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Please Help Support Building The Nest.

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

The Vision

Karuna Insight Design was first established in 2005.

We invested all our savings into the purchase of the land, from the sale of our cottage,our lovely home, a long renovation project we undertook lasting, '7' years.

In 2005, Guided by our deepest inner voice, we made the decision to attend a land auction, to buy land, and surprisingly, got the winning bid!

The whole project thereafter has been developed on a wing and a prayer,

with many years of intensive labour , design and organisation.

The word 'Karuna' means compassion (Sanskrit). 'Insight design', describes our contemplative and intuitional, experimental, experiential approach, to working with the land.

Through applying ‘Insight Design’ we transformed what had previously been

bare fields, wet, low quality, sheep grazing land, into a diverse, well-managed, multi-purpose permaculture demonstration project. It is comprised of mixed woodlands and meadows, and as far as we know, the largest forest garden in the country. As a small family of four we planted an extremely diverse mix of over 10,000 trees; including traditional fruit trees, nitrogen fixing trees, trees of beauty and interest, (arboretum) and many plants and herbs, thus laying the foundations for the 'living practice' of Temperate climate, Forest Gardening. Always using, our Insight design technique for the production of materials, fuel, fruits, nuts, vegetables and medicinal plants.

Demonstration of building with Hempcrete at the Karuna's Free, open day 2019 (Hempcrete will be used at The Nest building)

The Transformation

'Soma',our youngest, 'pioneering' son (8yrs). Celebrating through tree planting,looking after the wildlife,plants and trees, & the Land. X

We started work on the Forest Garden design in 2006 with the aim to bring some harmony and balance, re-forest and rewild 18 acres of poor quality, abused, overgrazed land in the Shropshire hills, proving our need to reside upon the land permanently, in order to manage our site design/project.

We pioneered this unique, reforestation project to set a precedent. A return to the land a re-connection with natural living, and to pave the way, and inspire more people to do similar. Some readers might be aware of our ‘5 year’ battle with planners, a traumatizing experience, that took us from local authority, public inquiries and appeals, all the way to London high court. A rigged game,in which the process and outcome reviled, that its fate,was already determined by the authorities,who totally ignored our 'Basic Human rights'. The whole Karuna case was very well supported by the public, this is well documented.Even the Guardian did a story on the project, at the time. (I shall dig it out for another Blog).

Free Open Day, Site tour (2019). This Highly, Bio-Diverse Zone, was designed by Janta,in 2008...Planted up with our two small boys,in 2006.

At our second High court hearing in London,we were given 1 year to remove ourselves, else face heavy fines and an eviction.

Our determination and commitment eventually paid off, we found a loophole,a long story, and planning consent was finally granted to build a beautiful, Low Impact, affordable, 'self-build'~ Strawbale roundhouse . Lots of hard work, and organisation, also lots of learning,social Fun.

Luckily, we received some independent funding, from some extremely generous, kind, aware, donors, who enabled us to buy many materials,in bulk, to make a start on the build. The house has since been serving us, volunteers, visitors and course participants very nicely for several years now.

Thus, the 'first two' major phases of the project were complete! (the reforesting of the land, and practitioners shelter).

HQ~ Strawbale Roundhouse, with living Sedum roof. 2018. Now fully established.

The Nest

The Nest is the given name for the third phase of the project.

This new centre will be a beautiful learning space, incorporating conference room, therapy room, large kitchen, organic café, open teaching space, office, store, wash and shower facilities, working to a vernacular barn type design and built using locally sourced Eco-friendly materials, including 'Hempcrete' walls.

The Organic cafe, will support local live performers, inc Cabaret, and serve as a small Organic seasonal, produce shop/outlet.

Later, as funds are generated, comfortable, on-site accommodation will follow in the form of glamping pods. Helping the venue, to enhance course experience and support inclusivity and support further development of the ‘retreat’ aspect of the project.

We have gained full planning permission for the Nest, have started laying the road and foundations and now we are asking for your kind support,and generosity to help this vision come to fruition.

Plan of The NEST....(By Mark Arbon).

What will be Offered at the Nest?

The Nest will be a multi- purpose space, designed to facilitate learning, connection, celebration and nourishment. These are our plans for what will be included in the project... Community Organic Cafe/shop. To provide inclusive learning opportunities for everyone. To provide a range of planned, structured courses, retreats & workshops that can be delivered ‘all year round’. To progress more substantive positive action, through increased learning and training, making a significant contribution to improving truly sustainable living, natural, holistic health and wellbeing, and to support wildlife conservation, whilst healing the environment. (We are highly experienced at this, having designed a site of Biodiversity and running courses for near 'two decades'). Supporting local live performance and music. To provide a ‘fit for purpose’ educational centre that will support increasing numbers of schools and colleges in the UK that are looking to incorporate Forest Gardening and Permaculture into their work; supporting vocational learning as part of this. To provide a nationally recognised centre of excellence in the teaching of creative, off grid living through ‘Insight Design’. To provide a much needed venue, to support delivery of a range of alternative events, therapies and seminars that promote health, wellbeing and, creative, truly sustainable living. You can get an 'in depth understanding', of the amazing, Nest project by watching our new * Crowdfunder video *.

Karuna late summer harvest

How Can You Help?

We now need to raise the £38,000 still needed, to realise this dream. The first and best way that you can help, is to 'donate to our crowd funder'~ (or contact us for donations above £200).

We have a number of wonderful rewards available to people who donate to our campaign including Karuna t-shirts, camping in the forest garden, a stay in our stunning Sapphire hut, tours of our demonstration site, and forest garden. Take a look!

All donations 'Large' or 'small', are very gratefully received.

The second helpful way, is to 'share' our story, campaign, and project video with your family, friends and wider community through word of mouth, social media,e-mails and newsletters.

The story of healing the land, birds, wildlife and people is very real, and our achievements, can be directly seen and experienced!

Volunteers harvesting potatoes

Why Support Us?

The flow of extreme change, in crazy world events, over the past few years is nothing less than evidence, that we really do need to educate and support ourselves and each other, in the best possible way, in order to survive and live happy, healthy lives .

As Forest Garden practitioners, with decades of experience in the field, we celebrate 'our offering', ‘Karuna insight design’, as an utterly unique example, of what is achievable through, compassion, positive action and insight.

Clearly, the land wants to be healed, and will do so, given the right support.

The NEST centre, will offer the opportunity for thousands more people to heal, grow, celebrate, learn, and thrive through compassionate, land design and use.

Beautiful Visitor admiring the Spindle tree,which inspired her to plant several at her home.

Our best hope lies in our connection to each other and the land!

To nature, reawakening our bodies natural, instinctive capacity, to heal itself, strengthening our minds connection to universal intelligence, and reconnecting our spirit with the divine essence of Love within us.

We sincerely believe, that by supporting the building of the NEST, you will, in fact, be supporting your children’s future, and yourselves, on many different levels, potentially, directly, and indirectly.

We know from experience, that we all possess tremendous collective power when we 'unite', to make a difference!

*This is an opportunity for YOU to

Be the change you want to see in the world!

UNIFY; Small donations of £5/£10 really help!

They are Important as they raise the number of backers, and show community support and solidarity.

*Sharing this link with your contacts, friend's and family is another way to help with the campaign.

From the depths of our hearts, we thank you for your understanding, kindness and support!


Volunteers working in the horticulture area, Potatoes, Globe Artichokes, Hops, Genkgo Biloba....Opposite where the NEST is sited, ready for learning courses,Organic Cafe/shop...:).

All photos (except the natural pool , by Janta Wheelhouse).


Building work came to a halt when all funds were exhausted.

Then there was covid, we compelled to end running courses.

*Additionally, Merav, my wife and Co founder, a beautiful soul, is a suffer of 'Huntington's disease' - HD, a horrible, rare hereditary,degenerative illness, of the Central nervous system.

For which there is no known cure.

She's now past 'mid stage', of this terrible illness.

She's unable to work reliably, with the onset of physical and cognitive degeneration, particularly in the office.

Her set routines, in the garden, enable her to keep active outdoors, breathe relatively clean air, consume Organic fruit and veg, which assist, hopefully, in slowing down the degenerative process.

Merav used to be an 'Artist supreme!'- but totally, lost her ability to paint, some 5 yrs back, due to HD. She's now Queen of the garden fairies, does what she can, where she can. Brilliantly!

This is just about all I have to say. I wished to make the reader aware of this 'exceptional' life condition.

Himalayas of Blessings, to all supporters of this amazing life support system, called 'Karuna Insight Design'.

We'd love to meet you all!

Digging foundations, ready to lay concrete for The Nest.

"You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offence or the disadvantage of anyone." ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

2018~Proper 'expensive' road excavation. Access to The NEST..
Turning point & onstruction of access road to The Nest. 2018....Exhausted all the projects funds.:(

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