In the Centre of the Forest, is the Heart of the Work.
The EarthHeart project is situated in the heart of the ancient 200,000 acre Forest of Dean, near the Wye Valley on the Welsh border and 50 minutes north of Bristol city. It is surrounded entirely by forest and accessed along a 1 mile forestry track.
“EarthHeart is like landing in Britain 300 years ago, time seems to evaporate and magic comes alive….” Emma volunteer
“It’s a place where I can be vulnerable, open and real.
With no judgement, I’m accepted as I am – in my entirety.
It’s a place to expand, to share, to nurture, to learn and to grow.
A place nature holds you.
A place to find yourself.
A place to be inspired.
A place to find peace.
A place to breathe.
A place to feel alive.
A place to rest.”
Gaye Williams, Initiation 2018 participant
I have deeply loved nature from as far back as I can remember, even as a very young child nature would speak to me and I would listen for answers to questions I had. I experienced nature as the body of ‘God’ as divinity itself somehow.
It always brought me back to this, especially during the darker times of my life. It kept reminding me in such a simple yet powerful way, the Sacredness of all life and about my place in the interconnected web of life. Nature was my religion. I experience it as a profound teacher of Love that makes sense to my body heart and soul. It showed me the truth about relating and about the need for respect and balance between the feminine and masculine in all things. How everything in nature is aware of all that is around it and how they are all giving and receiving from each other.
When I left home all I wanted was to live close to the land and in community. I have spent as much of my life as possible doing this. I listen to the wisdom within the natural world around me and received such profound support. I also was being guided by a circle of ancient being who showed themselves to me and I call my ‘council’. They encouraged me to listen even more deeply and to trust what I heard and what was being asked of me. I found myself creating temporary Sacred spaces wherever I went, for people to gather and share in.
I held a vision that one day I would be the guardian of a piece of land that meant that this sacred space could create ever deeper roots. A place that people could come and experience nature as our teacher, an opener of our human hearts and a re-membering of our sacred interconnectedness. A place to slow down enough to be able to hear the heart beat of the earth and the wisdom she brings, commune in her wildness, sit with her stillness and be in her awe inspiring relentless beauty. A place to bring consciousness to the human fragile hearts and to heal our relationships between the masculine and the feminine in humanity.
To discover such connection in ourselves through this that the natural outcome is to want to honour all life as sacred and live from a balanced place within so that our lives become in the service of Love for the collective evolution of all humanity.
“…this place showed itself to me, I listened, and here I am…”
After many years, the dream was birthed into manifestation.
It comprises of 4 acres of land in the middle of the beautiful 200,000 acre ancient Forest of Dean (a place I have visited my whole life to come and feel connected again) next to the Wye Valley just north of Bristol.
The place itself is stunningly beautiful. Off the main road and about a mile along a forestry commission track with a house and buildings and a small spring fed lake at one end (see aerial view). It’s surrounded 360 degrees by forest. The house was originally part of an old mining dwelling with lots added over a few hundred years. It is now a 7-bedroom house that has been made into a beautiful space for people to come and stay, play, share and connect.
We purchased the place on 12.02.12 and planning permission was granted on (12.12.12) to build our beautiful Forest Temple Lodge, a space to gather together, to journey deep into our nature with guidance and inspiration from the great nature around us, a 12-tree greenwood timber frame eco-construction with turf roof and floor-to-ceiling windows along the whole length of the West-facing wall opening out into the forest. This space is truly inspiring and in harmony with its surroundings.
The funds for creating EarthHeart were gathered through the income of offering my work for 20 years+. When I had enough to buy without a mortgage I purchased the the land and property. EarthHeart is not charity-funded or created via inheritance. It is created through work of my own and of the thousands of people all bringing their contribution. In this way it is built by the collective consciousness of the work and this is infused into the place.
Annual running costs
The vision does not seek to make a profit. We simply seek to keep offering this space for people to come, to heal, to be inspired and to be strengthened. I believe in being transparent about the business. If you are interested in what it takes to run a project such as this, here are the annual costings per year. Many people come here expressing how this has also been their dream, and I want to do what I can to support as many of us as possible manifesting our visions to tend to our beautiful world. Here is a PDF of our annual running costs.
The eco campsite
There is a secluded eco campsite for quiet retreat and during the summer month we can immerse ourselves in the wildness that is the forest. We are working towards growing as much of our food as possible and getting as much of our fuel from the surrounding woodlands (which should keep us going for a little while with 200,000 acres !!) We also have the beautiful EarthLodge where we hold many ceremonies. All the images on this website are of EarthHeart.
Want to get involved?
There are various ways you can be a part of the EarthHeart
- Become a residential volunteer and join our community (see our Volunteering page)
- Attend one of our workshop or courses offered throughout the year (see Events pages)
- Join one of our summer camps (see Events pages)
- Make a monetary gift to EarthHeart (see our Donations page)
Thank you to those of you who have already gifted money and or time so generously to this experiment.
We would not have got this far without you.