Author Archives: ajnafern

Active Hope with a hint of Permaculture

Connect with your love for the world

When: 19-21st July 2024

Based on Joanna Macy’s The Work That Reconnects or Active Hope, permaculture and so much more, this is an opportunity to connect with yourself, others and all of nature, seen and unseen. We will create a space where you can relax in the human and non-human world, find new perspectives in ceremony, immerse in the elements, share your thoughts and feelings, discover new ways of looking at the challenges in our world today and find a response renewed with inspiration and strength. You will also come away with a very basic understanding of permaculture. You will be guided around Plants for a Future, a groundbreaking food forest and wilding project and spend time lots of time outside with nature, weather willing.

For more information, and to book the course, go to

If you want to come but cannot afford it, please get in touch.
[email protected]

Upcoming Events At Plants For A Future Spring/Summer 2023

1) One Day Chakra Retreat at Plants for A Future, with Kaya Marklund

    Saturday 13th May 10.30am – 7pm

   For more info please see attachment

   To book, please phone 07498527611 or email [email protected]

2) 3 Day course on  Active Hope and Permaculture with Klaudia Van Gool and Addy Fern

    13th-16th July 2023

Active Hope is a process designed by Joanna Macey, to help us to face our difficult emotions connected with the destruction of the Natural Environment – or anything else! Active Hope has its roots in connecting with the Natural World, and in Buddhism.

For more info, and to book, please go to

On her website, go to “Workshops and Training”, then “All Courses”. Scroll down until you see Active Hope and Permaculture.

3) Nine-day Chakra Retreat with Kaya Marklund. Addy Fern will be teaching some morning yoga

  12th – 20th August 2023

  More details to follow – or contact Kaya – see above.

4) Various Guided Tours of Plants For A Future

Various dates available – which I am in the process of sorting out!

 I will be giving various tours as crowd-funder rewards for Claire Wallenstein at Cornwall Climate care to enable her to fund her current film “Hungry for Change” – which also features us!  Contact me at [email protected] to book a tour

The Planned dates for Claire are Sunday May 7th, Sunday June 18th, Sunday July 9th and Sunday August 27th. Some of these may change.

A tour is an interesting walk around the land looking at and tasting (where appropriate) the many edible, medicinal, and other useful plants growing on the Land. We will look at perennial salads; fruits, including many unusual and intriguing fruits and superfood berries that people can grow themselves; nuts and root crops. The tour also looks at how we can grow food more efficiently and with less effort. And we consider ways we can grow our food more in harmony with Nature, rather than just fighting against it all the time, and why this is so important for our own survival on this Planet.

Wildlife In The Pond, Frogs Spawning

The main pond on the land is not large, but provides a great habitat for many species.

I placed the trail camera to observe the pond in mid February, after the frogs started spawning, this is some of the footage captured.

Many frogs making quite the noise in the dark.

Unfortunately for the frogs, this many amphibians in one place is a great opportunity for predators.

Very photogenic Heron.

An owl was spotted, it swoops down straight on a frog, then becomes a little self conscious with the camera, and flies off with it’s prize.

Silent but deadly.

Not just birds, rats can also be seen sneaking up and grabbing a frog.

Surprise! Keep your eye on the left.

It’s rather dangerous being a frog, especially right now, but fortunately they have layed a rather ridiculous amount of spawn, and their future is pretty secure.

There are more videos on the wildlife YouTube Channel, consider subscribing.

Veganic Gardeners Question Time (VGQT) 21st January

Veganic Gardeners Question Time, Hosted by VON

Horticultural expert Ellen-Mary will host an entertaining evening with twenty-four carrot advice from Forest Gardener Addy Fern, Farmstart Co-ordinator Helen Dodd and Wildlife film maker Piers Warren.

Thursday 21st January 7pm UK Time Zone 45 minutes

Streaming Live on Facebook and YouTube. Links to be announced one week before the event.

Please send your questions to: [email protected]

Full Info:

Events Update

We have decided to cancel the Wild Camping Weekend this year due to the delay in upgrading our facilities caused by the coronavirus lockdown.

We hope that various courses will be available next year.

If you are still interested in visiting this year, we are still open for volunteers and tours (all by appointment only please.)

If you are interested, please email [email protected], or phone 01208 873554.

Many Thanks for your patience.

Wild Camping Weekend

We have decided to cancel the Wild Camping Weekend this year due to the delay in upgrading our facilities caused by the lockdown… more

Friday 28th – Monday 31st August 2020.
Cost £90. Concessions available.

This event will be a relaxed visit to Plants for a Future. It will include

  • A comprehensive guided tour of the Land looking at many of the useful plants, and tasting them where appropriate
  • Learn-by-doing sessions, where you will help with work on the land and learn more about the useful and less useful plants (i.e. weeds – which still have their uses!) in the process
  • Optional outdoor yoga
  • A walk down to the local creek where people can learn about some of the local wild foods, and also have a swim if they wish
  • Sitting round a fire one evening to share stories, songs, poems, etc.

Most of the meals will be communally prepared, and people will take turns to help prepare food. Breakfast will be self service.

We will provide fruit and perennial greens from the Land, and basic wholefood including oats, rice, lentils, buckwheat, soya flour, soya milk and oil. You are welcome to also bring a contribution of food if you wish, or if you require anything fancy. VEGAN FOOD ONLY, please.

People also have the option of staying on longer if they wish, either

  • as a wild camping holiday, with minimal input from me, at £10 per person per night. There are many beautiful places to explore in the area – woodlands with tidal creeks, coastal paths, beaches, etc. (You will need to bring and prepare your own food.)
  • or as a volunteer, and work with me, free of charge. (See info about volunteering for more details.)
  • or some hybrid between the two.

Please note that, despite ongoing improvements, facilities on the Land are still quite basic. We have a shed with electric lights, electric cooker, internet, a nice clean carpeted area, and a sink; but we have no showers. (You can use the cold water hose in the polytunnel, or go for a swim in the nearby creek.) We have a compost toilet (but no flush toilet).

What to bring:

  • Your own tent and bedding
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Wellington boots/walking boots
  • Sun hat
  • A good torch
  • Notepad and pen or pencil
  • Swimming costume and towel
  • Yoga mat (though a camping mat will do)

Please arrive after 3pm on Friday 28 August 2020. (Earlier arrivals by prior arrangement only.)

Finish after lunch on Monday 31 August 2020


As we finish the work to get our campaign for crowdfunding ready, you can check out our latest leaflet. please share this with anyone you think might be interested!

Crowdfunder Leaflet
PFAF crowdfunder thumbnail

You can also check out our page below with more info about the campaign, note this is not our live campaign page, you can not yet donate!

Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding Campaign

We are currently working on a crowdfunding campaign to enable us to improve facilities on our land, allow us to receive more visitors and volunteers over a longer part of the year, and also to be able to house our research work there.

When we first moved to Cornwall in 1989, our land looked like this.

(empty grass and barley field with a large shed/barn)

Field from lanteglos Highway in 1990

Now it looks like this.

Forrested field, shed hidden by trees.

Field from Lanteglos highway in 2014

Our efforts have turned it from a bleak, windswept field of barley stubble, which had thin, compacted soils and very little wildlife, into this beautiful productive, sheltered, tree-covered landscape that is of enormous benefit both for humans and the wildlife we share this land with….more

Hedgehog on the grassThe Land has various purposes:-

  • It serves to demonstrate self-sufficiency from a very wide range of trees and other perennials.
  • It is an Educational Centre where people can come and learn about the plants and how to grow them, including woodland gardening.
  • Dragonfly on a bamboo caneIt is a Nature Reserve, teeming with insect life, birds, amphibians and various mammals.
  • It is a place where people can come and enjoy contact with nature.

We want to spread the word to as many people as possible that there are harmonious ways of living, and of growing our food, Peacock butterflywhere we try to work with Nature, instead of against her.

Our work and progress have always been limited by a lack of resources. As many of our visitors will attest, facilities here have always been rather primitive.

Over the past few years we have been able to raise enough funding to begin the process of updating things here. newt amongst the stonesFor example, we now have the utter luxury of a washing machine so that volunteers can keep their clothes clean – but they still have to wash themselves with cold water under a garden hose, or take a walk down to the local creek for a swim.

We are now seeking the funds to enable us to complete the process.

Having improved facilities will not only make it easier for the people already working the Land, it will also encourage more visitors to come, and extend the visitor season.

lean to under constructionIt will provide a decent space for us to be able to run courses, classes and open days, so we can reach out to yet more people. It will also be possible to hire out the classroom space for like-minded people to use.

It will enable us to bring broadband to the land and move our plant research here. Over the years this research has blossomed into a massive resource of information on useful plants. This is made freely available on our website, where you can find information on over 8,150 species of temperate plants and 11,700 species of tropical plants.

shed roof being replaced in 2014Not only will these improvements help to spread the word to more people, but they will also help the project to become more financially self-sustaining. We are also hoping that a few of the volunteers who come will want to become involved on a longer-term basis. Better facilities will help this to happen.

Having these facilities in place will help the whole project to function better. Plants for a Future in Cornwall really needs more people in order to develop its potential:- to help the Environment, and our relationship with the Environment.

We will be keeping this page up to date with developments as we prepare and then launch the campaign. There is also a Facebook page where you will be able to keep up to date with developments.

All donations will be used to fund projects on our land. Depending on the amount we raise, these are our priorities:-

  1. To finish the rebuilding of the shed as a sturdy, waterproof usable structure.
  2. To install a workroom/classroom/demonstration area where we can run courses, hold events etc.
  3. To finish the lean-to, which stores tools and machinery, liberating the shed for other purposes.
  4. To install renewable energy, including solar panels on the shed roof and passive water heating for a shower.
  5. To install high-speed broadband to enable research work to be carried out on site and improve connectivity for our volunteers and visitors.