Community is at the heart of what we do 

We want to share our space with the local community and engage both children and adults in learning about conservation and nature.  From our eco citizens programme that brings local school children to our site to learn and play to our free community conservation days where experts give talks and walks on moths, birds, bumblebees, local history and more, we aim to provide space for everyone to learn and feel nurtured.  We are also planning rural heritage days where we can showcase local heritage crafts such as spinning, willow weaving and much more.

We are supported by a team of friends and volunteers, including our neighbours at Poulton Wood and our refugee friends.  If you would like to join us in our conservation work on Fridays, even if it’s just once or on a regular basis, please send us a message, pull on your wellies and come and be part of it all!

Our ongoing projects

Our first major project when we set up Led by the Wild was to convert the old pig pen into a community garden.  Five years on and the space has been transformed into a beautiful, blossoming pollinator garden.  This was started thanks to our first two volunteers, Eric and Steve, as well as funding from Aldington and Bonnington Parish Council and some hawthorn hedging donated by the Woodland Trust. 

The centre point of the pollinator garden is the hop tent.  Hop plants are provided by Hythe Hops in spring for us to plant and then in early September the hops are harvested and sent to two local craft brewers, Hop Fuzz and Docker.  We really enjoy contributing to this project and there is nothing like sitting in the late summer sunshine plucking hops.  We were also delighted to host Hythe Hops for their solstice evening last summer.

 

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous”
Aristotle

Last year we started our edible garden project.  We received funding from the National Garden Scheme to create a community vegetable garden and with the help of our volunteers Richard and Kerry together with our regular helpers from Napier Barracks, we planned and planted a whole variety of vegetables and salad plants including kale, chard, leeks, pumpkins, courgettes, butternut squash, runner beans, lettuce … We are pleased to say that we were able to donate nine crates of fresh salad and vegetables to local food banks each week during the growing season.  Hopefully we will be able to exceed that amount this year!

We stand proudly with the #RightToFood campaign advocating for fair access to food for everyone!

We are also hoping to be able to harvest more fruit from our orchard this year.  Several fruit trees were kindly donated and planted in memory of local farmer Reg Hambrook and these are all growing well.  On a hot summer day, there is nowhere better to sit than on Reg’s bench with beautiful views over the Romney Marsh imagining how the orchard will look in a few years once the trees are fully mature.