Pentiddy Woods is a family-run permaculture and woodland smallholding comprising of approximately 27 acres of land on the edge of Bodmin moor, near the village of Pensilva, Cornwall.
Our vision is to create an environment where people can reconnect with themselves, with the community around them and with the earth that provides for us.
We aim to provide an example of sustainable living and livelihoods based around our homestead, the existing and new planted woodland and small scale food production and for Pentiddy to be used as a venue for a variety of activities from amenity and leisure to structured training and workshops, open days, visits and events.
We also offer volunteer placements through WWOOF and help-X as a chance to live and learn together.
We bought the land in 2001 with generous emotional and financial assistance from family and friends, and named it Pentiddy: Pen meaning ‘head’ in Cornish as the river first rises just outside the land and Tiddy, the river along the eastern boundary. The majority of the land at that point was used for grazing sheep, and was fairly reliant on chemical input. It has gradually been transformed by the planting of over 15000 trees to create a coppice woodland, a productive polytunnel and vegetable garden and the establishment of a whole host of interesting multi-use perennial plants. The orchard and nut trees we have planted are under-grazed by sheep and ducks and
pollinated by our bees.
The land since 2001 has been treated as organic and as such the chemical dependency has been removed, though we are not organic certified.
All elements of Pentiddy have been designed using the principles and ethics of Permaculture, a design system which uses observations of nature to help create resilient, productive systems that work in harmony with the earth. This has been proven to be a lifestyle with a low environmental impact. The Carbon footprint analysis that was undertaken to assist with our planning case is available here.
One of the features of our design is that our need for financial income is minimal due to the land providing much of our need for food and fuel and off–grid living dramatically reducing our outgoings.
We favour local exchanges for goods and services over monetary but the necessary financial elements (bringing up 2 children and repaying the house build loan!) are provided by a diverse range of enterprises including the sale of coppice products, green building work and courses (see Heartwood Creations) but largely by our Natural Burial Ground.
We really hope that what we are creating here can provide others with inspiration and learning opportunities in reducing their impact on the planet in turn saving time, money and precious resources enabling us all to give as much as we take.