‘Oak Howe’ is 13 acres of young woodland within the Lake District National Park half-way between Kendal and Windermere. Since 2011 it has been planted with native broadleaf trees as a re-wilding/woodland creation project. The land is home to some beautiful mature oak trees and a stretch of river that add to an ever-increasing diversity of wildlife. There is a healthy population of roe deer and a wide variety of birds from herons, dippers and kingfishers along the river to red-kites, buzzards and owls.
We have named the land Oak Howe after the majestic old oak tree that stands on the hill at the heart of the site. ‘Howe’ is the local Cumbrian word for a hill or ancient mound.
When the land was bought from the local farmer, it was pasture managed solely for grazing of cows and sheep. The soil was strongly acidic and, in places, a quagmire of cow slurry. Since then, grazing has ceased and nearly 6,000 native broadleaf trees have been planted, natural waterways reinstated and the wildflowers have been begun to return. The diversity of animal species has increased dramatically. The land is managed by Deborah and Ben with generous help from Brian and his professional carpentry skills, Joe, Greg and other talented friends. We are continuing to develop our permaculture forest garden at Oak Howe with lots of exciting new species going in…
We are very grateful to Vivobarefoot who have already made some of our improvement plans possible, such as a more weatherproof, decked outdoor classroom as well as plans to further improve the biodiversity of the site.
Association of Foragers annual meeting 2021