Woodlands can also be a great source of wisdom, and Hazel Hill Wood which has been run as a conservation woodland by Alan Heeks since 1992, has been a great source of wisdom and renewal for many people.
Hazel Hill Wood is a beautiful, secluded 70-acre wood and sustainable retreat/education centre, seven miles from Salisbury, which offers unique scope for people to deepen their connection with nature and learn about living renewably. The programme includes retreats, conservation, men’s and women’s groups, and the wood is available for group bookings. The facilities include heated bedrooms and sleeping lofts, indoor group room, camping area, compost loos, good showers, and a hot tub.
The magic of Hazel Hill comes partly from its seclusion: the wood is surrounded by fields, and there is virtually no traffic noise. It is an ancient woodland site, with a rich variety of wildlife, wild flowers, and some rare fungi and fritillaries. The age and type of trees varies widely around the wood, creating a range of different habitats and atmospheres. These include mature beech and scots pine in the heart of the wood, hornbeam, oak and sycamore to the east, and oak, young birch and hazel to the west. There are also streams, a pond, and an abundance of wildlife and wild flowers.
Hazel Hill is a community in many ways. Every group of people on an event at the wood becomes a community by being together in this magical place. There is an invaluable community of people who care for the wood, including maintaining, cleaning and improving the buildings; forestry and conservation work; and liaising with, welcoming and briefing group users. The trees, wildlife and plants at the wood are a rich and diverse and resilient community, and offer a lot of lessons to us humans in living sustainably on the earth.
To find out more about Hazel Hill Wood and events, click here.