The Hazelhut and the environment
At the Hazelhut we are committed to helping to improve our immediate environment and to making children aware of the growing necessity to respect and care for all living things.
The Hazelhut is situated in organic farmland, however we also have areas of 'wilderness' and mini ecosystems to encourage biodiversity. Our vegetable garden is completely chemical free and relies on many of the principles of organic gardening in order to produce fruits and vegetables to supplement the children's diet and also their learning experience. In 2016 with the help of the Beeken family from the UK and some enthusiastic Hazelhutters, we built an insect hotel near the vegetable patch, encouraging important predators of potential garden pests. In 2017 we made a small pond nearby, which has already begun to attract further wildlife such as frogs and toads. In this particularly dry year, small mammals have been able to drink there, while other water sources were dry. In 2018 we hope to be able to introduce bee hives to our ecosystem too.
In 2015 we introduced hens and rabbits to the Hazelhut and they continue to be well loved. The hens provide us with delicious eggs for Hazelhut cookery projects, but also provide children with the responsibility of egg collection when staying with us. The rabbits teach them about animal care and respect while both creatures contribute 'extras' to our compost! In future years we hope to be able to add pigs and maybe even sheep or ponies to our family of furry friends.
Further to our work on the immediate environment, we are also trying to lower our output of waste. We chip and compost all of our garden waste and try to buy less packaged goods. In 2017 we put an end to using any kind of disposable cutlery or crockery. We committed to all green and many home made household cleaning products and we ensured that our little artists could recycle what was left! Obviously there is still more to be done and we continue to enforce the hope of a cleaner greener world with our Hazelhutters.