The High Nature Centre (previously known as Wayfield Nurseries) is a 5 acre small holding located on a coastal plateau 130m above sea level on the South Devon Coast. The site is level and surrounded by mature hedges, and is a short walk away from a dramatic picturesque stretch of the South West Coast Path and some of the most spectacular sandy beaches in England.
High Nature aims to bring together visitors attracted to the area for it's natural beauty, with local people who rely on the sea and landscape to provide them with the resources they need to prosper and sustain their livelihoods.
The High Nature Centre is located in a very special area, both in terms of its beauty and it's geological and cultural heritage. If you walk from the Centre towards the sea you will discover an ancient Celtic field system positioned on Deckler's Cliff, dating from 300 BC. These have survived due to their proximity to the cliff edge and are thus protected from certain modern farming methods. There are also the remains of hut circles, further evidence of prehistoric inhabitants. The High Nature Centre aims to provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the local heritage and culture through the provision of interpretation materials, activities and courses.
Current facilities on the site consist of 6 x 30m polytunnels, five of which are covered, one has been converted to keep chickens & ducks in one half, and the other half is passive solar showers, and another tunnel a soft fruit cage. The site also has a borehole linked to a collector tank, mains water and electricity throughout the site, composting toilets and a static caravan which is used as a site office.
A small amount of low impact temporary accommodation is available in the form of yurts. The yurts are hand built using natural materials and provide the visitors with a unique 'High Nature Experience' whilst they explore the project and the surrounding landscape.
A planning application was granted in October 2012 to further develop the site to allow for additional recreational and business activities. The aim is to contribute to rural diversification by enabling additional revenue generating activities to be carried out on the site. This will be achieved by providing a low impact roundhouse to be used as a central hub and activities centre, low cost business start up spaces for local people, and yurt camping facilities for visiting tourists. The aim is not only to enhance the visitor experience but provide a place for local people to develop their own rural enterprises. For example food processing/preserving, arts and crafts, textiles and wood working, as well as provide health and well being sessions such as walking and marine trails, yoga and reflexology.
Development plans also include the continuation of food production using natural agricultural methods, the introduction of more livestock, starting with increasing the poultry and duck breeds, introducing milking goats and potentially some rare breeds. There are also plans to develop a small online seed distribution business.
The project aims to conserve, protect, and enhance wildlife habitats and geological and archaeological features. Another aim is to increase the bio-diversity and productivity on the land and create a haven for both wildlife and visitors. This will involve the introduction of wild flowers meadows, bees, butterflies and a wetland system to manage grey water.