Robert Hart's Forest Garden
Robert Hart’s original forest garden in Shropshire continues to hold a fascination for a wide number of people. Hart’s description of the garden in his books and confusion over what happened to the garden following his death in March 2000 have both created an aura of mystery which haunts references to the place.

Highwood Hill is currently a private residence with no public access to the site. The forest garden which Hart created appears to have been partly cleared. The remaining elements have been untended and without human intervention have proceeded on a path of natural succession. The shade of the tree cover has led to a diminution in the under storey, although a few fruit bushes are still visible.

Robert Hart's garden survives in his books and in the gardens that others have started around the world under his inspiration - it is not here.


You can read more about the garden's past in these accounts:

An account of a visit by a group of people from Plants For A Future in the Summer of 1996 (comments underneath the original account, give some information about subsequent developments).

An account by Graham Burnett of a visit by Naturewise to the site in July 1997 (with photos).

In September 1997 David Jacke and Eric Toensmeir visited the garden, took photographs and made up to date plans. These, and an account of their visit can be found in their book Edible Forest Gardens; Volume One: Visions & Theory (Chelsea Green: White River Junction, 2005). The visit is also referred to briefly in this 2005 interview with David Jacke, from Talking Leaves magazine.

In July 1998 some graduates of a permaculture design course run by Naturewise visited Robert Hart, a short account by Jascha Rohr is available here . This also appears to be when the Iota Pictures video Forest Gardening with Robert Hart was shot.

An account of a visit by permaculture teacher Aranya to Robert Hart in 1999 and some of the events subsequent to Hart’s death.

Paul Evans visited the garden shortly after Hart’s death in March 2000, a short account of which was published in The Guardian.

Allan Shepherd wrote Hart’s Guardian obituary , including brief mention of a visit to the Garden before Hart’s death.
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