Hazel Hill Wood is a woodland retreat centre which embodies a profound exchange with the more-than-human world. By tending to the ecosystem, we reap its gifts in return — a symbiotic bond that paves the way for healing and learning.
Why people come to Hazel Hill
Annually, over 1000 visitors find solace in our 70-acre private woodland sanctuary. Many attend residential retreats orchestrated by our partners, while some come to retreats we personally lead. Many are drawn by the woods’ innate healing powers, and others by educational activities. Yet, a shared core practice unites our diverse community, encompassing three vital elements:
- Care for the Wood – This extends beyond the tangible. We strive to foster a profound bond with the woodland, tuning into its intricate, expansive intelligence to discern how best to serve and protect it.
- Healing – The connection with the living world is therapeutic. We craft spaces of healing both within the woods and inside our off-grid buildings, creating warm hearths where individuals can convene, find solace, and rejuvenate.
- Learning – The woodland’s vast intelligence holds lessons for us all. Our aim is to guide visitors in tapping into this reservoir of wisdom, helping them interpret and internalise the insights they glean.
A brief history
Our story begins in 1987 when our founder Alan Heeks bought the wood with the intention of caring for a woodland near his home. He quickly realised the transformative power of bringing people to the wood to heal and learn, and over the next 25 years, created the buildings and the practices which are at the heart of our centre. In 2015, Alan founded and entrusted ownership of the wood to Hazel Hill Trust, the charity which runs Hazel Hill Wood today.
Our places and spaces
Hazel Hill Wood offers a rich mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces for gathering, for quiet reflection and rich discussion.
We have five, beautiful off-grid buildings: the Oak House, the Longhouse, the Ark, the Hideaway and the Roundhouse. Together they offer accommodation for 20 to 30 people, cooking, eating and gathering.
In the wood, our six gathering circles provide places sit in the presence of the wood, to quietly reflect, to talk, to sing and to celebrate around a fire.