Lyle’s Wood – community building day – Saturday 26th October

Findhorn Hinterland Group

Lyle’s Wood

Community Building Day

Work Party/Celebration Open to All

10am -5pm Saturday 26th October 2013


You may well have already seen Anna Marriott’s, Lyle Schnadt’s daughter’s, flyers in the Bridge over previous weeks and know something about this event.  I want to tell you more from a Community and Hinterland perspective and encourage as many as possible, men, women and children, to come along and be part of what is happening.


Lyle and the Building of this Community.  Our Community at The Park is special for many reasons and one of those is that a large number of inspired and inspiring people have dedicated large chunks of their lives to physically help build this place.  One such person was Lyle Schnadt who spent decades here bringing up his families after arriving within a fledgling community of less than a couple of dozen to physically build the original community centre following the guidance that my mother had received.  He went on to be one of the main builders of the Universal Hall and started Weatherwise Homes one of the first businesses to be spawned from this community and within this business designed a revolutionary solar panel that AES later took on and still manufactures.  He was involved in a conscious dying process as he battled with cancer and this brought people together especially the Men’s Group of the time who helped him select a special place for his burial in the dunes, dug his grave and helped with his glorious send off when the time came; an amazing community event in the Hall and a procession into the dunes culminating in each person blessing him with a white rose that each threw into his grave. 


I am sure many of you will remember Lyle and also this event which was the first burial on the land, an event that helped us move towards setting up the present green burial resource in Wilkie’s Wood.  He was a dynamic and inspirational man whose good work still ripples out; to mention one such ripple, he was my younger brother David’s mentor in learning to build and David has gone on to be a passionate builder in the States who built at least half a dozen of the eco-houses here including mum’s house Cornerstone and our own family house at Bagend.  You might not know it but we as a community owe a lot to this one person. 


We owe a lot not just to Lyle but to all those other single people like yourself who have gone before, come after or live here now putting their heart, soul, money and time into building a better world connected to spirit, nature and community.  Will and Angie’s wedding last weekend was in part a celebration of this love and goodwill that is built into the very fabric of this place and we would like this weekend’s event to build on this.


History of Lyle’s Wood area.  A small woodland to the west of Wilkie’s Wood was planted by Christopher Raymont, Stewart James and others over thirteen years ago after a devastating gorse fire tore through the whins on the dune area.  Lyle chose a gravesite in a small valley surrounded by these saplings as his final resting place.  Many of the trees planted have become stunted or checked by gorse that has grown back around them.  The gorse also creates a major fire hazard that threatens to burn thirteen years of growth should or when it next catches light and also is smothering a lichen and heather clad dell.


The Proposal.  The intention is to cut back the gorse around the trees, physically remove them and chip them with the resulting organic matter being used on the Edible Woodland Garden pilot project that will be started this year near Craig’s and behind Soillse in Wilkie’s Wood.  This will result in a reduction of the fire hazard, the revealing of a beautiful young woodland that has been growing up almost hidden for years, a welcome addition to the fledgling woodland garden project and the possibility of a community gathering where we do good work/ simply be together to remember the past and celebrate the present. 

Yes it is a big, ambitious job and we want the work done but we also want people to be there to connect with the land, with each other and our roots as a community that believes that work is love in action and that we are co-creators with nature and spirit.  That is why all are very welcome to work/watch/sit/ play/ drink tea/be together on this day in this special place.  


Practical Details.  Please gather on the grass next to the Duneland caravan at the top of the runway at 10am sharp.  Wear old but warm clothes and bring work gloves and any suitable tools that you might have; bow saws and loppers will be especially useful.  Bring your friends and family.  Bring a flask or cup for a hot beverage and some food to eat and share at breaks and lunchtime.  Something to sit on might be useful.  But most of all come; if you can’t make the whole time, simply come when you can and witness what is happening.  If you can, confirm that you will be there by emailing me at [email protected]  We intend to work on until 5pm or as long as there is light.  You never know you might be inspired to make a commitment to carry on this connection and giving back to this land and community by joining the dedicated Findhorn Hinterland Group who has been working every month on your behalf to care and explore this land.  I will make sure we have one or two membership forms just in case.


Looking forward to seeing you there.


With love, blessings and goodwill,


Jonathan Caddy


Findhorn Hinterland Group 


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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB