* Stop Press*The are three exciting events coming up in aid of Buddhafield's Sacred Landscape appeal. We only have around £15,000 before Frog Mill is fully paid off so if you can, support these events and have a great time whilst doing it.
Sat 4th Dec 2010 Yorkshire: Film and curry night near Hebden Bridge Call Karen on 07765 022702
Fri 10th Dec 2010 Sussex: Band on a Boat! Party on a house boat near Brighton www.justgiving.com/padma-pani0
Sat 11th Dec 2010 London: A musical night with Vilasamani at the West London Buddhist Center www.justgiving.com/Dharmachari-Vilasamani
| Broadhembury: Dandelion/forget-me-not double exposure Hannah Phillips|
Buddhafield owns two pieces of land, both of them in Devon. One is is West Devon and is near the village of Broadhembury, the other, Frog Mill is in Dartmoor National Park. They are very different environments each with their own distinct qualities.
Broadhembury is a wild and beautiful 25 acres of woodland and wetland on a sloped hillside. There are natural springs, bluebell woods, ancient woodland, an ash plantation, a Douglas Fir plantation and gorse. At Broadhembury we are now integrating the magic of our retreats with the challenge of practicing sustainable land use in a real and long term way.
The dawn chorus in May is the loudest and most amazing I've ever heard in the UK and the tawny owls in February looking for mates, hooting and calling, landing on tree branches just above tents is simply stunning to witness- and be woken by!
Buddhafield won 3 acres of land at Broadhembury in a competition about ten years ago and when the surrounding land came up for sale, the collective bought it and set about creating drainage ditches and flat spots for camping. It is a well loved piece of land that is often described as 'challenging'- particularly when it is wet. The shrine tent is usually up in the woods which is a good ten minute hike from the 'hearth' area on the terraces where the kitchen and tea tents are so, if it's wet, retreatants are pretty much guaranteed to experience the full extent of the changing British weather. It is what makes Broadhembury such a special place. Buddhafield's own wilderness.
|Broadhembury apple blossom and ash double exposure Hannah Phillips|
|Around Broadhembury cow double exposure Hannah Phillips|
|Broadhembury hot tub: Shantikara with Lomo fisheye lens Hannah Phillips|
|Broadhembury new trees Vidyadasi|
Frog Mill is a gentler site of 17 acres in Dartmoor National park. It consists of several fields with thick established hedgerows and trees and a river, the Blackaton Brook, dividing the site and has views of some of the craggy Tors of Dartmoor. The river is home to kingfisher, dippers and spawns salmon and is the life blood of the land. The children LOVE it and it is their watery playground when they come on retreat. The site is large enough, and has enough flat space to hold our larger retreat events, such as the Family Friendly retreat.
Our aim for this tranquil site is to develop a magical and safe environment, providing the opportunity for adults and children to experience connection with a beautiful piece of land, hopefully for many years into the future. We are looking into various kinds of tree planting, including an organic orchard, and coppice for fuel and wildlife habitat. Taking on this project has been a leap of faith for us: In 2006 we borrowed £85,000 to buy the land and we wish to wholeheartedly thank all who have contributed £65,000 to our Land Appeal so far.
|Frog Mill and the Blackaton Brook Padmapani|
|Frog Mill Padmapani|
As part of the Buddhafield vision we are drawn to nature as the primary context for our life and practice — to the beauty of the natural world, to the living experience of interconnectedness it gives us, to the ancient sacred sites and landscapes around us.
Therefore we wish to create sanctuaries and shrines, for our own and others' benefit; to live simply and to live lightly on the land, using appropriate technology and exemplifying best practice in all that we do. Owning this land means that our larger retreats have a site that can be developed for their needs.
Work on the design for Broadhembury got underway during the winter of 2004, and continues. Work on the land will be an integral part of at least one Buddhafield Retreat each season. Out of a desire for the well being not only of humankind but also animals, birds and the earth itself, Buddhafield is taking a leading role in developing an eco-Buddhist culture in this country. In 2004 we employed the permaculturalist Phil Corbett to carry out a survey at Broadhembury. Following this consultation Dharmamrta developed a permaculture design for the land, which includes planting trees for firewood and for fruit; creating terraces to provide flat land for camping, and planting hedges for shelter and privacy.
If anyone wants to help us to fully own Frog Mill in the next few months then 'Be 1 of the 150! Contact me, Hannah on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0781 449 6070.
Posted by Hannah Phillips