Tools for Renewal : A collaboration with Leapfrog / GSoA

We, at Newbold, are dedicated to nurturing positive change for our wider community. That is why we have recently began working with the LEAPFROG project in collaboration with the Glasgow School of Art (who has a campus on Altyre Estate, south of Forres)The project is a process with LEAPFROG to design a tool to increase engagement and participation with the wider community in the development and renewal of projects at Newbold Trust. The Newbold Trust team have been working closely with Mirian Rodriguez Calvo from the Glasgow School of art to start to explore the possibilities and have began creating this tool.

The first stage of our process was to explore how a directed walk throughout the grounds of Newbold House could inspire participants, local residents and partners to create and envision a future and new potential. The walk is a vehicle for change and discussion creating dialogue and engagement between the staff of the social enterprise and those visiting.

Mirian , a PHD student from the GSoA, described the process being inspired by the Ehrström’s works (2016), who has developed “a participatory process in which the participants, by deliberating in small groups and joining facilitated walks, tackle a complex policy issue that has highly intertwined social and physical dimensions” (Ehrström, 2016: 6). Another influence on this activity can be found back in the 1990s in the Stalker/ Osservatorio Nomade and in the book Walkscapes (Careri, 2001).

This allowed us to investigate the opportunities and challenges of interacting with space and each other in creation of opportunities and ideas. It allowed both Staff, Residents and Participants to see opportunities and challenges different areas can provide.  We are continuing to work with the leapfrog project to design this walk and interaction to give the widest possible audience an opportunity to share ideas about development opportunities and how this can help Newbold Trust to serve the local community.

For more information about the ‘Tools for renewal’ project and the work of Leapfrog visit:

For more information about the Glasgow School of Art project in Forres visit:,-highlands-and-islands/

and to Find out more about Newbold Trust and how to work with us visit our website:

Blog by Allan Scott Gray

To find out more about the Newbold Team visit:


The Creative Beings Drama Leader Workshop Emma Salt Harrison talks to Newbold

‘It is sometimes more about the process than the outcome!’

During the last weeks Newbold Trust has been delighted to host The Creative beings drama, a weekly improv workshop, founded by Emma Salt Harrison, who today gifts us a lovely testimony of her work.


Emma has worked as an actor and drama teacher across the UK and USA.

Originally from Rafford, Emma grew up in the countryside, living a childhood of freedom and creativity, using her imagination and wandering through the woodlands of Moray. Raised surrounded by creative people, she was soon drawn to various forms of art.

First attracted to the world of music, she began to be intensively involved in drama and acting while on a student exchange in California in her teenage years. Emma says that she felt attracted to theatre because of the possibility to play different characters, and to express herself in a safe way. Acting was, for her, a good way to step out of her shyness.

It was not long before she felt like sharing her passion for theatre, and soon after this she began to teach in summer camps, and was travelling the world, acting and spreading her passion. After some time wandering the world, Emma came back to the UK to study drama, graduating from the Salford University in Manchester. After some time working on her own devised theatre company and performing at various festivals, she studied at the University of Aberdeen to become a drama teacher.


Her teaching experience took off when she became a drama teacher for inner city schools and worked with teenagers. After a while, she realized that she wanted to come back to her native region to provide the community of Moray with drama classes, and to contribute to the vibrant, diverse life of Forres and its area!

Emma offers drop-in classes in Forres’ Community centre, but she is also leading a 8-weeks course in Devised Theatre at Newbold House. This closed group offers people the chance to explore Devised Theatre techniques in a safe surrounding. For those of us who are not quite familiar with the term, Devised Theatre refers to the idea of a theatre performance which is not rigid, or set in a specific text.


She guides people to explore a given theme such as an emotion, a feeling, or even an object, and to create something in a very organic and quick, almost instinctive way.

This ‘art of performance’ is then germinating for a few weeks, to give birth to a more specific performance at the end of the 8-weeks block.

Her teaching style aims to be inclusive of anyone, from complete novices to experienced actors. In her classes, Emma aims to bring people together and to offer them the occasion to express themselves freely and in a gentle, loving way.

As she highlights herself, ‘It is sometimes more about the process than the outcome!


Marie is an adventure and travel lover, with a special interest in beautiful Scotland, yoga and community life.

Managing our Bookings Department at the moment Marie has spent the last years living and studying in Canada, Chile and Scotland.

For more information about Creative Beings Drama Workshop visit:

To contact Emma:


The healing Power of Herbs

Explained by Herbalist Antje Rickowski 

“My passion is connecting and co-creating with nature intelligence for healing and balancing”


Antje has worked with plants and people for over 20 years

Antje Rickowski in her own words

I studied Botany at Berlin University and completed a 4 year full-time course in Naturopathy: Herbalism, Homeopathy, Iridology, Nutrition, etc.

I have lived in The Findhorn community since 1998.

I have also run workshops on natural health. Since 1997 I have my private Naturaphaty practice in Findhorn and Forres in Moray/Scotland.

Naturopathy is a multi-disciplinary therapy which uses various approaches: Iridology, Homeopathy, Herbalism, Flower Essences and Nutritional Therapy.

Check on the video;


To find out more about her work visit:

To contact Antje directly:

*Video courtesy of Olina Lorencova

‘What the kitchen means to me’ BY TURIYA WARMAN


In the garden, we need sun, water and the earth to grow plants, it is the same for our body/mind, we need to balance.


Though originally from Newcastle, Turiya has spent the last 10 years either living in Scotland or travelling the world. After offering service in the kitchens of yoga centres and ashrams, reverence and devotion became key to her cooking. She is influenced by Ayurveda, Microbiotics and the natural healing properties of food. Expect to eat hearty, healthy and beautiful dishes cooked with love and attention.     


The kitchen is the place I feel most alive. It is both the comforting warmth of a freshly made soup and the blazing fire of the oven. It is life and death dancing together in the pot. When I’m cooking I can feel the pulse of life/death/life moving through me from my heart and I burn wild. When I say I cook with love, it’s literally all I can do, as I feel my heart exhilarated by the creation, the assimilation of all my life force, with the vegetables, the water and the fire, all of nature joining together to feed health.

I remember as a child finding the kitchen to be my friend. I loved to spend time making cakes, bread and especially a family Sunday roast, which is a weekly fixture here at Newbold. My special job was to make the gravy, it was me the fire and some idea of gravy perfection that I had in my mind. Over the years I have had to face the demon of perfectionism (and many others!) and I find the most powerful place to do so is in the kitchen. 

For a time I was managing a kitchen in an Ashram in Guatemala, where work/life/service merge into one breath. My life was standing in the fire and having Mother Kali burn my vasanas (tendencies). When I realised the power of this sadhana (spiritual practice) I knew this was what I have to do, this was my swadharma (action in accordance with nature). I made a vow to serve and the greatest gift I can give others is food. People often ask me if I can write a recipe book and I honestly don’t know where to begin. My cooking comes from somewhere else, when I surrender and let go of the ‘me’ in the cooking, when I flow and dance with the ingredients, I create something beautiful, but it is realising there is no ‘I’ in that creation that makes it beautiful.


My current passion is Ayurveda, having studied philosophy, yoga and then cooking healthy, vegetarian food, it’s no surprise India’s holistic system of health would spark my imagination! Everyday my understanding grows deeper, as I see the world in energy, interconnecting and constantly flowing. It is divine perfection. What I love the most is that we each take responsibility for our state of being, and with that we can regain balance of our system. In the garden, we need sun, water and the earth to grow plants, it is the same for our body/mind, we need to balance our energies (doshas) so we can flourish. 

The kitchen is my place of worship, where I can encounter God in creation. For me this means using organic ingredients and a strictly vegetarian kitchen. When I think about the desperate state of our oceans, our woodland and our dependency on agriculture, I feel privileged to be in a position where I can ignite change and bring awareness to the need for a radical shift in our perception about consumption of food. At Newbold we have a stunning organic, walled garden, producing incredible abundance of sweet fruits and fresh vegetables. In times where we have to fight to keep organic food organic, I feel so blessed to walk out to the garden and take fresh spinach and duck eggs, with no added chemicals, a rare thing indeed. With this in mind I see it as my duty to regift our abundance and create food from my heart, I do this with absolute respect and humbleness, that any moment it could be taken from us. Here we hang in the cycle of life/death/life, without reverence for Mother Natures gifts, there might not be another harvest.


For all those coming to Newbold my wish for you is that you walk in the garden and feel the love growing, hear the wind in the trees and a distant buzz from the bee hives, and find that moment of stillness in the peace garden. Then come into the house for your supper and taste the same love, for it truely is the greatest gift, life giving, health giving, love.  







The garden is my church, the kitchen my altar and pantry a prayer book By Jake

At 22 years old, our new kitchen volunteer has developed an important path as a cook. 

Born and raised in Brighton, Jake shares with us his experience at Newbold and gives away this brief but very emotional testimony of his daily encounter with the kitchen.

He started as dishwasher when he was 14 and got his first chance as a chef at the age of 18. Since then, he has been working and travelling around places such as England, New Zealand, Uganda, Thailand & Vietnam. This has created a great impact on his life and of course in his cooking style.

His aim? To create community through food…. to bring people together.

We are grateful for Jake and his wonderful collaboration and hard work and hope you enjoy his blog post:  

Every time I sit to eat; it is an act of worship.

The garden is my church, the kitchen my altar and pantry a prayer book from which I can, with luxurious will, draw on flavours like a chorus of hymns.

Food for me is a direct connection to creation, to the source of our nourishment, the bubbling spring of natural abundance and expession of nature in tangibly tasty form.

We depend upon the myriad miracles of nature that align (maybe with a little assistance from the gardeners shadow) along a transformative process from sun to soil, seed to fruit, to eventually meet us, yet another integral contributor to the cycle of life.

And so it seems a great dis-justice for these precious jewels of divinity to so often be asphyxiated in lifeless plastic.

In stark contrast I find myself taking a stroll from the bubbling alchemical environment of the kitchen to take some time in communion within the Newbold gardens, harvesting with a grateful whistle, a prayer of sorts, parsley, sorrel, spinach, lettuce and other april offerings. These first enthusiastic arrivals setting the scene for a season of sensual theatrics as vines twine and pods pop.

It is at this threshold, between garden and kitchen where I thrive most. Knowing that the instant a stem snaps there is an obligation to honour in its freshest form the days harvest. I have been known to be found on all fours in the polytunnel grazing hands free to maximise the ‘freshness experience’. It is here that my native self is proven. As I play my part in this sacred cycle i acknowledge I am holding sunlight, condensed into a leaf or berry, lifegiving, planet sustaining sunlight.

Whereas a tree or plant can largely gather information directly from the sun, we as humans must depend upon a far more intricate and longer process of concentrating that energy into be it leaves or flesh. As we have not yet evolved photosynthetic powers, we seek from other organisms. Therefore as a necessary harvest this becomes an act of sacrifice that in turn should rightfully be worshipped. It is with this truth that I cook. 

By Jake

Litha/Summer Solstice at Newbold by Allan Gray

Litha/Summer Solstice has had spiritual significance for thousands of years as communities have been blessed by the power of the sun. The day where the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky.
Solstice translates as ‘When the sun stands still’ with origins in two Latin-language morphemes, sol, “sun”, and -stitium, “stoppage

IMG_4801The Celts celebrated with bonfires that would add to the sun’s energy, Christians celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist and celebrate abundance many also celebrate the festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of light.

Pagans are in awe of the incredible strength of the sun and the divine powers that create life. For Pagans this spoke in the Wheel of the Year is a significant point. The Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest’s fruits.

IMG_4771Newbold Celebrated the power of the sun, the longest day and shortest night, with an intention setting ceremony for the year ahead, held by Celia McKenna, followed by an evening of song and dance with many of our friends from the local community.

Solstice is a time to show gratitude for the light in ourselves, celebrate abundance of life and look forward and set intentions for the future. A time both to reflect on our gratefulness for what has come before us and a time to look forward with hope and purpose.

We thank everyone you joined us in celebrating the light and setting intentions for the year ahead.

IMG_4761By Allan S Gray

Allan, local to the area of Moray and a graduate of the University of Highlands and Islands, Allan has a key interest in environmental protection, adventure and for the community of Moray

Eating at Newbold by Kerstin Walz

My university background is in urban sustainability: how can we achieve more resilient and sustainable cities?  We haven’t figured that one out just yet… still working on it.  So sometimes I feel the need to visit places where sustainable living is already happening.  Newbold is perfect, since the people here are trying to implement concretely and actually live what I’ve studied as conceptual sustainability.  I am volunteering at Newbold for a few weeks as a residential HelpX volunteer (Newbold HelpX Page) , diving into the daily routine and experiencing a new lifestyle.


IMG_4349Right from the start, I’ve been impressed by how food here is grown: in a stunningly beautiful and traditional walled garden.  The kitchen’s aim is to use as many seasonal and regional ingredients as possible, preparing, processing, and preserving organic food – whatever is not eaten right away.  The approach is to make the best use of available resources, i.e. delicious vegetables and herbs from the garden, and to obtain additional food from organic farms in the local area. That includes fish and meat, eaten once a week, which are ethically sourced, and happy chickens to provide eggs.


I was interested to find here an incredible amount of knowledge connected to seasonal and regional food.  I am grateful to Christopher who led a class about re-discovering needed food-related skills.  Christopher has been baking his own bread for 30 years, and during his skillshare we baked 12 loaves of crusty wholemeal bread – which does not last long in a community like Newbold…


IMG_5766And it is learning by doing!  Meaning by eating, tasting, strolling around the garden, and discovering all the vegetables I didn’t have a clue existed!
For instance, there is not just mint. There is apple mint, peppermint, spearmint and even chocolate mint!  I don’t have enough room to tell you about the whole family of cabbages available…  If you want to get to know the gardens around here, one perfect opportunity is the Garden Tasters on Saturday mornings (


Another related series is the food preservation on Tuesday mornings.  What kind of preservation methods are out there?  How do we avoid ending up with only pickled vegetables in the winter?  I learned about canning, drying, and freezing; about questioning common eating patterns and developing new ways; about maximizing our use of the surrounding abundance. This can include very practical issues: like cleaning the outdoor kitchen, looking around for space to hang drying herbs and discussing which products get priority when it comes to the hotly contested freezer space.

So far it has been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

By Kerstin Walz

53616_1351546682554_8166762_oKerstin is a social scientist from Hamburg, Germany.  She enjoys reading, acrylic painting, and swimming. While she has travelled to five of seven continents, this is her first HelpX position, and her 2nd time in Scotland. She grew up with a huge garden, needed 10 years away to appreciate it, and is now looking forward to having her own garden someday.

To find out more about Newbold Trust and our commitment to sustainability visit

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