As you may know, the forest is dreaming of a a bigger, better and more fun-filled future involving more funding and more space in which to do more of the crazy, sexy, arty, animally things you love so much.
As part of our strategy to make this beautiful dream reality, we need your testimonies about what the forest is to you and how it has enhanced your life. If you can write a few words describing your own experience, you could be helping us to attract that mammoth grant which will enable us to soundproof all the neighbours or to get a brand new toilet or something.
Really, there is no limit to what your testimonies could help us achieve, so please write them and post them here, and please do it soon!
If you don't want your testimony to be public, you can email it to the_beev[at]yahoo.com or send it through this bb in a private message to "beev".
It would be great if you could include your name and some kind of address with your testimony. Maybe your age as well, it's up to you.
Below is a sample testimony. Yours doesn't have to be the same as this. It could be shorter, longer, funnier, whatever you want, as long as it's the truth!
I first discovered the forest in 2003. It was a time in my life when I was becoming increasingly aware of the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health. I was starting to consume more fresh and organic foods, and I was interested in both the health and social aspects of organic, local and fairtrade food and drink.
I felt dismayed at how difficult it was to find places that were offering these kinds of products, and that is one reason why I was so excited when I found the Forest. Not only was it a vegetarian place with a very comfortable and relaxing, yet also dynamic and creative atmosphere, it was offering exactly the kinds of products I was looking for. Also - unusually for things that are healthy and produced in a socially conscious way - the prices were cheaper than elsewhere, with a further discount for people who volunteer.
This was a great start, but the Forest has offered me so much more. I became a volunteer because of my belief that it is a valuable use of one's time to serve one's community. I felt that a place like the Forest had immense value to both the local and wider community, and that without people like myself volunteering it not not be able to exist.
In almost four years of being a Forest volunteer, the rewards have been limitless. I have met a vast number of interesting people and formed many new friendships. I have learned many new skills and been able to experiment with different creative ideas. Perhaps most importantly, as a writer I have received a wealth of inspiration from the place and the people I have met within it.
Never in my life have I encountered a place which is so supportive and nurturing towards art at the grassroots level. I have found myself a part of a community of writers, which itself is part of a larger community of artists of all kinds. It is truly the ideal environment for stimulating my creativity and helping me to realise my goals in relation to my writing. I feel that my writing has improved immensely as a result of my involvement with the Forest and my interactions with the other writers who congregate here. For that one thing alone, I think the Forest is an invaluable resource, regardless of all the other wonderful things it provides.