Meet Sian & James: founders of Fforest Gather
Gather: to come together, assemble, accumulate.
James is talking about swimming out to sea with a hand cast net, swimming the arc of the bay and hauling kilos of sprats on to the beach. In years gone by, when the fish was in, the villagers would drop their tools, leave work early and go and harvest what they could. Gathering together to share in the bounty, a simple, nourishing ritual that seems to have embedded itself in the soul of this couple- the owners of Fforest.
This year marks the third incarnation of Fforest Gather- two weeks in summer to come together, learn new skills, indulge in workshops, and enjoy the glut of the season. For the adventurous there’s gorge walking, canoeing, wild swimming, yoga and den building or if you need some gentleness there’s willow weaving, hand dying, print and chocolate making amongst other workshops. Throughout the week the 200 acre farm will also play host to talks, live music, dancing and performers.
Work up an appetite too, and refuel using local ingredients prepared simply and with style. Freshly caught, cooked or brewed. Nothing beats the taste of a meal well deserved, the starlight on your skin and the gentle chill of the night as you move closer to the fire.
As we walk around the fields, hidden behind hedges thick with rosehips and alive with small birds making song, geodesic domes or kata cabins house luxurious sleeping areas. Rich local fabrics, stripped back wood and log burners to keep you warm as you look out across fields and forests of green.
Up at the farm central there are crog lofts and even the farmhouse itself if you prefer stone walls to canvas. And all around the hills slope to the water, and the wild comes up to whisper at your doorstep.
You never know, perhaps even the fish will be in.
Suitable for families and individuals, Gather will run for two weeks at the end of July and early August with a maximum of 300 people per week.
If you can't make it to Gather this July/August, you can spend time at Fforest Camp from end of March onwards.
The Times writer Liz Bird and her family spent time at Fforest last April. Read her story in 'April? Camping? but not as you know it'