Hinterland Tour Poster

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Hinterland Biodiversity

Enjoy this recent article by Alan Watson Featherstone:

Hinterland Biodiversity

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Slime Moulds on the Hinterland

Here’s an excellent article by Alan Watson Featherstone, to view or download as a pdf:

Slime Moulds on the Hinterland

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Green Burial Update

A step closer to buying the Green Burial site

The Wilkies Wood Green Burial site is proving to be an important community resource with Adriana Bijman’s burial on the 14th of May 2017 being the 24th to take place, a further forty-nine lairs having been pre-sold and with space for several hundreds more.

Planning permission for the site was granted nine years ago, which is when the Findhorn Hinterland Group established this enterprise with monies being used for the conservation of the whole area now managed by the Findhorn Hinterland Trust.  There has been no security with the land owners to ensure this good work carries on but this is about to change as the FHT takes on becoming the official burial authority, something required by Scottish law following a new act passed last year, and to this end it is in the process of purchasing the site for a nominal fee from the Findhorn Foundation, the current owners.

This is an important step for the trust as it secures this income for its work in the future but also means that it takes on significant responsibility to manage the site for now and one hundred years after the last burial!  Now that is really having to think about and plan for the future!  To find out more about the site click here or about how to reserve a lair here.

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Engage with the Land December 2016

Merry Christmas Everybody…

This month’s regular FHG work party will not be running due to the fact that the last Saturday of the month falls on Christmas Eve. Festive Blessings to all.

Work parties are open to all.

Work parties are a great way to learn more about the Findhorn Hinterland while caring for it. By participating in a work party you will deepen your knowledge of local ecology and pickup some land stewardship skill.

Join us every month, 10:00 and 12:00pm on the last Saturday of the month.  We meet at the Hinterland Information Point in Wilkies Wood – that’s the blue dot marked “I” on the Hinterland Map.

Tools and gloves are provided, if you have your own bring them along.

Posted in News

December 2016 News

Wild Things! Winter Wonderland Celebration.  This took place on the 4th December and involved about fifty local people who have been supporting the great outdoor programmes for local young people that the organisation puts on including quite a number that take place on Findhorn Hinterland Trust managed land.   It was a magical event at the Woodland Shelter with Christmas lights and lanterns, a blazing fire and plenty to nibble on and drink.  It took place at dusk time on a frosty winter’s afternoon.  Founder and director of Wild Things!, Jennie Martin, addressed those gathered and thanked all for another amazing year.  We look forward to this becoming an annual event and appreciate the collaborative working that has been possible between the organisations and look forward to more of this in the future.

More Celebrations   The FHT Christmas Tree event and Lewis’ Mendel’s green burial happened on the same day, Saturday the 10th of December.
p1040076aA steady stream of people came for their trees and were greeted by Marilyn Gamble and Judith Berry with hot mulled drink and Christmas nibbles before going off to find their tree on the land. Didier Lecuyer, Alain Barrere, Iain Davidson and Bruce Forsyth were out there to help select and cut the trees and Kajedo Wanderer did much of the initial setting up, organising and making a great fire.  Many thanks goes to these people for making it a great event.

p1040041aIt was so good to see children returning again this year and people taking time to socialise around the shelter; it is becoming part of what Christmas is all about for the young and not so young. It also fulfils all four objectives of the trust which are conservation, education, providing recreational facilities and building community – all related to this piece of land at Findhorn.

Towards the end of the Christmas Tree event over 200 people gathered on the Wilkies Wood Green Burial ground to say farewell to Lewis.  Lewis lived in Forres and had been connected with the community at The Park for over twenty years.  He had a keen interest in religion and spirituality having been brought up as a Jew, converted to Catholicism and actively involved in pursuing Buddhist teachings and practices locally.  There was a level of lightness and humour around the service held by Interfaith Minister Chloe Greenwood and his send off was a little different but very appropriate for Lewis.

Work on the Land. img_0299a There has been a flurry of activity to use the tractor and topper to mow down the gorse on the firebreaks and some of the paths on the land. This is a necessary to maintain the effectiveness of the firebreaks and has to be done at least annually.  Mowing also takes place around the Findhorn Wind Park turbines and they pay the trust an annual fee to carry out this service.  The turbine blades are fibreglass and if there were a fire with volatile gorse below they could melt and buckle fairly easily.  Areas of the old dispersal runways also need to be kept clear for access and manoeuvring in case a crane and other machinery is needed on site.

Green Burial Land Sale.  Benefits.   Should this go through; there will be benefits all round.  The Findhorn Foundation benefits as income generated from the green burial operation has to be spent on managing the site but also the rest of the land.  This improves and adds value to the Foundation’s land asset at no cost to it and the land it owns is managed to a high standard. The FHT benefit as the green burial, along with various grants, is the main income earner for the trust; it will be good to secure this income source for its work and will help to make FHT budgeting easier.  The people reserving lairs benefit in that there is far greater certainty that the site will still be in operation when they need it.  The general public benefit as there is money to maintain the paths and woods and put on events for education or fun etc.

Next steps.  The FHT Trustees still have to make a final decision to take on being the burial authority for this long time span but if/when that is done the sales document will be drawn up in the New Year by Donna Skelly, the FHT Secretary, but also a solicitor who works in this field.  There will be an option for the FF to buy back the land from the FHT for £1 in the unlikely event of the trust ever considered selling it.  Other details will include placing a real burden on the land to ensure it stays a burial site in perpetuity.  It is good to see the FF and the FHT being able to collaborate in this way for mutual benefit and the greater good.

Posted in News

The Hinterland Fox

Late one autumn evening, I saw a great Red Fox.
I followed him among the gorse, then lost him in the rocks;
Kneeling on the yellow sand – the setting sun aflame,
I heard the sound of laughter and the whisper of my name……

Climbing amber sand dunes, I started up once more;
Saw the Fox  a – lying by some round rocks on the shore.
But the light was playing tricks, as evening autumn can;
Amongst the rocks there was no Fox, but a charming red – haired man!

He rose and came towards me, and gently took my hand
Raised it to his lips and murmured “Welcome to my land…..”
I frowned and said “You are misled. From woods to wild sea
The lichen, sand – this Hinterland – it all belongs to me!”

Then he sung……

“Turn your face to the Hinterland wind,
Would you go where the Red Fox lies?
Would you come with me, would you run with me
Forever under autumn skies?”

Around his brow there glowed a crown – he laughed and bowed down low:-
“Before the Owners – there was I, and always have been so….”
Pure and low a note he sung, it shimmered through the air.
It carried hope and peace and love – no sense of discord there.

“Ownership and title deeds, concepts man invented-
Commit views to paper form, rights and laws cemented.
A hundred years, a thousand years, don’t forget your place
Among the dunes and shadows of this great and ancient place”.

The setting sun was in his eyes, auburn glints of light.
Was it the Fox beside me now? For in my dreamy sight,
I saw the night creep round the dunes and mingle with him there
“You’re not alone  – in lichen, sand and stone, I’m everywhere….”

Upon my brow I felt a touch, a gentle scented breeze:-
A blessing from the Great Red Fox – I fell upon my knees
Golden glitter, grains of sand, were swirling all around
The copper air was glowing with the song which echoed round:-

For he sung……..

“Turn your face to the Hinterland wind,
Would you go where the Red Fox lies?
Would you come with me, would you run with me
Forever under autumn skies?”

Donna Skelly,
Poet and Solicitor, Forres

Posted in News

Engage with the Land – Saturday 26th November 2016

It’s fun, it’s active, it’s sociable, it’s time spent together in nature doing good work!

Findhorn Hinterland Group Project

Maintaining our Woodland and Land

Work Party- Everyone invited, no experience needed.

Saturday 26th November from 09:30 – 12:00

Meeting Place: at the FHG work shed behind the Caddy’s House in Bag End on the edge of the woods (in case of doubt simply ask) – that’s the black dot marked “I” on the Hinterland Map

Come along and join in the fun!

Posted in Get Involved

November 2016 News

Looking After What We Have.  It was good to see some new faces at the October event where about a dozen volunteers cleared the understory of the small new woodland next to the fireplace in the southeast corner of the green burial site.  The area now gives the feeling of what the present burial field might be like once burials have taken place and the trees that have been planted start to grow.

img_0667Before the weather turned colder and damper, father and son, Will and Frances Lawrence, arrived.  They have been camping out in the woods these past weeks and helping out when Frances has not been involved with Wild Things! events or training sessions.  They have been a splendid help in putting the bee hives to bed for the winter and starting to go through a mountain of old bee equipment, cleaning frames and helping chuck out what is too far gone.

Will and Frances have also been helping Kajedo, our land manager, who has been out using the new brush cutter maintaining and widening the semi-natural firebreak which is to the west of Wilkies Wood and to the north of what has been called Lyle’s Wood.  This is where Lyle Schnadt, main builder of the Community Centre and the Universal Hall at the Park and founder of the energy conservation company Weatherwise Homes (some of its work now taken on by local firm AES Solar), was buried in 2000.  His was the first green burial on the land and you can find out more about the story of how this came about by following this link.

p1030940Another annual maintenance task has been filling in the hollows and bumps of the forest track to the burial site and on up to the wind turbines.  The FHT receives a welcome income of over £300/year, a tenth of the amount paid to the Findhorn Foundation as rental for having the Findhorn Wind Park turbines on their land, for carrying out this task.

Hygeia Foundation Donation.  John Clausen, President and Director of this U.S. charity whose mission is “to promote respect for all life and awareness of the interconnectedness of all creation,” was impressed by the positive work of the FHT during a recent visit and has arranged for an initial donation of £500 to be gifted this year with further annual donations of at least £300.  These gifts are very much appreciated and will be used wisely to promote the work of the trust.  Thank you John and Hygeia!  More information about Hygeia can be found here.

img_0676Edible Woodland Garden.             The garden has been tidied up and has been in the process of being put to sleep for the winter. Finally the fence around the information boards has been brought alive with the construction of a wooden mosaic around them. George Paul, Will, Frances and Jonathan Caddy have had fun over a couple of sessions putting this all together so do have a look when you are up in that area.  Its not quite finished and the construction could lend itself to further artistic endeavour – if you are inspired do contact Kajedo at [email protected]

Integrated Management Plan – Progress.  A contract with Chris Piper has now been signed and the scope and timeline for the work agreed.  A draft plan structure with aims, objectives and vision will be submitted to the FHT trustees for approval by the end of November with a first draft produced for you and other stakeholders to comment on by mid January, final draft incorporating changes by the end of February and signing off by mid March 2017.  It will be good to finally have clear guidelines for the FHT’s direction and projects over the next five years that incorporate and integrate information from the public Consultation Vision Document 2016, the draft Local Biodiversity Action Plan 2013-2018, the Findhorn Dunes Trust Lichen Survey and other important documents.

Posted in News

Oh Christmas Tree 2016

  • Come choose your Christmas Tree from the land
  • Make it a special event and join us for some mulled wine and a social gathering
  • Know that any financial contribution you make goes directly to conserve and protect your local environment

How it Works:
We follow the format developed by the former Findhorn Hinterland Group:
Members of the Findhorn Hinterland Trust invite you to attend a gathering starting at the Woodland Shelter in the new woodland area in Wilkies Wood from 10am to 1pm on Saturday the 10th of December.

We will have a fire and some mulled drink and nibbles before heading off to look at young trees of various sizes that need thinning. You can choose the tree that will suit your home, we will cut it to size and you can either carry it home or label it and we will take it to the roadside for you to collect. For this service we welcome donations towards the Findhorn Hinterland Trust’s work in conserving and enhancing our local environment.

The trees that are cut are mostly exotic Lodgepole Pines from the NW of North America that have become invasive on our rare dune and maritime heath habitats – this is a win/win/ win situation whereby you get a beautiful Christmas tree for your home for a very reasonable price, the land and its native fauna and flora is helped by the control of an invasive species and the FHT receives some money to help with its work on a special piece of land loved by many!

Get your tree and contribute positively to this special place.


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