Shepton Mallet Community Food Forest
In 2017, we undertook public consultation to understand the requirements for a food forest in Shepton Mallet in relation to the organisations core objectives (See, ‘Mission’). After the consultation, which took on the form of reaching out to local residents on social media in local community groups, and entering into dialogue with local town councillors and business owners, it was considered that Shepton would be an ideal place to start our first community food forest.
Working with a local land owner and philanthropist, we were granted the use of just over half an acre of land in Shepton Mallet. The Woodland Trust and the Conservation Volunteers donated the wild harvest trees and shrubs, and the Food Forest Project began fund raising for the rest of the resources required to prepare the site for a community project.
On the 30th of March, 2019 we had our first community plant up where we established the first three tiers of the food forest (See, ‘Permaculture’). The event was a complete success, with nearly a hundred people turning up throughout the day to help, engage with the site and to understand more about the organisation (See, ‘Testimonials’)
We will be running at least three more community projects on the site before all the layers of the food forest are established the plot is fully evolved.
The food forests are a way for local people to access organic and sustainably farmed food, whilst learning about the benefits of permaculture to people and place. Once fully planted, the food forest will yield a variety of organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts at no cost, but with all the fun and excitement of foraging for your own food! We hope that by bringing people into a safe and natural space where they can be amongst wildlife, and harvest their own food we can heal some of the loneliness and mental health issues that pervade much of society today. If you would like to know more about the Food Forest Project; the work we do, or agroforestry and Permaculture, please continue reading our website.
Our fundraising efforts to date have been very successful, and we have raised £400 towards the fencing for the site and are currently looking at securing funding to build a Education & Well-being Centre (please see the GoFundMe link on the donations page). Without the generosity of the people and organisations that donate we would not be able to do our work.