Help us reach our potential as an organisation. We’re growing and with your help, we’ve transformed an exploited industrial site into a haven for people and wildlife.
Now we want to take the next step, build on our existing achievements and create new projects that can address some of the big issues we all face.
We want to build on what we’ve learned to launch a new mentoring project called Touchstones. It will bring young and old people together on the land. We believe that these two groups can learn a lot from each other, but in everyday life their paths rarely cross. You'll probably have heard about the isolation faced by many older people but did you know many young people feel the same way? Research from the BBC last year showed that 40 per cent of 16-24 year-olds described themselves as lonely.
Touchstones participants will work together to create a wildlife-friendly peace garden at Sacred Earth. As well as supporting local biodiversity they will develop new friendships, learn new skills and start to feel that they are part of a community. Our experienced facilitators will also introduce a series of fun activities that encourage mindfulness and sensory development.
Our flagship outdoor education project, the Earth Steward Apprenticeship (ESA), has already helped 225 teenagers to develop their social, emotional and natural intelligence - so we know that nature-based mentoring works. You can read a review from an ESA student here.
Sacred Earth is all about connecting people with themselves, each other and the natural world. We’d like to expand what we can offer but to do this we need your support. Below is a full list of our projects. Which one are you interested in?
• Build connections between young and old people – Touchstones.
• Help teenagers find their place in the world, through the medium of nature – Earth Steward Apprenticeship.
• Give wildlife a helping hand – bee, dormice and wetland conservation projects.
• Save the Sussex ash tree – support our research into biochar and dieback disease.
The English poet John Donne said: “No man is an island.” Human beings aren’t designed to function on their own. We need other people in so many different ways. Touchstones is about creating a connection between two groups of people who really need it.
Sacred Earth is all about community. Community means people. This is much more than just a beautiful place in Sussex, it’s a committed group of people who believe in the healing power of nature. You can meet the team here and check out Facebook for all our latest news.
Sacred Earth is a Community Benefit Society (CBS), which means we are run solely for the benefit of our community and any profits are put back into the organisation.
We have a leadership team, who run the day-to-day business and a management team, who advise on strategy and direction.
Our 40-acre site was a derelict brickworks when we took it over in 2011. It was bought for us by a local philanthropist who wanted it to be become an environmentally sustainable community hub.
Since then we’ve cleared tonnes of rubbish and industrial waste, re-instated some of the land for biodynamic agricultural use, had an ecological survey done and set up several projects to improve specific areas of the site for wildlife.
We’ve got woodland, farmland, an old clay pit (now an incredible wetland habitat) and a large lake.
• We support environmentally friendly agriculture. We already have a biodynamic farm on our site.
• We have 40 acres of land that - thanks to your donations, the help of volunteers and our expert stewardship - has much greater biodiversity than the surrounding farmland. We want to build on this success to become a vital nature corridor in an area that is experiencing an unprecedented level of housing and road development.
• We aim to become a centre of excellence in ecotherapy and to expand what we offer to support a wide range of vulnerable people.
• We want to be a hub for local, sustainable microbusinesses. We already have a biochar production unit and a willow growing enterprise on site.
• 8,000 - ESA bursary fund, enabling young people from low-income backgrounds to take part
• 8,000 - operational running costs for Touchstones pilot
• 6,000 - conservation work, including dormice and bee habitat creation and flood contingency works
• 4,000 - research into saving the Sussex ash tree from dieback disease
• 1000 - building a new composting toilet
• You will be helping young people develop their confidence and emotional intelligence and supporting them to build a range of practical skills.
- • You’ll be broadening their social experience beyond their peer group and immediate family and helping them find their place in the world.
• You’ll be helping to reduce the loneliness and isolation felt by so many older people who live alone.
• You'll be helping to enhance biodiversity on our site and supporting local wildlife at a time of mass habitat destruction.