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Newsletter Spring 2021

Newsletter Spring 2021

High Trenhouse Garden and Grounds

Newsletter Spring 2021High Trenhouse has emerged from winter in good shape. Some of our ash trees have been lost to ash die-back. However, as our woods were planted at high density, we have been able to thin the trees without leaving unsightly gaps. Burning the timber will keep us warm in 2022, when the wood is seasoned.

To compensate for the loss, we have underplanted. We also extended Hannah’s wood by planting additional trees beside the road. This is a joy, because it provides more cover for wildlife and more seclusion from people who pass by. We greatly enjoy our resident stoats, rabbits and hares, with visiting deer and foxes, in addition to a wonderful array of woodpeckers, tawny owls, fieldfares, pigeons and many other small birds.

Our five acres has 50% tree cover compared with the average in the Yorkshire Dales of only 4.3%, largely due to centuries of sheep farming. The UK as a whole has 13% woodland cover, compared with an EU average of 37%. Help tip the balance – sponsor more trees!

Sign up for online workshops

Newsletter Spring 2021We are delighted to be collaborating with fellow facilitators to provide opportunities for transformative learning, related to the book, Leadership as Meaning-Making – Take the Hero’s Journey to Transformation by John Varney, published by Routledge. Following the online book launch in January, we invite you to join these low-cost or no-cost online events – book now! – spaces are limited.

Leadership as Meaning-Making
A monthly series of 3 x 2-hour events with David Bishop, Christine Sausse and John Varney
Starting Wednesday 14 April 11.00-1.00 (UK time)

The Hero’s Journey
These interactive learning events with Mike Chitty and John Varney will culminate with an optional residential workshop at High Trenhouse in the autumn.
3rd Thursday of each month, 2.00-5.00 (UK time), starting 15 April.

We continue our series of Dialogues every
2nd Thursday of each month, 2.00-5.00 (UK time)

LogoVisual Thinking
Series with John Varney
4th Thursday of each month, starting 27 May

To run any of these (or other) interactions in your organisation, email John Varney

Book review

Newsletter Spring 2021English Pastoral by James Rebanks.

This important book sits beside other recent reads, which include Feral by George Manbiot, The Third Plate by Dan Barber, Rachel Carson’s classic, Silent Spring and (perhaps surprisingly) Doughnut Economics by Kate Rayworth. Each gives a perspective on the theme of humanity’s alarming relationship with our environment. Societies around the globe are caught up in a race to self-destruction – unless we can change our economics and our direction. Each of us is challenged to assume responsibility for a shift in our behaviour and, hence, we need to modify our expectations. Salvation is still (just?) within our grasp, provided we wake up and make a difference.

Welcome back!

Newsletter Spring 2021We look forward to welcoming people to High Trenhouse once again. Being a work-related educational facility, we have a little more latitude than holiday accommodation. Whereas we normally accommodate up to 28 people, social distancing reduces this to 17 at 1 metre plus or 10 at 2 metres. Talk to us about your requirements! (

Self-catering at High Trenhouse

Enjoy staying in the deep countryside, far from the madding crowds. As of 12 April 2021, at the UK Government’s Roadmap Step 2, our wonderful Bennett’s building will be available for self-catering for household groups. Maximum ten people in six en-suite bedrooms (2 doubles, 2 double or twin and 2 singles).

Delight in comfortable accommodation with wonderful garden and grounds, great walks on your doorstep and fabulous excursions in the Yorkshire Dales. We will sell out fast, so book now!

Corporate & Leisure events at High Trenhouse

As of 17 May 2021 at the UK Government’s Roadmap Step 3, we start with Corporate & Leisure group events. At last, groups will be able to meet face to face, subject to social distancing and other relevant precautions.

Many people have been starved of the stimulus of relating to colleagues and friends, so now is a good time to get away into ideal surroundings for creative or regenerative work. Few places can match High Trenhouse for safe seclusion in unspoiled surroundings, where nature offers a healing, wholesome experience. Book now to get your group away for relationship-building, creative interaction, strategy development or personal learning.

Dark Skies

The Yorkshire Dales National Park has been awarded the official Dark Sky Reserves status by the International Dark-Sky Association.

Light pollution is harmful to nocturnal creatures and obscures the wonderful view of the heavens. At High Trenhouse, outdoor lighting is subdued so our visitors can enjoy being able to see the stars.


Newsletter Spring 2021

Milky Way composite image over landscape of Norber Ridge and stone barn in Yorkshire Dales National Park by Matt Gibson Photography

People and Planet

Newsletter Spring 2021Because of Covid lockdowns, many people have, understandably, been desperate to escape to the countryside. Malham, our local village, has been swamped with visitors at weekends. These have often been newcomers to the countryside and untrained in its ways. People assume they can picnic and barbecue or they park thoughtlessly and drop litter with impunity. Whereas it is lovely that people come, it would be good if they could leave their urban ways behind.

We need to think about how to re-conceptualise tourism so that it enriches the interaction between visitors and the nature that they long to encounter but, too often, unwittingly reduce to a backcloth to habitual behaviours. The tourist industry is preoccupied with recovering profits rather than with education, so it is left to happenstance whether people benefit deeply from being in the countryside and whether those who live in the country are not abused by such invasions.

Ideally, visitors would become sensitive to country living and what nature offers. Besides taking cash for hospitality, countryfolk are well-placed to involve people sympathetically with the natural landscape. In so doing they could help bridge the gulf that has opened between humanity and the natural environment that sustains all life.

A good start is to watch the films, ‘Kiss the Ground’ or ‘Living Soil’ which show how regenerative agriculture is changing farming in the USA. The recent ‘Save Our Soil’ conference amplified such ideas for the UK context. Treated well, our soil will absorb the excess carbon our activities release into the atmosphere. There is hope! If you want to make a difference, get in touch.

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