Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland

A place of happiness

Philip is an environmentalist and an activist. He has a deep passion to learn about the environmental crisis, and uses his expertise to excite people to take responsibility for our collective environmental security.

In 1994 Philip planted his native Irish tree forest with the help of grants before he moved to live next to it, 7 years ago. Philip has watched his forest grow. At the beginning it needed to be nurtured, but now he feels this forest nurtures him. Philip is very much part of this forest and in fact he says, ‘the forest owns him’.

Philip sustainably harvests the trees and sells logs locally for wood burning stoves. These are quality logs which are seasoned and cut for purpose – there’s nothing ordinary about them. Philip also works outside his forest with communities in urban areas to make environmentally friendly gardens using permaculture principles. While teaching permaculture Philip uses his forest to show patterns in nature and forest engineering principles as a blueprint. These can be used to plan sustainable, economical places for generations to come. The forest provides seedlings for planting in other gardens.

Philip talks positively about the groups of people he welcomes to the forest, they range from those who have rarely set foot in woodland, community groups and people from disadvantaged communities. Philip runs permaculture courses on site that can include tree planting and hedge laying. They all get to experience the beauty of being surrounded in wild nature, and if they’re lucky enough, they get a cuppa and a biscuit under a canopy of apple trees.

Philip understands connectivity between human health and being in nature. He loves witnessing the joy that his forest can bring to groups and believes everyone should have the opportunity to share a place of happiness, as we all deserve to be happy.

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