Novers Forest Garden Round House
The 30 acre Novers Limeworks is a regenerated ancient woodland that contains a varied topography and land cover which provides a proven venue for a range of educational activities. Overall the woodland is managed as a maximum biodiversity wild-wood with part restored into a coppice cycle. Within it is being developed a one acre permaculture forest garden. This will be designed to provide foraging opportunities for as wide a range of native wild food plants as possible. Overall the woodland will be managed as a sustainable woodland which when fully developed will enable visitors to explore how people have lived within the landscape for the last 10,000 years, first as hunter-gatherers, then farmers and more recently as industrialists. To date a Mesolithic encampment has been built and used for field courses. The IA style round-house will be the focus for an early agriculturalist zone. The wall structure is in place, built by volunteers, the roof structure requires some professional aid.
What we’ll do:
- We will improve access to parts of the woodland with the creation of surfaced pathways
- Complete a replica Iron Age round-house started by volunteers as part of an early agriculture zone
- Build a disabled friendly compost toilet building
- Reduce bramble and bracken areas
- Enhance planting with fruiting native trees to encourage wildlife and allow forage gathering
- Install bird and bat boxes
- Design and deliver a community participation programme
Why it’s a great idea:
The Novers Limeworks forest is a secret and magical green space and nationally important industrial archaeological site, designated SAM, that was saved from clear felling by a local charitable trust TCHT in 2010. Over the last years a car park has been built, old trackways restored and the woodland brought slowly back into management, as a sustainable forest by a small band of dedicated volunteers. Over the last two years community and educational use has been developed which has included wildlife and archaeological studies, the development of a sustainable charcoal coppice and camp and in 2014 the building of a Mesolithic hunter gatherer camp site, in which groups of young people have been able to experience how people lived in the distant past. The large 10m diameter round-house was planned and commenced to provide an all weather teaching space within the woodland. Help is needed to complete the build which when finished will provide a central focus for the whole of the 30 acre site
How we’ll get it done:
- Existing pathways will be improved and made all weather, contractor and volunteers
- The part built round house will be completed as an all weather teaching site.
- The permaculture forest garden in proximity to the round house will be planted
- Once complete a series of woodland events will be delivered
The Novers Limeworks Forest project offers a unique vision of how a past industrial site, a scheduled ancient monument of national importance, can become a self sustaining community valued green space and educational resource. Providing interpretation and practical experience of the heritage of the site within its landscape context. Providing a productive and sustainable forest with increased biodiversity and public access.