Oct Plants For A Future newsletter
The latest PFAF newsletter is below. Appologies
if you get this more than once. The newsletter is also
arailable in Word format with some nice pictures. Send me an email
Plants For A Future News October 03
Educational events planned for the field
Our Cornish site, the Field, has been going from strength to strength
lately. Frank left a great legacy and injected great energy into the
site which is still being built on today. Two new volunteers, Simon and
Jane are now regular volunteers and there has been a string of
volunteers coming for a week or so. We also have plans to try and get
the catalogue moving and start work on an intensive productive woodland
garden to really show a good model of the system. But even more
excitingly Phil has been hard at work talking with the Workers
Educational Association, Bodmin (WEA) and St Austell College (SAC) to
organise a number of courses. For more details on any of these events
please contact Phil James on 01208 873623.
Moor and Seaside Gardening (WEA) Sat 24/Jan/04 or Sat 7/Feb/04 10am-4pm.
It is for women only and is being taught by Glyn White. Date to be
An Introduction to Woodland Gardening (SAC) Wed 17/March/04 and Wed
31/March/04. Open to St. Austell College students as an Enrichment
Wildlife and Wildflower Gardening (WEA) Sat 20/March/04, 10am-4pm. Women
only, tutor: Terry Geater.
Environmental Awareness Day (PFAF) Sat 27/March/04. We are hoping to
have stalls from a variety of organisations, tours of the land and
perhaps some entertainment. *** A Great chance to visit the Field ***
Winter Salad Garden (WEA) Fri 9/April/04 – Mon/12/04. Open to all. Four
Winter Salad Garden follow up sessions (PFAF) . Sat 23/May/04, Sat
19/June/04 Sat 10/July/04. Each of these sessions will be 5 hours long.
The Bountiful Woodland Edge Garden (WEA) Sat 30/Oct/04, Sun 31/Oct/04,
Sat 13/Nov/04, Sun 14/Nov/04. Open to all. Four 5-hour sessions. We are
also hoping to have 2 follow up sessions to this course in 2005.
Monthly work weekends at Blagdon
The last year has been a fallow year for Blagdon, we felt it was time to
take a step back and contemplate the future direction of the site and
the project as a whole. See the Big Pow Wow overleaf for details. Next
year we hope to get things moving again. We will be holding a monthly
work party and meeting at the Blagdon Site on the second weekend of each
month. The weekends will run from Friday night to Monday morning and all
are welcome to attend at any time.
The dates of the are: 10/11 Jan, 14/15 Feb, 13/14 March, 10/11 April
(may be a week later to avoid clash), 8/9 May, 12/13 June, 10/11 July,
14/15 August, 11/12 Sept, 9/10 Oct, 13/14 Nov and 11/12 Dec.
The work groups will focus on the Welcome Garden, which is the first
garden you will see when you enter the site and includes the area around
the Visitors Centre. This will be very important for giving a good first
impression of the site. In December we will be doing the landscaping to
prepare the area of the garden, fill in the old entrance with a new
hedge and work on our access track.
This winter we are also focusing on regenerating our coppice woodland
and maintaining our new planting. The coppice is about 4 acres that has
not been managed for 30 years; we intend to cut it right back so that in
ten years time we will have a productive hazel coppice. The new planting
of 20,000 tree will be "beaten up" (i.e. cleared of clearing
undergrowth, maintenance of trees and fixing fencing) to give the trees
a helping hand and we will also need to do some re-stocking to replace
losses and fill out some of the spaces. These trees were planted five
years ago and we appear to have very few losses and the alders have done
very well. However the deer have been munching many of the other trees.
Blagdon: time for the big pow-wow
Its an America Indian tradition that the bigger the decision the more
people should be consulted and the longer it should take. For the
biggest decisions, such as going to war they would have to consult every
member of the tribe and take several years to decide.
Plants for a Future is at such a decision stage as to the future
direction of the charity and the Blagdon site. The past five years at
Blagdon have been very mixed, with a string of successful events but
many problems. We have now come to the realisation that the site cannot
continue in its current state and that major decisions need to be made.
We are now in a six-month consultation phase reviewing the major
options. As loyal supporters of the charity we would welcome your input
on the subject.
There are a number of different options we available:-
· Pursue a major fundraising strategy to secure large sums to finance a
permanent visitors centre and the staff to run it.
· Try to build a new core group of local people who are prepared to put
in a regular commitment to run the site.
· Reduce the size of the Blagdon site to a more manageable level and
sell or lease other parts of the site to like-minded groups or
· Concentrate all our energy on the field in Cornwall the database,
website, a plant catalogue and core charity activities (getting the mail
answered promptly!) The field is now feeling a more positive place and
there is exciting news about courses and events there. Possible putting
some of the excess from the sale into other groups pursuing similar
· Become two separate groups with full independence of both sites.
· Change the nature of the site so it becomes a more community based
project, concentrating on making the site financially self-sustaining by
say running a catalogue or community composting. This might put the
demonstration gardens aspect of the site on hold for a while.
People are perhaps the most important resource; if the site is going to
flourish then more people need to become involved. We identified a
number of key roles that would be needed in a new look Blagdon:
· Head Gardener: responsible for maintaining and developing the
· Volunteer/Training Co-ordinator: responsible for supporting
volunteers, organising events courses etc.
· Plant Catalogue Manager: responsible for setting up and running
our plant catalogue.
· Broadscale Site Manager: responsible for the larger scale
aspects of the site, such as the woodland, paths, camping facilities and
· Community Liaison Officer: responsible for building links with
the community, for example through community composting and school
· Outreach officer: to run our presence at shows and events and
coordinate our regional representative and regional garden program.
· All round office super-hero: to develop our publications,
getting the mail answered on time etc.
· Project manager: to co-ordinate all the above roles, develop
business plans and manage the development of a permanent visitors
These roles are not set in stone if anyone has interesting ideas then we
would be happy to support them. If we have sufficient interest in these
roles then we will start submitting bids to secure funding for these
The other major question we are looking at is selling or leasing various
parts of the site. We would want to keep the first field for the
visitors centre and demonstration gardens. But there are a number of
other fields which we would like to see used.
· The native woodland: we would be happy to break this up into
small packets, but only on the strict prevision that they be kept as
woodland, managed sustainably, and possibly used for traditional
woodland crafts. So if you ever fancied owning your own bit of woodland
now is your chance!
· The orchard field, this is southwest facing so is idea for
growing fruit crops but beware: like most of the site it has a heavy
clay soil and is very moist.
· The retreat field, this field already has the beginnings of a
meditation garden and a tree bog and is an ideal place to hold outdoor
camps and events.
· The community field, we have outline planning permission for 28
holiday chalets here, there are ideas for building some small retreat
spaces/camping barns here. Could you do something with this field?
· The camping field/lake. The lowest part of the site. There are
plans for a lake here.
· The working field. This is where we plan to have our
agricultural shed and poly tunnels and has the best access. We would be
happy to lease parts of the field to small scale plant based
enterprises, such as willow coppicing.
Each field is about ten acres, we would like to insure that they are
managed is a sustainable and vegan way (sorry no chickens!) We would
probably also like to retain access rights through most of the site. Our
overriding objective is to ensure that the land is used well.
We are now looking for anyone interested in the options above. Hopefully
we will have an AGM at some point, but day yet to be fixed. Please get
in touch either by email to webmaster@..., writing to 1 Lerryn
View, Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0QJ or by phone to 01208 872
Immediate opportunities: we have a very urgent need for office
assistance to get our mail answered on time. This could either be in
Lerryn or at your own home, but you would need to be close to either
site. We also need a third charity trustee to help oversee the work of
Nearly there with the database
A interim release of the database is now out. This features 7417 plants
in it and 400 photos and a web-browser based interface. However its is
still in a half-way stage, with the old MS-Access versions without
pictures and a set of static webpages with photos (pretty much like the
website but limited search capacity). The other big change has been the
creating of a new Medicinal Use Rating field, which ranks plants
according to how useful they are medicinally. This will be available for
download from our website www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/pfaf/D_obtain.html.
The next project will hopefully be to put our 300 medicinal herb
factsheets into a nice package on CD-ROM.
The first signs have been seen of a stock of plants being available from
PFAF, but so far these are only a few plants for a special order for the
East London Medicinal Herb Garden. Who knows there might even be a
catalogue next year!
In the mean time we are now working with some other partner nurseries
who can supply many PFAF style plants. Some of the profits from these
nurseries will be donated to PFAF if you mention our name while
Wildwood Nurseries (WW)
Lower Manor Cottage
Phone 01409 261324 Fax 01409 261324
How to order: Direct from Wildwood by email/phone
Last Updated: March 03
Forever Trees Nursery (FT)
Phone 01803 814098 Distribution: UK
How to order: Direct from Forever Trees
Last Updated: March 03
Cool Temperate Nurseries (CT)
10 Ivy Grove
Phone 0115 847 8302 Fax 0115 847 8302
How to order: Direct from Cool Temperate by email/phone
Notes: Many Trees supplied on their own rootstock
Last Updated: April 03
(List of plants deleted, see website for details
Plants for a Future: 7000 useful plants
Web: http://www.pfaf.org/ same as http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/pfaf/
Post: 1 Lerryn View, Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0QJ
Tel: 01208 872 963 / 0845 458 4719
PFAF electronic mailing list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pfaf