The Springhead Trust was set up in 1973 in memory of Rolf Gardiner, a pioneer ecologist. He was an organic farmer and forester, a founder member of the Soil Association and, in the face of the growth of industrial farming, a passionate believer in rural sustainability.
- We encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to experience and value the rural environment, and to learn practically about the sustainable use of natural resources;
- We seek to preserve the buildings and gardens as a special place for education, enjoyment of the arts, crafts, music and rural culture and rural traditions.
Our activities and work
- We introduce young people to the countryside during their day or residential visits to the centre. We have nature watch areas and bird hides so that the children see wildlife at first hand, whilst our residentials include activities which initiate children to the varied work of the local countryside.
- We teach and encourage techniques and principles associated with a more sustainable way of life. Springhead has, for example, a reed bed sewage system.
- We open the garden and grounds to the public and participate in the National Garden Scheme. We also hold garden tours and lectures.
- We hold regular exhibitions to promote local artists’ work; art festivals; children’s art workshops; musical events and art courses.
Springhead relies heavily on grants and donations, but we also generate income from our activities. We constantly look to increase revenue opportunities provided that the activities fit properly with our objectives. Examples of our revenue raising activities are:
- hire income from school groups who come on catered residentials
- adult groups who organise their own courses, events and retreats;
- income from weddings – Springhead is licensed for civil weddings;
- seasonal fairs and entertainments with a rural theme.