Velwell Orchard

Biodynamics, Aikido, and Traditional Rural Skills

Hedge laying, scything and aikido

What do these three things have in common?

Introduction to Hedge Laying at Scoriton Farm

Thursday 27th & Firday 28th February, 9am – 5pm.

Cost: £60 (Inc. VAT)

​To book please click here.

As well as hedge laying, this course includes tool sharpening, as well as discussion around the conservation value and history of Devon hedges, and costs and benefits of various management techniques.

Learn to Scythe at Velwell Orchard

Saturday 30th of May, 2pm – 6pm, Sunday 31st of May, 6am – 10am

Cost: £60/£40 concessions.

This beginners course will introduce you to the correct use of the scythe. You’ll learn how to set it up properly according to your body’s proportions, how to peen and hone the blade, and mow using universal principals of motion so that you can mow easily and efficiently without stressing your body. We will also discuss meadow and lawn management for the benefit of wildlife and humans, how to make hay, and the use of grass cuttings as mulch.

To book please contact me direct.

More information can be found here.

Aikido Classes for Childen and Adults

At Buckfastleigh Town Hall on Tuesdays.

Learn to defend yourself – without fighting.

I teach children from 7 years old and adults too. No experience is necessary. Find out more here.




Coppicing course at Pentiddy Woods!

There are still a couple of places available for Saturday. Grab one for just £35!

Tool rehandling workshop!

A generous offer from Melissa Milne:
I have three spaces available on my garden tool re-handling workshop I want to make available for free for volunteer community gardeners.
November 23rd (Saturday) 10am to 12:30pm, in the craft room of the Mansion, Totnes.
We will be concentrating on tool re-handling, working with standard sized garden forks and spades.
I will however need to charge for materials as I am sourcing British made ash handles especially.
I also have a few fork ends if people want to come away with an almost brand new garden fork.
If you are interested please contact me on 07399459842  or
For those who’d like an idea of materials costs;
Handles will range from £9 to £12.50
Rivets 50p each
Fork ends £5 to £6
Poster with details:

No more volunteer days

Volunteer days cancelled!

Don’t worry! We’ll resume again in the Spring but the ground is too wet for vehicles to park now and most of the veggies and fruits have been harvested. Saying that, we do have a lot of medlars on the trees. If anyone would like to come and pick and use them please let me know.

Thank you to all of those of you who have helped out this year, including those who support us from afar, we really do appreciate it.

We will hopefully arrange some sort of Midwinter Gathering soon.

Lots of love from us all at Velwell Orchard.

Volunteer day cancelled tomorow

Sorry! Too wet.

Volunteer day cancelled

Dear all

Tomorrows volunteer day is cancelled as Sasha and I have some important business to attend to that can only be done tomorrow.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.


Autumn Celebration Postponed

Due to wet weather we are postponing our autumn celebration to Sunday 6th of October which happens to be Kate’s and Derek’s birthday!

Let us know if you can come.

Some Autumn News from Velwell Orchard

The leaves are begining to turn and fall, and the apples are dropping from the trees. The pumpkins are ripening well, the cucumbers are coming to an end, it’s that beautiful autumn time again.

Autumn Celebration

To celebrate the turning of the seasons, we will get the cob oven fired up on Saturday, 28th of September. Apple pressing will be from 10am onwards, pizza will be served at 1pm. Please bring apples to press if you have some, bottles to put the juice in, toppings for pizza, and your good selves! Please let us know if you are coming, and share transport wherever possible. Donations are always appreciated towards running costs.


This year, due to financial difficulties, we are selling some firewood. It is 100% hardwood and seasoned and it costs £120 per cubic metre delivered locally. We only have around 4 cubes available to so if you want some let us know asap! There will also be firewood available to volunteers through the winter.

Aikido Beginners Course

Starting next week, I am running a 7 week beginners course in Ki-Aikido at my dojo in Buckfastleigh Town Hall. The classes will be on Tuesday evenings from 7pm until 9pm. While we welcome beginners joining at any time, this is a good opportunity to come and get some instruction in the basics of this fascinating art alongside other beginners. For general information about our Aikido School, please see the website.

Upcoming events and courses

In addition to our regular Wednesday volunteer days, there are lots of events and courses coming up over the next few weeks and months.

Continue reading “Upcoming events and courses”

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