Looking back at the 14 years of progress at Felin Uchaf its hard to imagine the windswept open field that there once was. There's birdsong wherever you go and the skyline is softened with thousands of young treetops
The most remarkable change has come over the whole landscape; the achivement of so many hundreds of volunteers and schoolchildren that have transfomed the 23 acre farm into a biodiverse patchwork of beautiful gardens, orchards and eco-buildings
As were getting quite close to completing most of these major construction projects now - we thought you might like to see these video stories of how they were made and who made them ...
Mwynhewch ! Enjoy !
Celebrating 2017 Volunteer Achievements
Its a great pleasure to welcome back familiar and over 2017 so many former volunteers returned to Felin to lend a hand once more , it became a place of reunion and renewing friendships- some giving up their holiday time to volunteer with us and bringing families and new friends - from all over the world !
Here's what we did together ...
The 2016 - the busyest year yet !
There were weeks where it was hard to find a place to sleep at Felin Uchaf in the summer of 2016. Some volunteers slept in hammocks in the woods by the stream and even some in the garden's sweet scented herb house ! With over 24 volunteers at a sitting for meals - the kitchen was a hive of activity and it took all of the good produce of our organic gardens to keep so many mouths well fed . The progress this year was astounding on all fronts...see for yourself....
Here's a snapshot of the year...
A Fellowship that reaches to over 30 different countries
There's a world map pinned to the hallway wall as you enter the old farmhouse. Its peppered with red dots - where volunteers have left a mark to show from where they have come. From Chile to California, South Africa to Vietnam and everywhere in between - young people have found their way to this narrow finger of rocky land stretching west into the Irish Sea.
There's a saying that when you travel - you bring with you who you are with you; that you meet more of what you are already carrying with you. People sometimes arrive for the first time at Felin looking a little bewildered , many having traveled hours or days to get here ...and the last leg of the journey seems to take forever, even if it is through the most beautiful scenery. But it never takes long..whatever their nationality or background , for anyone to find their feet and feel a sense of belonging even of coming home. The warmth and friendship extended to them, eases their uncertainty and soon settles them in .
The most bitter-sweet thing about working here over the years is having to bid farewells as people cycle off, balancing their pannier bags or walk up the lane to catch the bus on their first leg of the journey homeward after being here for three or six moths or sometimes longer.
This short film gives a flavour of what this dynamic ever changing family of beautiful people do together while theyre here .
Diolch o galon ! Thanks to all our brilliant volunters !
From Dawn to Dusk - a celebration of the liminal hours as we breakfasted and shared fireside tales on the hills, coast and woods throughout the year
The hills and the coast are never far from us here and if the weather forecast looks fair we often set off early to catch the sunrise on a summit or - at the end of day after the tools are packed away walk to some headland on the coastal path and share supper over a fire as the furnace sun dips over the Wicklow Hills of Ireland across the sea . It's a magical time. The familiar world is transformed ...in colours and mood and our eyes open to a brief moment of breathtaking beauty.
Here are some of theose moments we shared...
Reviving Ancient Welsh Stories
The collection of stories known as The Mabinogi contain some of the oldest tales in Wales , stretching way back past pre-Roman Britain. One of the stories has a strong connection with the local area of Snowdonia and Arfon . A company of wonderful Welsh storytellers and musicians with the support of Adverse Camber has been developing their own magical retelling in word, song and movement.
This is the Fourth Branch - popularly known by many as Blodeuwedd
Felin Uchaf - A Quiet Triumph
This is a short cameo of a late winter's day here at Felin Uchaf beautifuly captured through song and imagery. Thanks to filmakers Gareth and his brother for their sensitivity, warmth and vision. Their Quiet Triumphs Project is a community based project aimed to inspire charity and positive, local change.