A Surprise in the Forest!

Today I visited one of the most ethical places I have ever come across.  It was accidental too – we were passing through Lydney in the Forest of Dean, intending to stop for lunch in Chepstow.  On the way through ‘Taurus Crafts’ caught our eye and children’s activities were mentioned.   Thinking that it might be a good place to take our grandchildren next week we decided to take a look.

Taurus Crafts turned out to be a whole complex where it would be very easy to spend several hours.  We checked out the café first to ascertain whether Colin would be able to eat there – finding a gluten free lunch is not always easy.

That test was passed with flying colours – no GF paninis but bread was available, and also jackets, salads, and cake.  We didn’t look at the mains so I’m not sure about those.

Around the site there were plenty of signs and reminders of their ‘green’ principles – multiple recycling stations, a reminder to dispose of paper towels in order that they can be composted, fairtrade goods for sale and locally grown food (unpackaged) in the shop.

handmade

We just missed Ukulele Day but leaflets listed the activities available for children during the summer holidays, some for a small charge, some free.  There’s a children’s playpark and a ‘paper plane’ trail (not quite sure what this is but it’s free so we’ll have a go with the girls).  The jewellery shop had a jewellery-making table outside and several little girls were picking out beads to make a necklace or bracelet.

Beads

All of this was impressive and more than enough to gain my approval but I haven’t yet mentioned the most important initiative of all.  The whole complex is run by a charity which supports adults with learning difficulties!  Several of the service users have jobs in the shops, café and kitchen.  The strapline for the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) is ‘Building Communities, Changing Lives’.  Their website can be found here:  https://www.cvt.org.uk/

Horse

They have several sites around the country of which Taurus is just one.  Find out more about Taurus Crafts here

 

I wanted to support this wonderful place but I’m not very good at spending money on myself if I don’t need it.  We did, however, buy our lunch, some ‘green’ household cleaning materials and a couple of Christmas presents.  I nearly bought a dress in the Fairtrade Sale but couldn’t quite bring myself to do it!  We fully intend going back with the children and look forward to our visit.

Photos from the Taurus Crafts Website/Twitter

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