The aim of this one-year course is to highlight the importance of forest for the future of the Earth.

The course will explore working with trees and woodland from a biodynamic perspective. It is ideal for the practitioner sourcing materials from woodland. Held mostly outdoors, the course encourages an awareness of woodland health and diversity, studying how to regenerate, protect and tend wooded land in tune with planetary rhythms using biodynamic preparations. It employs close-to-nature forestry principles and Goethean science observational methods to develop a unique approach to biodynamic forestry.

Draft course outline

  • Overview the past 8000 years. The archetype of the tree; The present world situation of trees and forest; Is forest necessary – what does it give us?
  • Rhythm, patterns and connections in nature. Everything is connected; The seven planetary trees; Working with planetary rhythms – practical astronomy in the woods – Ascending and descending planet rhythms, moon oppositions; Descending moon affecting transplanting, pruning and felling; Forces that work against cosmic rhythms
  • Awareness and observation. Classifying vegetation, becoming aware of the animals; How is nature directed; Using the Goethean Scientific process in woodland management; Observing and solving common problems in woodland; Designing with green wood
  • Trees and water. The heart of the Forest; Bio-regulation and the Biotic pump; Climate change and the crying need for reforestation; Principals of Biodynamic forestry; Using biodynamic preparations in the woods; Horn silica preparation to aid bud formation; Tree bark paste
  • Intervention or non-intervention. Design or leave be? Should we intervene in wild natural ecosystems? Landscape ecology – how special arrangements of land uses affect ecological processes; What happens when ecosystems meet? Woodland habitat networks and woodland edge; Biodiversity through structural diversity; Diverse utilization and harvesting for biodiversity
  • Forest dynamics. The study of changes in forest structure with time, following disturbances of various types; Natural or imposed disturbance leading to Succession (the process by which woodland communities replace each other); Selective thinning and felling-sculpting with light
  • Does size matter? What proportion of land should be wooded? Scale – tree, stand, wood, forest landscape, watershed; What to measure and how to use the data; What are the underlying causes of tree diseases and forest dieback?
  • Our obligation to woodland. Silvicultural systems and regeneration strategies; Natural regeneration or controlled regeneration; Formation of seed; Tree maturity and Mast years; Seed collection; Ecological site classification (choosing species according to local conditions); The importance of seed chaos; Sowing times for trees; Protecting young trees
  • The future is in our hands. Creating an image of health and balance; Close to nature forestry; Re-greening the deserts; Planting a trillion trees – politics or reality? Cooperation and relevant organizations; Towards some internationally agreed forestry principles

Nick Raeside, expert in Biodynamic Forestry

18-20 Sept
9-11 Oct
6-8 Nov

22-24 Jan
12-14 Mar
23-25 Apr
21-23 May
25-27 June

£650 / RMT staff: No fee

The Field Centre, Nailsworth. Please click here for directions.

Booking: To book, please download and complete the application form and email [email protected]