The Hillyfield Appeal - Help Small Woods Thrive

UPDATE: To stand up at Public Inquiry we still need to raise £13,000! If you can,Please Donate at THANK YOU ALL!!!

We did it!

On 21st Jul 2016 we successfully raised £36,326 of £35,000 target with 703 supporters in 49 days

New stretch target

 STOP PRESS: THE DATE IS SET - 10th to 12th April 2018
Delays in the appeal, and now that we have to extend the Inquiry by 2 more days, have raised our costs so we need an additional £13,00 to cover the expected costs of this court case... If you can, please Donate at our website 
Dartmoor National Park have made it clear that they are using us as a Test Case, which means that the outcome from this case will affect how they treat other small woodland restoration projects like ours in the future. It's not just about the barns we need. DNPA say that engaging volunteers amounts to a 'change of use of the land' from 'forestry' to 'recreation'. Clearly this has much wider implications for other environmental and land-based projects.
As a special treat for our supporters you can also download a fantastic EP of music written specially for our woodland appeal including this great track by Sam Walker.

Please watch this space as we will be re-launching a final crowd-funder to be able to see this through.

To make a donation now CLICK HERE

Thank you for making our dream come true!!!!!
It really is an inspiration and relief after all this work.

To Make a Donation now CLICK HERE


A Beautiful, prize-winning woodland on Dartmoor, managed for community and environmental benefit, and supported by The Forestry Commission and other woodland experts...

'I am inspired by the initiative and the energy of the project and equally appalled by the opposition that you have encountered which demonstrates how those in authority lose sight of the very values that they should be encouraging and protecting. They should be working with you and not against you' (Bishop James Jones, chair to the Independent Panel on Forestry, and Vice President of the Town and Country Planning Association)

'This is a remarkable project, run by dedicated, energetic and very well-informed people, which is a model for sustainable management of woodland on the fringes of Dartmoor'     (Dr Tom Greeves, Chair of 'The Dartmoor Society')

so why are the planners making it so difficult? 

This crowd-funder is to help us pay for the professional support we need to stand up at Public Inquiry for our right to continue caring for 'The Hillyfield', 46acres of ancient woodland and organic pasture on the edge of Dartmoor.

Dartmoor planners have refused us every application we have submitted for structures to help us support our work. Worse still is that they have served en 

We manage land for environmental and community benefit, and won 2nd Prize at Devon County show for best managed mixed-objective woodland in 2014, second only to the National Trust.

We share the land through community events and encourage people to get involved in the hands-on care of the land.

In just 5 years, 100's of volunteers have got involved, and have invested nearly 26 thousand hours of practical support. We also host short to medium term volunteer placements and apprentieships, including for students at Bicton College.

Bicton College Countryside Lecturer Ant Macarel says:
'Crucially it provides a space for these people to grow in confidence, to learn to interact in work situations, to problem solve, to comprehend the full range of Health and Safety implications in the work place and of course to learn from the example of the Hilyfields in terms of the multi-dimensional aspects that appropriate, successful and sustainable modern land use requires in this time.'


Enjoying the land & sharing skills

We host great community events such as The Woodland Olympics - a day of fun for lovers of wood of all ages! Enjoy the best of Devon wood-folk, walk, talks, and great food and ale. 2017 we are helping organise the South Brent WoodFair on 9th September, the next Woodland Olympics to be in 2018.aa

It's great work, BUT - we've hit a wall, and the Planners threaten our very ability to sustainably manage this land.

Please Help Us stand up for our rights, and take the planners to court so we can keep caring for and sharing The Hillyfield.


It is now clear that Dartmoor National Park Planning Authority are using us as a 'test case' by forcing us to go to a Public Inquiry to see whether or not it is considered 'reasonably necessary' for a small woodland business selling firewood to have a Timber drying barn to season home-grown wood in.a

The Process So Far:

After appealing the refusal of permission for a wood-drying barn to season our timber - we have now been served with two Enforcement Notices forcing us to remove all the temporary structures we need to work the land. Even our compost toilets have to go. You can find all the paperwork in the blog of our website 

We need Your Help NOW to fight this at public Inquiry & raise a voice for the sustainable management of small woodlands in Dartmoor National Park and the UK. 

Without your help this woodland will fall back into neglect and all our good work will be undone. Worse is that this can be used by the planners to make it even harder for other groups like ours to bring woodlands back from neglect and into active management for environmental and community benefit.

We Need Your Help to win this planning battle.

180 people wrote letters of support  for our appeal, but Dartmoor National Park have not made one available to the public online. We find this unreasonable and wasteful of both time and public funds.

706 people have helped us raise £35,000. We have already spent or promissed £28,000 and given all the delays and extra work required in our efforts to negotiate, weneed a further £5000 to see this through.


 An Uphill Struggle...

We need to raise another £5000 to see through and fight this appeal to allow us to continue caring for this land. This is higher than the original estimate we were given early on in our campaign (which is in our film), and based on the legal advice of head of planning at Stephens-Scown. See the end of this page for our Costs Breakdown.

We do not live in the woods

 our appeal is for the basic woodland infrastructure we need to be able to work the woods in a sustainable way for community and environmental benefit. The project is aan example of sustainable small woodland regeneration in the UK.

We want to see a thriving wood culture on Dartmoor where the community can engage in the hands-on care of the woods here at The Hillyfield. How can we do this without a compost loo, or some dry wood to sell?


The story (in a nutshell) 

We have to fight this appeal at a Public Inquiry - which means getting the support of a lawyer, barrister, and planning advisers. All this costs big money - and without your help our voice will fall short, we could well be set back 6years, and the damage to our business and the wider network of woodland workers will be significant. 

Find out more about our project at

WHERE THE MONEY GOES...Why we need £35,000+

It's a lot of money, to us, and no doubt to you too. Here's how it breaks down:

  • £30,000 minimum - lawyer's fees - This is a quote from David Corsellis Head of Planning from Stephens/Scown Solicitors. This is because DNPA are forcing us to go to a Public Inquiry which requires a barrister to represent us & is exceptionally costly. The barrister we will most likely use is Gavin Collett who comes highly recommended.
  • £2,310 - Fees to Dartmoor National Park (just to appeal the enforcement) - paid.
  • £2,690 - crowdfunding expenses (including getting our film made, leaflets printed, perks, organising the crowdfunder, PayPal fees and so on). Video Production £1200, printing £256,  Flyer dispatch £400, 5% fees to crowdfund.
  • £8000+ this is for the planning advisers who have worked tirelessly over months to help us negotiate, meet, talk, appeal and prepare the documents we need to stand up to have the voice of forestry and small woodland regeneration heard by DNPA.

Some of these amounts may be more or less than we anticipate when it comes to the crunch, but we hope that this covers the actual costs and we don't end up having to run a second crowd-fund!

What happens if we don't get the full £35,000?

If we fail to get the full funding we hope for from the project, we'll at least be in a better position to put our case than we would be without it. We have raised enough money to cover some of the initial legal costs - and we would then look for pro-bono help or less qualified support.We are hoping that we can get the full amount, but if we don't, we'll still go ahead with the appeal, although we might not be able to present such a strong case, and our chances of winning could be that much lower - we will do our utmost to get to our target and engage the best legal support... One of the strange things about this case is that although it seems such a mind-numbingly obvious need and minimal / harmless impact - the way of law is that things can be scuppered on technicalities so we have to be very well prepared.

What happens if we get more than the money we need?

If we do better than we dream of and raise more than the costs of this legal battle (estimated £43,000), costs are lower than anticipated or awarded by the inspectorate because of how unreasonable the whole appeal is, we will contact donors to offer their money back - or better still we will take a BIG STEP FORWARD!

There are two main areas in which we need funds. If we succeed in our bid, we'd love to get on with other parts of caring for the land.  For example to help in building the timber drying barn (foundations, labour, and roofing materials), and to go towards repairing a bridge which is close to collapse. (if you want to help with directly then please let us know)If more yet funds are raised then everything will be put into the Community Interest Company 'Wood Land Culture' - being set up to engage and inspire adults and children in rural skills and sustainable livelihoods.

Other ways you can help - Beyond the Cash

We know that not all our supporters have funds that they can spare, no matter how strongly they believe in us - So here are some other ways you can also help:

  • Spread the word - this crowdfunder is going to finish on July 13th. We need you to keep sharing it on facebook and twitter and tumblr and instagram and so on and on and on (and on...) and put personal messages out to friends.
  • Send us your enthusiasm - this thing doesn't run on clicks alone: email us at with encouragement. Some of your words have already drawn us to tears and inspired us with your care.
  • And Please Volunteer to help at any of our fundraising events. This is fun too :) 

YOU CAN PASTE THESE TO FACEBOOK TO HELP SHARE OUR MESSAGE:Beautiful Woodland Project needs our help. Click here 

Help Save this woodland from Planners decisions. Watch & Share 

I've supported The Hillyfield Appeal - Can you help? 

Also some images here that might be good to share... 


Want to Save a Wood? Watch this gorgeous video @thehillyfield 

I've helped Hillyfield. Can you? 

or link the crowdfunder I've helped Hillyfield stand up for Trees. Can you? 

PLEASE SUPPORT & SHARE NOW. Many thanks indeed for your help.

Doug and Claire

TO DONATE visit our website to make a donation or buy Thae Hillyfield EP & enjoy music to help our trees.


THE CROWDFUNDER.... NOW CLOSED First off, Thank You for supporting us. Even though you don't need to claim a perk to make a contribution, take a look at some of the special treats and enjoy something tangible in return - either for you or for a friend. As you will see we are lucky to have the support of some amazing people in Devon!

During the campaign, we'll be posting more about them, and we may throw in a few surprises along the way so make sure you're signed up to receive updates...

The Rewards - EVENTS THE GREAT CELEBRATION! 28th August with Martha Tilston & friends...


67096-06b39abbb456c37b92d21cf9d1e1393b.jA one day gathering of Music, Stories, Star-gazing, Feasting. An all inclusive bargain*Come and enjoy a day of relaxation, connection, and celebration out on the land.  A crowd-funder Exclusive Gift for YOU and those helping us care for Hillyfield and loving the land.

Please spread the word on this one. It's a secret ;) Fundraising bar provided with local ales, juice, and other good things. (*feast included in full price ticket)

------------Newly added rewards:

Original Hand-felted landscape by Jean Fenton... inspired by The Hillyfield. Framed in hand-made Oak frame. £100

MUSIC! Hang music by Matthew Bailey and the Birch Trio - 2 cd's of exquisite hang music, clarinet, accordian, and more. Very relaxing. £20  (

67096-7ec724e7762846342d527292e6f839d6.j67096-20316ea64462b9b03b7f008172ca7d5e.jOriginal Artworks by Jonathan Walker - Beautiful pair of paintings by brilliant illustrator Jonathan Walker. Watercolour and ink / pencil. These falling Hares look like angels out of the blue who have helped this crowd-funder! and I definitely relate to the he who conjures the wind. £400 each.

WILD GUIDE to SCANDANAVIA Norway, Sweden, Denmark & Iceland! 'Swim, camp, canoe, and explore Europe's greatest wilderness'. Fantastic book for anyone wanting to get out and about on a proper adventure or just be inspired by exceptionally lovely photos of hot-springs, canoes and mountains!

FELTED CREATURE CREATION byJessie Scantlebury - exceptionally talented felt needlework artist makes lifelike miniature animals. Your choice of a custom made Sloth, Brown Bear, or chicken. £50 67096-ae06a89588cc54f591b864bee96d6625.j   67096-98319c26acedfc1d8d7ad2854d67beb3.j

Time Traveller Tickets! - Narnia Totnes and the Time Travellers Muzeum have donated two tickets to travel through time at their incredible Muzeum on Totnes High-street.  

INCREDIBLE extra virgin Olive oil from Crete - 0.3% acidity, pressed in January this year. 1.5 litre glass bottle!  (chemical & pesticide free). This is very delicious oil!

Original PAINTINGS by Jonathan Walker - (watercolour & pen) They are coming! Get ready for these. A real treat.

4 xWildHeart Festival Tickets (Bargain at £70 each) - - 12th to 14th August     

 DARTMOOR ZOO! - Amazing opportunities!- A YEAR Long FAMILY pass - loads of added value to this!- MEET THE TIGERS!!! Yes - up close and personal!- A VIP Tour of the zoo with Benjamin Mee, founder and inspiration behind the project.

A Call to DANCE! Voucher for 10 sessions with Sue Rickard's dance workshops in London. Top Quality 5Rhythm teacher & movement inspiration. Bargain price.!5-rhythms-classes/c8ni Tuesday and or Saturday classes (total value £160-£190) Location: St George's Church, Crayford Road, London, N7 0ND

A Walk on Dartmoor with Dartmoor's Daughter Emma Cunnis, and watercolour teacher Gina Hemery... Visit the ancient megolith at the source of the river Harbourne (more info in the reward box) and journey beyond into the moor proper.

67096-e875f9d8a414222f81b3a71ae4204e82.j12 x750ml exquisitely tasty bottles of Gilbert's Premium Cider... Gilbert is an artist in every sense of the word, and his cider is one of those phenomena's of a man on a quest for perfection. Gilbert planted the trees himself... and his story is here



Yvonne Coomber, Mike Boyer, Jonathan Walker, Doug King-Smith

All these Devon artists have offered work for the crowd-fund. Some are available now, some will be specially made. So watch this space & if you know an art lover let them know! A great opportunity to own your own masterpiece.


YVONNE COOMBER - Beautiful works of art inspired by nature, love and wild spaces. Yvonne is a great friend of The Hillyfield and has offered 3 of these limited edition prints of 'I AM SO FULL OF LOVE' (printers proof) 565MM X 690MM.    Pure joy in a painting.


 JONATHAN WALKER - Inspriational wildlife illustrator weaving great imaginative worlds. A favourite for chidren and adults alike. Jonathan has offered to come to The Hillyfield to create an original artwork available at auction and limited edition print. Check for Updates! It's in the making!


 DOUG KING-SMITH - Sculptures made from wood. Doug's last sculpture exhibition was in Japan.  Take this opportunity to buy a sculpture made specially for you, either for indoors or outdoors. On the theme of the one pictured here... 'Many Circles. One Life' or let him know your needs.



Good_Game, The Cornish Seaweed Company, Brigit-Anna McNeil, Forest School, & Doug King-Smith, Dartmoor Horse Loggers

67096-e97387590c79731e8acaf8db03781aff.j DARTMOOR HORSE LOGGERS - A 1/2 DAY HORSE LOGGING EXPERIENCE with Will Hampton and his horses William (Ardenne) and Beano (Contois). Arrive early to groom, tackle up, and learn about the horses and long-reigning through the woods. Then after tea and cake try your hand at logging in the field and in the woods. Bargain Price just £150 for the two of you.


GOOD GAME - TOP VALUE DAY OUT IN THE WOODS - food, meat, beer, fun. Saving £100 on usualy prices!

"True artisans and very proud of what we do. Our mission is to make the best tasting game and cured meat in the world." - SATURDAY 20th August - All day.... arrive early for a home-made bacon sandwhich and then get cracking for a full day of food-ing :)

Learn from the best, & spend a day with the team of 'Good Game'. Feast through the day & learn everything about dressing, smoking, cooking & eating wild meat. You will learn a lot!

 If you are into real food, from real people, and learning how to make the BEST meat - then book now!


The Wild Experience.. with BRIGIT-ANNA MCNEILL. 23rd July

A very special day at The Hillyfield with professional forager and medicine maker, Eco therapist, plant walker, wild herbalist and facinating speaker Brigit-Anna McNeilLearn to gather food, natural medicine, and enjoy a delicious meal cooked from the great abundance gathered from the land.Come and explore The Hillyfield and discover the native wildlife and edible delights that it has to offer. 16yrs + or babes in arms. This is a workshop for a deep connection to our living planet. Wear sensible clothing and sturdy footwear for the elements. Saturday 23rd July.


 FOREST SCHOOL Fun at The Hillyfield. Nature Based Arts and Crafts for Kids (*12yrs and under) with Expert Forest School Leader Alex Skinner. (Children under 4 must be accompanied by a responsible adult).  Date: Sunday 4th September 2016, 10am-2pm. Adults by donation on the day (£20?) Vegetarian meal provided & cooked on the fire. (Dress for the weather and please let us know of any allergies or other needs. Thank You)


 THE CORNISH SEAWEED COMPANY - enjoy a day with Tim, founder of the Cornish Seaweed Company. Tim has basically got seaweed foraging on the shore - and is a mine of information, experience, and good cheer. Sunday 4th September 2016 at Tregallast Barton Farm, St Keverne, Cornwall. Meet at Roskilly's Ice Creams. 



BE A TREE FRIEND - Fancy Planting a Woodland or making a tree-planting gift? Help us regenerate the mixed broadleaf woodland by planting a sweet-chestnut tree, or Oak tree. A real gift to the land & the future.

CHOPPING BOARDS - Made from our beautiful home-grown larch and oiled with a natural beeswax hand-made oil. Own a piece of The Hillyfield or gift it to a friend. 

MEMORIAL BENCHES - Buy a loved one a bench which will be put somewhere beautiful at The Hillyfield - come and choose the spot if you fancy and know that there is a view for you from a hill in Devon.


SWING BENCH - This is a lovely bench made from round-wood and Brixham fishermans rope. A really comfortable bench. If you buy it for us, there is a perfect spot waiting by the river. If you buy it for you then we need to work out delivery. 

The Rewards - MUSIC



This is music from the heart, that lifts the soul and shakes your boots. 5 amazing artists who have all played at Acoustic Haven. Download these original tracks & feel the passion from those who have been to the land, felt the earth, and share her story.

Heart Out - Sam Walker - The Hilly Field - Ashley Height - Hilly - Treva Who (aka The Noisy Parrot) - Hillyfield Tango - Sam Alty - Legend of The Hilly Field - Algy Behrens

You will receive a link to the download page and a code to enter to redeem your download when you pledge - listen to these by clicking the pictures. Ashely Height (The Hilly Field), and Heart Out by Sam Walker

67096-641b9870f9bd525f3844ade8b33ff825.j 67096-dd5746edfdf2af2371ee39606c4add22.j 


Stacey Cohen Merch Pack!Hoodie, T-Shirt, Download voucher, CD and sticker! All for £30 not £50! The Archer CD & Download plus Charcoal Grey Hoodie & T-shirt!check out Stacey's music here.

All The Rewards that have gone!

  FELTED CREATURE CREATION byJessie Scantlebury - exceptionally talented felt needlework artist makes lifelike miniature animals. Your choice of a custom made Sloth, Brown Bear, or chicken. £50

SOLD - Retreat by the Dart - 2 nights for 1person to luxuriate in a gorgeous 19th Century Coach House. Gift yourself 2 nights of magic, just a stones throw from the river dart & Dartington estate

Sold - SEWING WORKSHOP in Brighton Sew shop - 2x 3hour workshops in sewing & dress-making

Sold - MASSAGE in Bristol with Leanna Anderson - Enjoy 1.5hours of Deeply relaxing holistic massage. Treatment includes initial consultation (2 people. £40 each). Leanna qualified in Holistic massage in 2007.

Sold - Canoe Down the Dart on August Friday 5th - 6pm to 10pm -  (usually £35 each - here only £25 each)

AMBIOS Lower Sharpham Farm -
 SOLD - Top Quality Organic Meat Hamper. 

ALMOND THIEF BAKERY - SOLD  'A Golden Ticket' for the Almond Thief Bakery. .

THE CHURCH HOUSE INN RATTERY - SOLD - Sunday Roast Undoubtedly the best C13 pub in the South West.  

DAPPA - SOLD! - Cosmo Caddy, the founder of Devon Distillery, has quality alcohol production in his DNA & generosity in his heart. Lucky supporters will get one of 6 bottles of his premium DAPPA (Devon Grappa!) 45% proof delicious treats PLUS a personal tour (to be arranged) with Cosmo at the distillary near Staverton, Devon. SOLD - FOOT TO EARTH with Denise Rowe (dance, movement, rhythm, song & yoga) 8th - 11th September 2016 Sold - FIREFOX 5 WOODBURNING STOVE - A brand new beautiful stove from STOVES ONLINE. Check this beauty out here. Just £300 rather than £373!Sold - A MONTH of Acupuncture! with Zoe Prendergast, a  fully qualified classical Chinese acupuncturist and herbalist. Zoe is highly experienced at finding just the spot to help balance the system and help treat most conditions. She is also a specialist in fertility and reproductive health. This will be 4 treatments over a month at a bargain price of £120. Will take place in Totnes


 MIKE BOYER -  SOLD - Brilliant, Witty, Enchanting. Mike Boyers exhibitions are a treasury of the quirky and unusual, deeply layered oils with rich content. He has kindly offered our very favourite 'TENDER IS THE MOON' (limited edition Giclee Print) 550MM x 440MM for the Hillyfield Appeal. We find living with this painting a daily reminder of the abundance of deep and lasting love.

Sold - NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE  - By Willow Freeman, Listen to the flute in a video.

 Sold - 2 Hours of Exquisite Massage -  with Isha Olsen Wells. Thai, Shiatsu or Deep-Tissue at Ola Chiropractic in Totnes. 

 Sold- Personalised Family Tree as a beuatiful paper-cut by Kyleigh's Papercuts. Choose one like these here, would make a great gift!


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