Help Build "The NEST". Well-being and Learning Hub

by Karuna in Church Stretton, Shropshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,848

raised so far



The Nest will serve as a Community hub for learning and well-being. A cosy, indoor retreat centre, therapy room, social space and kitchen.

by Karuna in Church Stretton, Shropshire, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 22nd February 2023 we'd raised £1,483 with 30 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Karuna Insight Design' has gained full planning permission for a small education and well-being centre/community hub. Set within one of the UK's largest forest gardens, known as Karuna.

‘The Nest’ is an Educational space incorporating conference room, therapy room, kitchen, office, store, wash and shower facilities, working to a vernacular barn type design – using locally sourced eco-friendly materials.


Key aims that will drive the projects development include:

  • Community Organic Cafe
  • To provide inclusive learning opportunities for everyone 
  • To provide a range of planned, structured courses & workshops that can be delivered all year round    
  • To progress more substantive positive action, through increased learning and training, making a significant contribution to improving truly sustainable living, natural health and wellbeing and to support wildlife conservation, and heal the environment
  • Supporting local live performance and music
  • To  provide a ‘fit for purpose’ educational centre that will support increasing numbers of schools and colleges in the UK that are looking to incorporate Permaculture into their work; supporting  vocational learning as part of this
  • To  provide a nationally recognised centre of excellence in the teaching  of creative, off grid, meaningful living through Insight Design
  • To provide a venue to support delivery of a range of alternative events, therapies and seminars that promote health, wellbeing and truly sustainable living
  • To  provide on-site accommodation and improved facilities for site visitors, using the venue to enhance course experience and support inclusivity1671560017_the_nest_+_website-01.jpg

Some of the courses & workshops planned in the Nest are:

Forest gardening



Scything & Hedge Laying 

Apple Tree Grafting

Active Public Apple Day Celebration

Natural building - Hemp / straw / clay / cordwood

Compost Toilets + Garden Composting

Earth Oven Building

Insight Design

Art and acoustic music

Living in community

Preserving the Harvest 

Cooking & Special diets

Wild Food weekend & Plant Identification

Holistic Therapy Retreats


Meditation, Yoga & Thai Chi retreat

Therapy treatments - hire of room by external specialists & practitioners

Also Karuna, Organic Produce sales, from centre.


Many hundreds of inspired friends, visitors, students and volunteers have made direct experience of the benefits of Insight design.  Its going to be incredibly amazing to get this wonderful building up and running. 'Thousands more' people will then access the wonderful, unique, Forest Garden site, on which this centre will be built. Additionally, it will pave the way for Forest garden community development.


Hempcrete Demonstration at our Free 'Open Day' 2019. The NEST centre, will have 'Hempcrete' walls. Timber for framework, will be  locally sourced.  There are already numerous, low impact building examples at the site.

More info on Karuna Insight Design and 'The Nest' see Karuna website

Thank-You! for your interest in this project, and taking the time to view and read about it! We sincerely hope that you will find our positive vision worthy of your support. Even if you cant donate, you can also support by sharing it with your friends and family.

We sincerely hope that we can make this happen! - And hope to bring this to fruition this summer.

We're already making links with people who care about the earth and each-other, an inspirational, creative network of people, living with awareness and 'overstanding'.

Blissed blessings, super warm, loving thank you's to ALL our financial donors!

Your generosity, help and recognition, gives us much encouragement, which carry's us through, and fills us with positivity. This helps spread the vision and friendship.

We very much look forward to meeting you some time, we love to meet creative people who Love and support a healthy life and planet. Karuna Forest garden retreat awaits you!

Again, a Big, open, warm hearted "Thank You!" to ALL, backing 'The Nest' project.

* Please do scroll down to see just a few selected 'testimonials' & poem.

        ***The transformation of the land speaks for its self!***


One or two night stay in Sapphire shepherds hut reward. Sapphire Hut


Karuna T shirt rewards colors available: Turquoise, Royal blue, Forest Green, Black




Ahoy! ???? Some understanding, kindness and Solidarity!✊This short film came as a surprise from our lovely friend and volunteer, 'Rui'. It passed with a mark of distinction, recently on her masters degree course, in Documentary film making. I had no idea I was even being filmed in some parts. Don't forget to *Share, 'like' &.... 'Subscribe !' ???????? Thanks!


"A once-in-a-life-time experience in Karuna. Janta and Merav are fabulous hosts--supportive, creative, insightful and down-to-earth. Savor fresh healthy green food, draw in new knowledge and state-of-the-art expertise, and let out steam. Rose hip, raspberry, plums, potatoes... You can feel them, pick up/dig them, appreciate them and taste them. Your spirit will flourish from inside out. You soul will dance with the mother nature. Down the rabbit hole, become Alice in Wonderland!" (Ruonan/Baby Alice - China/Birmingham).  

"Wow, wow, wow Wwoofers what a wonderful experience, wonderful place, wonderful hosts. Karuna is showing the world what the true solution to these recent times looks like.  The simplistic, heart felt, powerful exchange of looking after mother earth while she in turn looks after us.  Enjoyed the chance to get involved in the project here plenty of mindful hard work with lots of varied jobs to immerse yourself in.  Janta and Merav make you feel very welcome and reward you for your efforts with fantastic home cooked food (not just saying that really is very, very good)  Karuna is a great place to get away from it all and the roundhouse is a great sanctuary where I spent several lovely evenings.  Enjoyed spending time with their dog Hoshi and on the Sunday they even took me on a day out experiencing some of what Shropshire has to offer. So yes, as you can tell, a great experience and place! much love and appreciation to you Janta and Merav." (Russel Sands/2022).       

1671904923_celestial_dragons_showering_karuna_roots,127x100cm.jpg *Reward -'Greetings Card'-'Celestial Dragons Showering karuna Roots' (from oil on canvas painting,127x100cm). Future vision of Karuna Insight Design.


"Karuna is a truly special place that is rare to come by in this modern world and allows you to find the subtleness of your true Human nature: a being inseparable from nature. You will find a peace that hangs in the air and meet the wildlife that lives close by you. The roundhouse is a home like no other and I enjoyed many evenings in deep conversations drinking tea from quirky teapots around the fire. In the winter the work was mainly in woodland management which was something new for me but which I enjoyed. The woods are beautiful and a manifestation of all the dedication and love Janta, Merav and their sons have invested over many years. Merav will blow you away with amazing food everyday, all organic and home-grown from the garden. Allow yourself to enter Karuna with no expectation, an open mind and allow the spirit of the land to connect with you... you may discover something new. Thank you Janta, Merav and Hoshi for inviting me to their home." (Megan Izod/ Hearts/Jan 2022)

"My memories from Karuna are still regularly occurring happy thoughts in my day to day life, and I'm sure that they will be for a long time to come (along with new ones made there) If you're willing to get your hands dirty, then you're guaranteed to learn a whole host of new skills, and you'll understand the every day importance behind each one of them, and the possibilities that they open to help change your life for the better." (Jack Woodward/Birm 2022)

"I love how Karuna embraces all elements of permaculture in a holistic way, via their own unique approach. The place is brimming with warmth, ideas, concepts, and an ineffable energy. It's like a womb! Alot of passion exists here. The experience was very 'kinaesthetic' & you will leave with inspiration. I really want to come back & would recommend to anyone on any stage of their journey." (Vikki McNab/ Nov 2022).

"What an experience!! Karuna is an absolutely stunning sight and Janta and Merav were warm welcoming and generous hosts. I thoroughly enjoyed the work they had me doing it was grate to be getting into it, getting dirty and feeling enjoyably tired at the end from a good days work. But they kept the jobs varied and interesting. The food they shared was amazing and the knowledge these guys have about what there doing is unending! Thanks for having me and good luck with everything" (Celyn /N.Wales 2022)

"10 days with Merav, Janta and thousands of mixed trees made this WWOOF experience a complete blast to all my senses. I aimed at getting the job done, which ultimately wasn't such a strain, for Karuna and its founders vibrate with history and creative energy ready to be shared. It's a place where one reconnects with the land, the trees and bees. I was privileged to play a part at grassroots level and hence a delighted volunteer!" (Marianne/Switzerland/Japan)

"Just spent a few days up in the Shropshire hills with Janta and Merav. A brief but fulfilling project. Lots of available materials to play with and a host who made time, and had the energy, to engage with all the work from start to finish. Great fun! I came away with some new ideas, refreshed from all the birdsong and silence....and extremely nice food: I was startled that my first supper came from a fungus/mushroom freshly cut down from 30 feet up an oak tree. It was delicious!!  An amusing, thought provoking interlude. I wish you both well. Cheers, Matthew." (Mathew Farmer/Herefordshire 2022)

“An inspiring vision being taken forward with great passion, dedication & love. A project of great benefit to us all which mother nature is clearly already lending a hand.” (J & A .Day/Shrops)

"A fascinating 2 day experience at Karuna and a wonderful retreat away from modern day living .The few days spent here proves that people/families are able to live in an environmentally friendly way using what nature provides.It made me aware that it s possible to live with less material items, if people choose.An excellent project that can only benefit and enhance the lives of the local community and all others who come in contact with it if it is given a chance to progress and eventually fulfill it's aims". (Fronerica Bolten  - Lampeter)

"What a fantastic experience to see what you've achieved here. Truly inspirational. We felt that we learned so much and our children loved it. As teachers, we think it would be an incredible experience for school children to come and see this. We look forward to returning. Thank you So much for sharing this with us". (Theresa & David Galbraith).

"Thank you for inviting us and welcoming us into your beautiful land. What has made the course memorable is how much you made us feel at home. The educational aspects are a wonderful asset to the local community and I look forward to returning in the future". (Jennie McGeoch).

"Karuna is a magical place - truly! I Have had such an inspiring, peaceful time during my stay here. Your vision is amazing and to see how Karuna has taken shape already in the tree/shrub/planting and vegetable growing area is fantastic". (Alison - Flintshire).

"Had a great time here! Janta and Merav are very nice people and made sure I left with some gifts in the form of seedlings! The work here involved collecting firewood, weeding, making comfrey/nettle tea, and watering--by the end of the day I felt tired but fulfilled. Both hosts are very knowledgeable about permaculture and other topics such as meditation, and there is a large collection of books you can borrow and read in your free time. Hoshi (the Rhodesian Ridgeback) is also very fun to be with and gets especially excited when she sees a new person. Overall, I had a great experience (though I had to leave 3 days early because I fell ill!) and would highly recommend WWOOFing at Karuna." (Vishnu Bilimoria).

"We really enjoyed the earth-oven course and are hoping to be cooking pizza in our back garden soon".


"I've spent a week at Karuna volunteering. This is the first experience of Agroforestry, Permaculture and Forest-Gardening I have had. My time here has been a real eye-opener and an experience I will treasure and value and impart the knowledge I have gained to others". David Sampson

"Thank you very much for the visit - I have learned loads that I can take back with me. Particularly about the balance between spirituality and agriculture/permaculture. Keep me informed about events!". Maggie

"A wonderful example of how to live sustainably and regenerate our damaged landscape. Karuna is an important landscaping project which increases our local biodiversity. May all the good work continue".  Matthew Holborow

*A forest garden of 10,000 mixed trees planted amid the Shropshire hills, designed to start the process of getting back to our heritage, our birthright, our true charge of the land, for agriculture is the very basis of our existence.

The seeds are sown!

It gives us immense pleasure to share what we have created so far, and to invite you all to be part of a much brighter future!

Like treasure hidden by the earth,

Like taste hidden by the fruit,

Like gold hidden by the stone,

Like oil hidden by the sesame seed,

Like fire hidden by the wood.

Jasmine Tender,

Hides as the being behind becoming.


This project offered rewards

£220 or more

Two night stay in Sapphire shepherds hut and meal

Two nights stay in Sapphire shepherds hut. *Inc bottle of Organic Karuna wine and a wonderful home grown home cooked organic meal, served in the roundhouse. For up to 2 people. Choose a date in 2023/24. Sapphire Forest Garden Shepherd’s Hut is beautifully romantic and well heated. Located amongst acres of young, mixed woodlands, orchards, veg gardens, meadows and straw-bale house. Relax by natural pool, swim, picnic, and observe wildlife

£5 or more

Good Karma

Best Wishes, Blessings, Gratitude and Recognition.

£10 or more

Beautiful Logo Sticker.

Beautiful Logo Sticker. The Nest or Karuna.

£20 or more

'Celestial dragons showering karuna roots' Card

Greeting Card (Blank) - 'Celestial dragons showering karuna roots' Artwork taken from Large Oil painting (127x100cm) by Merav. The painting is a vision of karuna in the future and the dragons chasing a pearl are guardians of the forest.

£30 or more

Beautiful Karuna logo T shirt

Beautiful Karuna logo T shirt Various colors and sizes (100% cotton) Sizes: M, L, XL Colors: Forest Green, Black, Royal Blue, Turquoise blue. Choose your size and message us what color you like.

£30 or more

Bottle of Karuna apple juice or cider

Bottle of Karuna apple juice, (pasteurised ) or Karuna cider. (local collection only, please come and see us at karuna to collect this reward)

£40 or more

One night camping at amazing karuna forest garden.

One night camping at Karuna (Bring you own tent) for up to 2 people. *This is a special one-off, opportunity, as Karuna is not a public campsite due to it's sensitive nature. Normally camping is only available to course participants, volunteers, and close friends. Choose a date in 2023. A great way to have a tranquil break and experience what karuna has to offer.

£50 or more

Two nights camping at karuna forest garden site.

Two nights camping at Karuna (Bring you own tent) for up to 2 people. *This is a special one-off, opportunity, as Karuna is not a public campsite due to it's sensitive nature. Normally camping is only available to course participants, volunteers, and close friends. Choose a date in 2023. A great way to have a tranquil break and experience what karuna has to offer.

£120 or more

One night stay in Sapphire shepherds hut.

One night stay in Sapphire shepherds hut. For up to 2 people. Choose a date in 2023/24. Sapphire Forest Garden Shepherd’s Hut is beautifully romantic and well heated. You can 'self retreat' and meet us - the founders. Located amongst acres of young, mixed woodlands, orchards, veg gardens, meadows and straw-bale house. Relax by natural pool, swim, picnic, and observe wildlife. Experience off-grid living in tune with nature.

£260 or more

Karuna Site tour for up to 6 people

Karuna Site tour for up to 6 people, includes tea/coffee, snacks, and a taste of Organic, Karuna wine or cider. Tours last approximately 2 hrs. Afterwards visitors may stay on for an a couple of hours to 'Pic nik' by the Pond or explore the magical healing energy of our specially designed, diverse young woodlands and wildlife sanctuary. If you choose this reward you can bring five friends or family with you. Choose a date in 2023/24.

£360 or more

One night in Sapphire hut with karuna site tour

One night stay in Sapphire shepherds hut with a karuna site tour. For up to 2 people. Choose a date in 2023/24. Tours last approximately 2 hrs, includes tea/coffee, snacks, and a taste of Organic Karuna wine or cider. Unplug and unwind in this idyllic setting, amid mixed woodlands and flourishing gardens, views to the Shropshire hills. Experience and learn about off grid living and all that karuna has to offer.

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