Food-growing worker co-op OrganicLea has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a new ‘Woodland Classroom’ – a training space designed to meet the growing local demand for horticultural skills.
Based in the London borough of Waltham Forest -– on the edge of Epping Forest – the co-op offers horticultural training and volunteering opportunities to individuals, communities, schools and groups.
Courses include growing salads, surveying soil, cooking from scratch and beekeeping. The co-op also provides training for people with learning disabilities; and works with volunteers who are long-term unemployed, at risk of social isolation or referred through mental health services.
OrganicLea plans to build the new classroom from local organic materials using traditional greenwood techniques. It will be used for workshops, training, as a gathering place and a space for nature-based learning activities for all age groups.
On reaching its minimum target of £25,000, the worker co-op will be able to build a basic enclosed weatherproof timber-frame structure. Reaching the full target of of £38,000 would see the Woodland Classroom insulated and used all year round, warmed by a wood burner and connected to their solar panels. The co-op also wants to provide year-round accessibility to the space with hard-landscaped paths from their main building.
Related: Case study on OrganicLea and local food
Any additional funds raised beyond the full target will be used to create learning aids and increase habitats for wildlife around the classroom.
OrganicLea is offering a number of rewards to donors, including tea towels, tote bags, half day workshops, a year’s supply of fruit and veg and a meal at one of the restaurants they supply with organic food.
You can donate to the campaign here and find out more about OrganicLea at organiclea.org.uk.
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