Print this page

Rural Projects


Sharing, Celebrating and Enhancing John Ruskin's Legacy in the Wyre Forest

(Click or tap on images to enlarge.)

An exciting new project is now exploring Ruskin Land, the area of the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire cared for by Ruskin’s Guild of St George and managed by the Wyre Community Land Trust. The two-year programme began last summer and concludes in 2019 when the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth will be celebrated.

Ruskin Land was given to the Victorian polymath John Ruskin in the 1870s. It was the mission of Ruskin’s Guild ‘to take some small piece of English ground, beautiful, peaceful and fruitful’ in order to provide opportunities for working people to cultivate land and reconnect with nature. The project aims to explore the story of what happened at Ruskin Land, how Ruskin’s ideas have been incorporated into the modern forest, and what can be done to reinterpret his vision today in meaningful, creative and productive ways.

The project seeks to deepen the links between the local community and the forest through a wide range of events and activities. Making – of all kinds and varieties – will be central to the project. There will be opportunities for local people, and for those from further afield, to engage with the project and each other by sharing their memories, going on guided walks and working with an artisan in residence who will aim to turn our oak into beautiful things.

The £80,000 project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Ruskin’s Guild of St George, which owns the 150 acres of farm and woodland, and will be delivered in partnership with the Wyre Community Land Trust at St George’s Farm.

The project was launched at Bewdley Museum on Monday 24th July 2017.

View as a poster.

Watch videos about Ruskinian activities in the Wyre Forest by clicking here.

The Guild owns and manages over 100 acres of ancient oak woodland and 2 smallholdings in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire near Bewdley. This land, part of which is known as Ruskin Land, is coming back to life through the work that is being done by the Wyre Community Land Trust based at St George's Farm (the farmhouse is pictured, right).

At the farm a small outbuilding has been converted into an oak framed barn and named the Ruskin Studio which is now used for rural crafts and countryside skills training courses, farm based events and educational visits. It is made from oak harvested from the Guild's own woodlands and built by local craftsmen. The project won the 'most sustainable building' category in the LABC West of England awards for 2011.

The Trust, now based at St George's Farm, owns and manages a herd of over 40 Dexter cattle which are used to graze many wildflower meadows for Natural England, the Forestry Commission and over 20 private landowners ensuring that these meadows are safeguarded for future generations.

The area around Bewdley was once one of the largest producers of cherries and now volunteers working with the Trust are busy restoring some of these old orchards and planting new ones. Each autumn many of the local communities are now involved in collecting and pressing apples that would otherwise go to waste and making delicious fruit juice and cider.

RUSKIN in the WYRE organises an expanding cultural programme to reach out to local communities and the wider world. Click or tap on the image (left) to learn about the Big Draw and Apple Day event in October 2016.


For more information see:

Wyre Community Land Trust


Previous page: RUSKIN in WYRE
Next page: Symposia & Seminars