Embercombe Visit – April

A Bright and Breezy day in April the Boot Up! team visit a similar project in Devon – Embercombe.

Embercombe is both a place and an organisation. It’s a 56 acre site on the west facing side of the Haldon Hills near Exeter looking out towards Dartmoor. It has mature woodland, a lake, meadows an orchard and a large market garden as well as conference facilities and accommodation in 2 yurt villages.

Engagement with the land is key to their work, and they work to make sure that everyone reaches their potential as leaders. It is an outdoor classroom bringing the school curriculum to life. They encourage young people to explore the global challenges of our time in an experiential way and gain confidence to live authentically and effectively.

They hold family activities and they have an adult programme of events as well as Friends Working Weekends. They provide bespoke courses to businesses, charities and organisations, schools, colleges and universities seeking sustainable change through team building.

Embercombe has a very strong identity and lots of ethical ideals

But basically it is like Boot Up! – education, gardening, creativity, togetherness and a love of the outdoors

They have a HUGE under cover yurt that acts as a dining room and communal dry space. There is plenty of tea and its lovely and warm with a Woodburner – so just like Boot Up! then ….

The outside eating area. Everyone at Embercombe mucks in, taking turns to cook, wash up and do the chores as well as partake in 3 daily activities from gardening to construction.

Many of the students stay at Embercombe as a residential visit, this group were from a Steiner School and were there for two weeks. They all said they loved it and would never view life in the same way again.

Cutting drills to plant the veg

The Boot Up! team were allowed to wander round and have a look

There were beehives…….and compost loos
and a lovely seating area

which we think we might like to replicate at Boot Up! up at Tall Trees to make a meeting space

as we liked the communal circle effect and fire pit

ahhhhh – this is more like Boot Up! Flowerpots!!!!!

lovely atmosphere in this corner…

There were Wigwams to camp in
and cob contructions

and a yurt village.
The yurts were very spacious with wooden floors and bunks

and a great porch over every entrance for muddy boots and shelter

There was also a yurt-style recreation space made of wood

The yurt village
The herb garden outside the kitchen block

Like Boot Up! the students get to work on construction projects

do greenwoodworking
fix furniture
make cider!!!!!
wood pile puts ours to shame

queuing for a yummy lunch made from produce from the gardens

and some delicious soup
The afternoon briefing ahead of the next sessions.

The Boot Up! team learnt a lot from our day at Embercombe, they have the same trials and tribulations that we do although on a much larger scale. We came away with new friends and a whole bunch of great ideas.
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