32. “Gardening For Nature” with Claire Leadbitter, Irish Forest Garden

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Welcome to episode 32 of the Nurtured by Nature podcast, today I’m delighted to be joined in conversation by Claire from the Irish Forest Garden. Claire is an incredible force for nature, having been friends with Mary Reynolds, the inspirational Chelsea award winning landscape designer for many years. In 2014 Claire and her family worked with Mary to bring the Forest Garden from her book the Garden Awakening to life on a small disused 1/8 acre paddock. This was the start of their incredible journey embracing their responsibility to become true guardians of the earth, no longer fighting against nature but working in harmony to nurture all creatures both rooted and un-rooted. As both Mary, Claire and her family’s vision has evolved so too has their approach and most recently they have expanded beyond the forest garden to embrace ARKing and offering up even more land to nurturing the native flora and fauna.

During this magical and laughter filled conversation, Claire takes us along on their journey from the challenges of starting at below zero in a nature depleted couch-grass filled landscape to the highs of seeing their hard work literally bare fruit and witnessing the myriad of creatures that have benefitted during their beautiful journey of co-creation with the earth. We share our mutual hopes as we acknowledge the changes that have occurred in our lifetime and how discussions around nature are seeping into the reality of more people. Claire imparts two profoundly simple but empowering pieces of wisdom for us all to embrace: Before doing something, always pause and ask Why? And Just Do It, no matter how small the action may feel, just make the decision at the start of this new year to just do something and take that first step to becoming part of the solution, you will surprised at how quickly nature steps into the spaces we make for her. 

Learn more about Claire:

I’m Claire Leadbitter and I’m sharing about our Forest Garden and ARK designs here in Wexford, Ireland which were inspired by Mary Reynolds and her books The Garden Awakening and We Are the ARK.  

Trying for a gentle, organic approach to living with the land under our care, to feed ourselves and creating as much habitat as possible for native flora and fauna.

Website: www.irishforestgarden.ie

Instagram: www.instagram.com/irishforestgarden

Other Useful Links:

Mary Reynolds – https://marymary.ie/

We Are The Ark – https://wearetheark.org/


The Garden Awakening: Designs to nurture our land and ourselves – Mary Reynolds

We Are the ARK: Returning Our Gardens to Their True Nature Through Acts of Restorative Kindness – Mary Reynolds

Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.

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