Autumn colour at Holt Wood

Autumn colour at Holt Wood

Wood developments

This spring/summer we have widened an existing ride to increase supplies of fruits and nuts. We are going to call it ‘Fruit Street’, and look forward to the produce from existing and added fruit and nut trees, including apples, cherries, damsons, elderberry, plums, sea buckthorn as well as chestnut, hazelnut and walnut trees. All of the new trees have been establishing well and we will be making sure that competing plants are cut back over the next few years. There is also space for some more Virginian witch hazel and attractive pussy willow varieties. The autumn colour is already splendiferous.

New website for Holt Wood

For a while now we have been aware that our previous website for Holt Wood  needed updating. This summer we decided to move to and, after much casting around without success for help on designing the website, we had a go at designing it ourselves using a Word Press premium theme. We are pleased with our Divi-based theme from Elegant Themes, chosen for ease of design facilities and good level of support. The new website also has a blog and an online shop using Woocommerce for our woodland courses and products. It has been a steep learning curve but we hope the basic website structure will serve for some years and we can keep improving it.

Holt Wood Herbs product news

We now have 11 herbal body care products registered on the EU Cosmetics Portal, including our Witch Hazel Distilled Water, and they are available at the new website online shop. Kay has been hard at work designing delightful images for these products and you can see some examples here.

Banner for the Medicinal Forest Garden Trust

A donation has enabled us to purchase a lifesize banner for the Medicinal Forest Garden Trust. It has proved an attractive extra at stalls held towards the end of the summer at Exeter Green Fair and Branscombe Harvest Fair. We took along a herbal plant quiz to these events, Holt Wood products (every sale contributes towards the Trust) as well as information about training in herbal medicine and local herbalists in the South West.

Medicinal Forest Garden Trust Banner

Medicinal Forest Garden Trust Banner

Medicinal Forest Garden Trust

Updating of the Holt Wood Herbs website means that we now have a page for the Medicinal Forest Garden Trust and have added information sheets about medicinal trees, including Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) and Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). Our aim is to add more information and resources about medicinal trees and shrubs, including research updates.

Joining up with WWOOF

This summer we joined World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), which provides opportunities for volunteers to get involved with hosts by working 4-5 hours per day in return for accommodation and food. Our hope is that we will be able to attract interest from volunteers who are especially keen on finding out more about herbal medicines and agroforestry. Ideal volunteers for us are those with some transport so that they do not have to rely on us to get back and forth to Holt Wood. Our first visitors made us realise just how much effort is needed to communicate what we are trying to do and the importance of fitness for work such as digging and clearing brambles. We hope to have time to host more WWOOFers in 2017.

Next Holt Wood Working Day, Saturday 12 November, 10.30-4.00

For local people interested in finding out more about Holt Wood, joining one of our Open Wood Working Days is an ideal opportunity. Visitors get to walkabout, with some introductory information about Holt Wood, and can help with wood maintenance and projects. Tasks in November might include bonfires, clearing paths, chopping wood and planting a new section of the medicinal forest garden. No experience needed but walking boots and woolly hats advised, email us to book a place.

Holt Wood Herbs News

This newsletter is being circulated to all previous Holt Wood contacts to update you and provide our change of website details. Our aim is to produce it quarterly, and we will be using Mailchimp to manage our mailing list. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your details with Mailchimp, then check the link in your email. You will be asked for your email address to unsubscribe, and then need to confirm this.

Borage (Borago officinalis) at Holt Wood

Borage (Borago officinalis) at Holt Wood

Contact us

Do get in touch if you have any queries or want to come to the Wood Working Day, at