A Roundhouse for Karuna

Church Stretton, GB

*Please click on the link above for an update of the campaign*

Proactive Permaculture Peasants Plea and give thanks for support.

An attempt to spin and expand shiny interwoven threads through a video update *(22 Jan 2013)

This short film reveals the bigger picture and helps you understand why it is important to support this valuable, exemplary roots eco- project that is good for everyone. Additionally it contains sincere thanks to those who have backed the straw bale roundhouse campaign.

Having a homebase will enable us to create more spirals of earth care, people care and fair share. Let’s all be the change we want to see in the world. Let us create food forests and gardens in our communities, on urban wastelands, in our back gardens, farms, large, medium or small.

 Take positive action that will create ripples and bring a ‘solution revolution’ as we mould and feel our way to the fruitfulness of the earth. At this point in history, the survival of the whole world depends upon our sharing what we have and working together.


The Karuna Permaculture project in Shropshire has struggled and fought its corner against the authorities who for years refused to recognise the reality that sustainable low impact land management and residency must co-exist in order to function properly.

When finally in 2011 the project was successful with its planning application for a beautiful straw bale round house we could finally see that all the years of damp caravan living and the on-going negotiations with the authorities had not been wasted, and that this living Permaculture Demonstration site can actually start to realise its potential. Karuna aims to carry on the work of the late, inspirational temperate climate forest gardener Robert Hart, who carried out his pioneering work just a few miles away at his project on Wenlock Edge.

We are the Wheelhouse family, founders of the Karuna project. We sold our home and invested our life’s savings in 18 acres of previously mono-cultural grazing land in order to re-cycle it into a productive, diverse multi-functional educational facility that could practice and demonstrate all kinds of Permaculture experiments. We call our method ‘insight Design’, a holistic way of working which is clearly demonstrating itself as a inspirational and successful approach in the field of Permaculture.

Over the past few months Karuna has laid down a hardcore base for the planned roundhouse, a road into the site and a public parking area. This essential work has cost £8,000 and exhausted the project's funds.

We now need to raise £10,000 to build the foundations and floor of the roundhouse.

The house, as well as being a warm and comfortable shelter, will demonstrate alternative building design and techniques including the use of straw bale and cord wood and large scale reciprocal roof.  After this stage is complete, we hope to raise funds through running courses in straw bale and reciprocal roof building.

It is important to understand that this house has been granted planning permission through Shropshire county council's affordable self build policy. At present, this policy is unique to Shropshire, but will hopefully serve as an example that will be followed by other local authorities. This affordable dwelling is going to be fully compliant with national building regulations which means that our building project at Karuna will play a crucial role in showing the authorities and mainstream public that low-impact structures are a desirable, realistic and affordable option in the UK.

There is a growing interest in eco-buildings... but let’s face it, most people can’t afford them, even if some are officially classified ‘affordable’. We want to show people that ‘living the Permaculture dream’ can be a legitimate reality for those of us who are passionate about living on the land. We believe that projects like this can provide numerous benefits to society by providing information and inspiration to ‘permies’, ‘transitioners’ and people from all walks of life. So this modest, low impact building itself is at the heart of a sustainable lifestyle that we believe in and want to see grow.

It is time now time to bring the project to its full potential.

If we can demonstrate the many benefits of ecologically designed lifestyles then perhaps we can continue to build mainstream support for projects like ours. This will hopefully lead to more people doing things the low impact way: growing food for themselves and their communities, and educating others on how we can achieve truly sustainable ways of living. It can also bring benefits to small scale rural businesses. So this project will be a leading example within the mainstream.

Karuna is achieving  its goals of bringing change and inspiration to many people. We educate people about Permaculture design and lifestyle, and the creation of diverse woodlands, orchard creation and forest gardens, which support biodiversity and wildlife. A living example of creative low impact living, using renewable energy, compost loos and recycling.

Through insight, inspiration, beauty and well being we can support true sustainability now...for a future!

If you wish to support a genuine,  committed and active environmental project.

If you believe, as we do, that Low impact living should be an option for everyone.

If you share the same vision, and want to take part in helping to make it a reality.

Your generous donation can make this happen now

Please look at www.karuna.org.uk for a detailed explanation of our philosophy and methods, photos, reports and a record of what the project has achieved so far.

* Please note the horses in this fundraising film are from a scene taken on neighbouring land and do not belong to the Karuna permaculture project..

The Wheelhouse family, founders of Karuna, stood their ground and fought against the local authorities who have for too long tried to prevent this genuine educational resource from developing.After a 5 year traumatizing struggle including local and High court appearances in London the project found a loophole which enabled Karuna to to be successful and officially gain planning consent. (thanks to the fairness and intelligence of our planning case officer and all the councilors on the voting comittee who had the wisdom to vote in favour of the application,we only just won it with the chairmans casting vote!). It is hard to believe that in this day and age small scale 'truly sustainable' projects around the U.K are still facing reactionary responses from government to their practice  with its minimum effect to the environment and all it's positive economic/social inclusion. The need for small scale sustainable agriculture is compelling and urgent. It is surely time we had a LOW IMPACT PLANNING POLICY in England! We would again like to thank all the 'friends of Karuna' who have persisted in giving their support,in attending appeals,hearings,court cases,submitting letters of support,donations,moral support,course attendees,etc thank you for your trust in us- we could not have done it without you!-we will not let you down!

The owner of this project has not made any updates yet.

Users details

karuna insight design
Days to go
GBP £4,467
43% raised of our GBP £10,500 goal
This project ended on Monday, Jan 28th - 13:27

This project's deadline has now expired - you can no longer back these rewards

You cannot back this project, funding is now complete.


Thank you

£10.00 or more : A big thank you and good karma, your name will be added to the Karuna website Donate page.


£25 or more

£25.00 or more : A big thank you.'Karuna Logo sticker'- (limited edition) posted to you, and good Karma..Name added to Karuna website 'donate' page. (Unless you wish to remain anonymous).


£50 or more.

£50.00 or more : A big thank you! Karuna Logo sticker (limited edition)- specially designed ,project fundraising 'thank you' Poster. And good Karma.


£100 or more.

£100.00 or more : A Big thank you! Karuna Logo Sticker ,especially deigned,fund raising 'Thank you!'poster. One organic bare rooted apple tree from karuna nurseries...collection only in winter months.(Very sorry we cannot post trees). Good Karma.


£500 or more

£500.00 or more : A giant thank you! Karuna Logo sticker.Specially designed fundraising 'Thank You!' poster. Bare rooted apple tree (winter collection, in person only). 2 nights FREE weekend summer camping.


£1,000 or more

£1,000.00 or more : Himalayas of thank you's!Karuna Logo sticker (limited edition)specially designed fundraising Thank You! poster. Bare rooted Apple tree (sorry,winter collection in person only) 2 nights free weekend summer camping at Karuna. Free place on Karuna Grafting workshop,(Donor only & limited spaces). 40% off Forest garden course (Donor only, Limited spaces). And good Karma. ALL DONORS NAMES WILL BE ACKNOWLEDGED ON THE KARUNA WEBSITE DONATE PAGE UNLESS YOU REQUEST TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL!