Friday, 19 June 2015

The Hedge

I picked up a copy of a new local magazine at the wholefood shop today. It's called The Hedge, and I'd got the second edition. The letter from the editors at the beginning describes the magazine as a "not for profit community publication concerned with sharing projects and ideas for a sustainable future." It contains stories and poems as well as articles about a market garden (they don't actually say where it is, beyond "between Ruarden and Lydbrook", but the website, places them in the Forest of Dean), sustainable living, birds and plants. There's an article about fracking, too, and adverts for ethical and ecological local companies - Tools for Self Reliance is in there, as well as an independent midwife, a hairdresser who uses only natural and organic products, plant dyeing workshops with, vegetable boxes and cheeses, yurts and camping and so on.
The profits from the first magazine went to Action for Botton, a Camphill Community in Yorkshire which is threatened by changes in social care provision (which seems to want everything organised in neat little boxes, rather than an actual community of real human beings living together). There's a support group called Botton Buddies, and the websites are and
I went with my husband to look at a Camphill Community once, with a view to joining them - this one overlooked the estuary of the River Severn and was in a beautiful location on the edge of the Forest of Dean. The Communities cater for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, with workshops producing items for sale to a high standard. The one I visited had a bakery, pottery, and basket making and a wood workshop. They also had their own library, and a small theatre where they could put on plays and concerts. We were very impressed - everyone was friendly and asked who we were and where we'd come from, and the atmosphere was relaxed and happy - but we weren't ready to commit ourselves at the time.
The proceeds from the current magazine will be going to Nepal, to the Kamala Foundation which helps to improve the lives of women and children and is trying to rebuild an orphanage after the recent earthquakes, and the Himalayan Permaculture Centre, which works in 21 remote villages. Their websites are and

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