Forest Edge - Nature-lovers' Retreat

Luxury Cottages, Edge of the Knysna Forest, Garden Route
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Forest Edge Nature-lovers Retreat
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Eco-friendly communal areas, Woodcutter Graves, Donkeys, Dams & Bonfire area

The Communal Areas at Forest Edge are open for use by all guests and allow for safe, free roaming in the large open spaces in Nature. There is a useful and popular self-guided eco-historic walk-about on site (with a special section for kids - ideal entertainment for a rainy day!) to help guests learn about the history, fauna, flora, water and waste-management of Forest Edge and the social structure of the area. There are benches scattered about.

More or less in the middle of the property there is a jungle gym and information board with mammal and bird charts and other nature information. In addition to each cottage's private braai, there is also a great communal bonfire area popular with large groups or families who want to tell stories around the bonfire. There are benches around the log-stack and also a picnic bench and umbrella for parents to relax, while watching the little ones play. North of the bonfire area there is a wooden walkway leading to our secluded and forest facing meditation corner, complete with meditation spiral, yoga deck, benches and a bamboo fountain where we encourage guests to take a little alone time - it is also a good place from which to spot birds, animals and even fireflies in the evening.

On the Western end of the property are our very own woodcutter graves, from the original woodcutter families that lived on the property up to almost a century ago. We have only been able to identify some of the graves but it remains incredible to think this is where the souls described in Dalene Matthee's "Circles in the Forest" and "Dreamforest" books have lived. This Western camp is also home to our popular donkeys, Hansel and Gretel and guests are welcome to visit them there to feed them carrots and apples and to brush them. We do ask that you keep the gate closed at all times as they will destroy our gardens if they escape. This is also our maintenance area where we store and treat our water, our tool sheds and do firewood processing.

In terms of water storage, there are 3 ponds, an earth dam for storing irrigation water, a large reservoir and several rainwater storage tanks on the property. The ponds and dam have been stocked with Thilapia fish in 2009 and 2010.

Throughout the Communal Areas there are information boards forming part of the 1km self-guided eco-historic trail; Forest Edge Communal Areas , Communal Areas at Forest Edge , photos of Forest Edge Communal Areas , photos of Forest Edge entrance  Communal Areas - Bonfire area with benches and a picnic bench, wood and an information board; Forest Edge bonfire , bonfire at Forest Edge  Graves of original woodcutter families straight out of 'Circles in the Forest'; Forest Edge woodcutter graves , woodcutter graves at Forest Edge , woodcutter graves , dalene matthee , circles in the forest

Jungle Gym for the kids' delight - family friendly communal areas. Forest Edge Jungle Gym , Jungle Gym at Forest Edge  Communal Areas - the meditation corner  Hansel and Gretel - the famous donkeys of Forest Edge; kids love to feed and brush them. donkey camp at Forest Edge , Forest Edge donkey camp , donkey camp , hansel and gretel ,

The work of art on our water reservoir is for everyone's enjoyment! eco-friendly accommodation , eco-friendly forest edge , eco-friendly self-catering , sustainable business   Jungle Gym at Forest Edge, central playpoint for visiting kids; photos of Forest Edge Communal Areas , photos of Forest Edge entrance , Communal Areas Virtual photo tour , Forest Edge office  Stunning sunrise seen from Forest Edge early 2010 - moonrises, sunsets, star-lit skies - all in the communal domain! photos of Forest Edge entrance , Communal Areas Virtual photo tour , Forest Edge office 
To see these areas in relation to the rest of the property, please see the site map. Please see the photos of the Forest Edge Communal Areas below. Gardens change; different weather casts a different light, so this is meant to be representative. Guest photos are acknowledged in the hover-over.

Quicklinks to the rest: FairyDen cottage; FoxGlove cottage; Fieldmouse cottage; FroggyPond cottage; Firefly cottage; Reception; Food Forest, Chicken Coop, Wormery & Compost; Communal Areas

*** IMPORTANT: Although these areas are open to all guests, parents remain responsible for their children around the ponds, dams, jungle gym etc and we discourage loud parties due to the nature of our eco-friendly establishment. Forest Edge is an eco-friendly self-catering nature-lovers retreat offering tranquility on the edge of the indigenous forest. This means that we try to live in tune with nature as much as possible and we try to avoid unnecessary noise and anything that can negatively impact on the environment.

Forest Edge is run along eco-friendly principles (we have no choice, as we receive no municipal services being out of town!) Therefore we have to catch, store, treat and pump our rain water for household and guests' use. There is a biological septic tank for sewerage disposal and in general we try to recycle where possible (e.g. organic waste, wood, glass). We also re-use gray water from baths/sinks to water the garden. We compost our organic waste, we grow our own organic vegetables and we do some earth worm farming. We do not feed or kill wild animals, but try and let them go about their normal business and we remove any snakes we should find on the property from time to time and place them very far from Forest Edge, deep in the forest (so far, we have never found one near a cottage, which we treat against snakes).