The Art of Natural Forest Practice

Celf Ymarfer Coedwig Naturiol



Reviving our woodland culture in the 21st century



My Woodland Coed Nant Gain
Once upon a time this ancient woodland was untouched by humans. Native flora and fauna jostled for life, beneath the earth, through a tangled understory, to the tallest trees reaching for the skies. A myriad of life forms each dependent on the other in ways which we have only a bare understanding.
pauls sketch
Over the centuries people have chopped down trees, destroyed undergrowth and complex networks and replanted ancient sites with imported species. The once vast covering of woodland across Britain was reduced to the fragments we see today. Yet, miraculously many of the plants that were here post-glacially still thrive at Coed Nant Gain. Iliff’s life’s work has been the restoration of the woodland, which now serves as a demonstration of how the natural forest functions.

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Iliff's Portrait by Nia Lloyd Hughes
iliff walk in snow
iliff portrait

Enter the Site

church apse

Natural Forest Practice
Natural Forest Practice is the term Iliff uses to describe his approach to a woodland culture for the 21st century. His observation and reflection on the dire state of our forests, the result of human intervention since the last ice age, has led him to the conclusion that our woodlands need careful restoration.

In order to provide for this we urgently need a truly comprehensive understanding of how our woodlands function. Natural Forest Practice provides for this with a holistic and balanced approach that incorporates the needs of conservation and productive woodland.

News and Comment
We’ve had the wettest winter on record with wind in excess of 100mph on the night of February 12th. This is the result!
Norway Spruce Rootball
The root-ball of a Norway spruce in excess of 100 feet
Left - Statues Coed Nant Gain'Trilogy' commissioned by Iliff Simey, sculptor Nick Eames completed Autumn 2020

fungi on birch fungus root ball spruce Tawny Owl Mammal Shelter Badger Sett Dead stump

What does a natural forest look like? Click on image for larger picture. More pictures to follow