Forest gardens

An exciting new project started in winter 2010 to do some long term (10 years to start with) research on the ecological, economic and social aspects of forest gardens. In particular we will look at physical and social yields.

Twelve projects have been supported initially with a number of other projects contributing to the research too.

If you have any queries, please email:


Forest Garden Survey Report now available.

The first comprehensive survey of forest gardens in the Northern hemisphere is now available.

It was produced by Tomas Remiarz in collaboration with the Permaculture Association Britain and Permanent Publications.

The aim was to establish a baseline for more detailed research into temperate forest gardens and perennial polycultures. With over 100 responses from across Europe and North America, we have achieved that goal and can now begin to see patterns in how forest gardens work.

The survey has recorded location, age and physical data of each site, goals and achievements, species, management information and records kept by practitioners. Much of this information will be available to researchers, and we are looking for ways to make it publicly accessible.

Encouraged by the success of this survey, we are planning to produce a second, more extensive one that will capture additional sites and give forest gardeners an opportunity to log data over the years as their sites develop.

Please look out for future announcements! You can download the report from here. If you are interested in finding out more and contributing to our research work, please contact

Forest garden visits completed

Between July and October 2013 Barney Thompson and Jon Warmington visited nine of the ten forest garden participating in our study. They conducted interviews, carried out site surveys, and made detailed notes. A central focus was finding out what the forest gardeners themselves think of as important, as this will provide the starting point for our forest gardens work in 2014. Barney and Jon are currently writing a report on the work they have done in 2013.

Early Summer Update

I'm readying myself for the summer visits to the participating forest gardens, which start this week and will be spread over the next couple of months or so.

On my visits I plan to: talk to volunteers about their experiences of being involved; discuss some of the key issues in greater depth with the key practitioners; trial the set of simple soil tests we have been developing; and enjoy spending some time in the spaces.

I'm looking forward to it!

New Forest Gardens Book - your help needed!

Tomas Remiarz of our Reseach Advisory Board is putting together a new book featuring case studies of temperate forest gardens. It aims to share experiences between forest gardeners of what works and to provide a baseline for possible future research.

If you're interested in contributing there is a quick survey you can complete as a first step.

More information and the link to the survey can be found at at Permaculture magazine:

It sounds like an exciting project, we hope you can take part and share your knowledge!