Co-founder, Tree Source
20 years ago, we had the dream of growing saplings from veteran trees. Having the privilege of caring for majestic trees in some of the finest historic parklands in Britain, we planned to gather their seed and grow saplings loaded with centuries of epigenetic experience to plant out and regenerate our heavily depleted UK woodland.In 2022, the opportunity arose for us to purchase the perfect site for our tree nursery right next to our home in Cold Ashton, near Bath in Wiltshire. Comprising 35 acres of south facing, former sheep pasture, bounded by mature hedgerows, at the head of a valley running down into the city of Bath, adjoining the Cotswold Way, the source of a brook with year-round abundant spring water.As we investigated the site’s history, we were excited to learn that the land had been a market garden, producing food for the city since Celtic times, with the Romans growing grapes, nuts, and fruits on this rich and diverse limestone escarpment 4 miles from Bath City centre. We set to work designing our tree nursery. We realised we could grow it into a landscape regeneration project with biodiversity, community and education at its core, a living textbook of agricultural innovation.
The role of tree nurseries in agroforestry