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Revisiting Khalsa wood: a Sikh woodland and a model faith and environment project

May 19 2008:

The tree planting ceremony at Khalsa Wood on the 300th anniversary of Vaiskakhi.

In 1999 British Sikhs planted a special woodland on the outskirts of Nottingham to mark the 300th anniversary of Vaiskakhi, the fellowship of baptised Sikhs. Nine years later it is a quiet place, used for walks, picnics, ceremonies and meditation by many communities.

It is now known as Khalsa wood, and is not only a centre for British Sikh engagement with the environment, but has become a model example for creating faith-created woodland around the world. ARC helped support the project at an early stage through advice and marketing.

According to Harbant Kaur Sehra, the community development worker who first coordinated the planting of 300 trees to create a new woodland area known as Khalsa Wood, the initial ceremony attracted 600 people.

“There was a good cross section of age groups helping to plant the trees – from grandparents and young children,” she said.

Oak saplings were chosen because the Sikh community wanted to have something which future generations into the 22nd century and beyond could visit. Fruit trees have now also been planted.

The Sikh Community and Youth Group were involved in erecting a gateway, carved by a local artist.

The Wood is used for walks, picnics and ceremonies but also offers a quiet area for meditation. Benches and tables have also been installed and there is wheelchair access, Harbant Kaur Sehra said.

Other communities visit the Wood which has been awarded an Acorn Award from “Tree, Time and Place”.

The woodland is in an area of Bestwood Country Park, on the outskirts of Nottingham.

This is the first of a series of short reports revisiting some of the early projects ARC was involved with, to see how they are progressing on their own


Link here for the Local Heritage Initiative site.

Link here to read the Sikhism & Khalsa Wood Project Leaflet.

Link here for details about an "Eco-Sikh's" campaign to save the Kali Bein River.

Link here for examples of Sikh ecology in action in the Projects Overview section of this website.

Additional Sikh websites:

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