekend in late April
- Wild Food Foraging Days
- Conservation Volunteer Projects
- Native Tree Nursery Work Experience
- Hosting shared events with Devon Wildlife Trust and other like-minded organisations.
In 2017 The Deer Wood Trust was born to further and expand the scope of social and conservational work.
This has culminated more recently in the application for official charity status to ensure that the woodland is kept for these purposes for generations to come.
Conservation & Preservation at Deer Wood
Woodland Management Strategy
THE BIG PICTURE
Deer Wood is a good example of healthy semi-natural ancient woodland, however when we first came here this was not the case. Over half a century of neglect prior to our presence, along with extensive ad hock tree planting at the end of the 1800's, have meant that many of its trees are at now their full maturity at the same time. This had led to extensive wind throw in recent years.
Deer Wood has historically had many overgrown “coppice with large standards” that have now being sensitively managed back to its full bio-diverse, wildlife abundant potential.
With phased re-planting of a wide variety of own grown, provenance sourced seed from the Deer Wood tree nuresery. Thus a much better variation of tree ages and diversity of species than can be seen at present will be created.
Education -Experiential Learning in a natural woodland setting
Practical, nature based experiential learning and well-being are at the core of what we offer.
Through our courses the vital message of conservation and real sustainability are integrated into the experiential learning process.
Ultimately we are establishing Deer Wood as hub of low impact ‘Green Learning’ excellence by aligning ourselves with other similarly oriented organisations.
We offer a fully immersive experience, sensitively allowing for individuals own personal journey. Each activity has the capacity to impart the importance of caring for and preserving our local and global natural environment.
Focus of the courses and workshops at Deer Wood:
- ‘Eco Therapy’ (outdoor therapies/nature based environments for mental health), and access to nature via appropriately targeted experiential learning for the socially disadvantaged.
- Foraging, Outdoor Cooking, Natural Creatives Arts and Nature Connection experiences.
- Woodland Horticulture - Native Tree Nursery
- Sustainable Woodland Management
- Permaculture and Sustainable Land Management
As well as a range of appropriate courses and skills based learning.
Well-Being in a safe and secluded setting
Well- being of people and the environment is at the heart of all our activities; almost everyone who comes to Deer Wood is asked this question -
"How do you feel now, after your time spent here at the Wood?"
The answers below speak for themselves.
Meet Deer Wood's custodians and full time yurt dwellers
Marc Biddle and Lisa Pugh live close to nature in a sustainable manner - demonsrating a low impact lifestyle using Permaculture principles with carbon neutral objectives.
Marc and Lisa are the owners of Deer Wood, which they purchased back in May 2012.
In 2015 they applyed for a 3yr temporary planning application for change of use; to live sustainably off-grid on the land they own and work on.
Next came the permanant application in 2018.
In Janurary of 2020 they finally gained full permission to live in Deer Wood in their two 'zero footprint' yurts.
THE DEER WOOD TRUST C.I.C
Company no: 14810543