Lifelines: Planting a Network of Hedgerows to Connect People and Nature

Lifelines weekend team of participants along with the Drala Long resident Buddhists 


What is a lifeline?  Clearly it’s something that provides an opportunity for life. The Lifelines Project of the St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace is true to its name.  This project connects community and faith groups with farmers, helping to plant a network of hedgerows and wildlife corridors across the countryside in the UK.  Last year over 250 volunteers planted 3,190 metres of hedgerows and 17,290 trees.  The project invites people from diverse backgrounds to take part in a weekend not just to do the actual planting but also to learn all about the native varieties and how to nurture the saplings.  After the planting is done, the resident farmer or landowner is responsible for taking care of the saplings. The Woodland Trust is one of the key partners for the project to provide the saplings.


This year, St Ethelburga’s invited a group of 12 Brahma Kumaris youth to take part in their weekend at the beginning of March at Drala Jong, a Buddhist Vajrayana Retreat Centre in West Wales.  The Lifelines project very much resonates with the Brahma Kumaris tree planting initiative: Kalptaruh.   They both highlight the spiritual connection between the plants and those planting them.  


Saturday morning started with meditation and exercise and the whole day was dedicated to planting trees.  In the evening the young volunteers shared stories, creative activities, bracelet making, songs, poems and hot chocolate by the fire.  One of the highlights was listening to the mythical folklore about the trees that had been planted during the day. Sunday morning too was taken up with planting, followed by a feedback circle and ending with heartfelt farewells.  This video beautifully captures some of the activities and the joyful atmosphere of a very special weekend.

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