Fire and Flood

God these are heartbreaking times. Rain that was so longed for in the summer is now pouring off these hills taking soil and stone and track with it onto the terraces and into rivers.

The ash and fallen pine needles have rendered these acid soils even more hydrophobic. Even after these days and weeks of rain if you scratch the surface of the forest floor it is bone dry - dust - just an inch or two below the wet!

The rain simply runs off and takes the soil with it. We expected this after the fires but expecting it and living through it are two different things.

So what to do? I am resisting the urge to crawl under the duvet and I am spending time out on these hills singing, listening and sowing seeds - flowers for the bees and acorns and chestnuts for a new forest I may never see in maturity.

And - so important - I am nurturing the vision of these hillsides covered in thriving life that came to me with crystal clarity not long after I arrived in these beautiful, neglected hills. And it is not only I that has been gifted with this vision. So many of us that find ourselves drawn here have this sight of the future. This vision of thriving life that we see is the mountains and the future forest speaking to us and giving us the energy and hope to keep going. This vision is not ours individually it is all of ours.

Listen to your lands. What are they saying to you? What is the earth dreaming through your faculties of imagination and insight? What is being asked of you at these crucial times? Take a moment, many moments and listen. The Earth does not hold back when we simply ask: What can I do? 

And then act. You do not have to have a whole masterplan in place to act. I don’t. I hardly know what to do next week let alone have a comprehensive plan. But I always know what to do today. And today it is bearing witness to what is happening, letting my heart break open and sowing another acorn.

If you feel moved to help us regenerate details can be found here.



Practical Ecosystem Restoration
Helping Nature to get back on her feet after years of monoculture and wildfires.
Practical Ecosystem Restoration
Would you like to come and help plant some native forest, learn about ecosystem regeneration and reconnect with Nature and yourself? Then join us on an Awakened Forest Project work weekend.
Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita - Sunday December 1st 10.30 - 4pm

Another opportunity to begin to learn the art and science of foraging in our beautiful valley in the Serra do Açor.

Quinta da Floresta, Benfeita - June 2020

People have retreated to wild places for millennia to find inner peace and a greater perspective on life. Nature, in it’s simplicity and beauty, supports a profound relaxation in body, mind and soul.


It has been a long time since I have written a blog post because so much has been ongoingly changing in the last year. I wanted to wait until the dust and ash had settled and I knew where I would be before I wrote.

Many of the plants and trees the bees and other insects thrive on have burnt in the October fires and will not be flowering this year and some not next year either if they recover at all. Here are my suggestions on how to help the pollinators through these lean times.

God these are heartbreaking times. Rain that was so longed for in the summer is now pouring off these hills taking soil and stone and track with it onto the terraces and into rivers.


Many people have asked us how they can help in the wake of the fires and all we have lost. We are very touched and grateful for these offers of support. Here are some ways you can help:

We have started building the second floor of the workshop!! This will be our last major build here and will provide a dormitory and meditation/workshop room which will increase our capacities for events and hosting people, especially outside of the summer months.