We’re announcing something that’s been a long time in the making. Something that I, and indeed the rest of my family, are very passionate about and something that is core to our vision at Astley Vineyard. Something that you might have already heard whispers of. Today we’re announcing the launch of The Clearing.
The Clearing is a social enterprise that provides creative and wellbeing experiences in woodlands. Our vision is threefold: To reconnect with the woods, and in turn, ourselves; To regenerate our woodlands through sustainable management and conservation; and To restore lost woodland-based skills, knowledge and understanding.
The Clearing has grown from work we have done and things we have piloted over the past year or two, including the Woodland Open Day in April 2019; horselogging and greenwood craft demonstrations; volunteer work parties; the yoga retreat day in September 2019; and social forestry sessions with local special education providers.
Based on the success of this pilot programme, we have decided to formally establish ourselves as a social enterprise. This will allow us to operate as a community-driven business, and enable us to apply for external funding for our non-profit making activities. We have already been given funding from the Worcestershire Divisional Fund, which will go towards a programme of social forestry mindfulness sessions with the pupils and parents and carers at Riverside school, and our Woodland Open Days, speaking of which…
We will be officially launching The Clearing at our next Woodland Open Day on Saturday 26th October. This Autumn-themed family friendly event will give visitors the chance to explore our woodland, take part in some crafts and games, watch and learn new woodland skills and crafts, whilst of course enjoying a glass of our very own wine and getting toasty next to the campfire. You’ll also have the chance to learn more about The Clearing, and find out how you could get involved.
Along with our Woodland Open Days and social forestry sessions, we’re also exploring other ways to reach out into the community, including being a forest school venue and providing respite days for front-line social care staff. We also plan to organise further wellbeing days (as we’re already being asked for a repeat of the yoga retreat day!) and woodland-based skills and craft workshops and courses. The proceeds from these events, plus sales of firewood and wood products, will go to our charitable activities and support the long-term sustainable management of our small woodland.
To find out more, please visit our website www.theclearingspace.org or contact Daisy at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re craftsperson, artist or woodlander looking for a workshop, outdoor or exhibition space or some timber, get in touch! If you’d like to volunteer at one of our work parties, or as part of The Clearing team, get in touch! If you’d like to set up a social forestry referral scheme with your organisation’s beneficiaries, get in touch! The opportunities are endless, and we would love to hear from you.
You can also follow our journey on Instagram and Facebook @theclearingspace.