Environment & Arts

The Springhead Trust was set up in memory of Rolf Gardiner, a pioneer ecologist. He was an organic farmer and forester, a founder member of the Soil Association and a passionate believer in rural sustainability at a time when farming was becoming increasingly industrialised. His wife Marabel was an advocate of the arts, holding festivals, concerts and theatrical spectacles in Springhead’s magical lakeside setting.

Over the years there has been much effort to build upon the couple’s vision, and Springhead has grown and developed as a centre for  sustainable living, as demonstrated by our investment in renewable energy systems, our work to conserve wildlife and habitats, and our orchards and productive gardens. As an important rural venue for the arts in North Dorset, from dance and drama performances to exhibitions and workshops, we are also a centre for creative living.

Renewables and energy saving

A reed bed sewage system, a hydro turbine to generate electricity from the lake, and an array of photo voltaic panels are among the features we use to save and generate energy.

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Productive gardens

Springhead is revitalising its kitchen gardens and orchards in order to grow more fresh produce and to use them as a learning resource

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Wildlife and conservation

The 15 acres of grounds around Springhead are rich in wildlife, and home to a multitude of birds, mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, fungi and plants.

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Performances and events

The Rotunda open-air theatre is used to hold professional and amateur productions, and for school and community events.

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Exhibitions and art projects

Springhead has regularly staged arts projects and held exhibitions to promote local artists’ work

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Conferences

We are particularly interested in holding events with an environmental or arts theme and have recently held conferences on the future of ash trees, and protection of salmon.

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