It’s hard to say who “we” are really, as there are so many people who make this place what it is. Some have been here from the very start, and some – who have made a massive contribution – have never been here at all.

Toby and Francesca founded the place. Toby was born and brought up in Somerset and, when not managing the woodland, he writes for a living. Francesca is from Italy but speaks English better than any of us. There are three energetic, noisy, wailing, giggling children.
There are usually three or four guests living here at any one time. Some come just for a long weekend and some stay more than a year. Most, however, stay for a few months and most end up getting a strange nickname
from the children. Guests’ ages have ranged from teenager to pensioner. People come from all corners of the UK and, sometimes, from abroad. We’ve had people from all faiths but, most usually, of no faith. Quite often former guests will roll up for a day or two to check we’re all OK and to tell stories about “the old days”.

Then there are our wonderful volunteers who come every Wednesday or, if they live further away, for odd days or weekends here and there. Often there’s a volunteer living here long-term, helping out around the place.

Kaye runs her fantastically successful Forest School
here.That school means there are occasionally a dozen
happy, loud kids under the parachute by the pond. There are other schools that sometimes come here, accompanied by teachers and volunteers.

The place couldn’t run without the wise heads on our management committee. They make sure we’re all being sensible and sustainable (emotionally and financially as well as ecologically). They often come down for a day or a weekend.

There are the hundreds of people who receive our newsletter… and quite a few generous souls who support us with prayer or with a standing order.

Then there are all the animals: Hazel the cat, the occasional dog, Harriet the sow and her various piglets, Gertrude and Blanc and a dozen other chickens, the bees, and all the deer, badgers, rabbits and so on.

All are a vital part of Windsor Hill Wood.


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