The Life Science Trust

and the

Pishwanton Project

A Life Science Centre for Research and Education into the Science and Art of Living in Communion with the Land


THE LIFE SCIENCE TRUST is a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable status. It aims to explore the relationship between human beings and nature through art and science and their integration with one another. Our work is based on a "gently empirical" scientific method discovered by Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, the German poet, playwright and naturalist 200 years ago and developed further 100 years later by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian philosopher and scientist. Goetheanism is now widely practised throughout continental Europe. It Is ideally suited to the study of life, as the physical attributes of an organism, the processes by which it grows and evolves and its spiritual characteristics are all investigated by and unified within the Goethean scientist.
In modern society we can become very alienated from nature and, whilst we often pass through it we may sense nothing of its true meaning. Through the work of the Trust people are given the opportunity, perhaps for the first time, of letting nature speak within their souls. This can lead to a deep inner experience of "being at one with" rather than "separate from" the natural world. It can be very healing both for the people
involved and for nature.


is a mobile, educational project active throughout the British Isles, since 1990 providing short courses from one to three weeks on a wide variety of subjects from Plants to Colour, Landscape and the Human Skeleton. An expansion of its educational activity is scheduled from autumn 1995 onwards. Other educational and interdisciplinary research actions springing from the same source include conferences, day and week-end workshops as well as longer courses. Exhibitions are produced and organised from time to time, books and short articles written and published. All these activities are in need of a home base.

A LIFE SCIENCE CENTRE would allow for the development of the Trusts work and enable its practical demonstration by transforming a place through dedication to dealing with the natural world in a creative and healing way as is implicit in Goetheanism. This would be the first Centre of its kind in the English speaking world.

PISHWANTON WOOD, GIFFORD, is a 60-acre site situated in the Lammermuir Hills in Southern Scotland. 20 miles east of Edinburgh, 12 miles from Dunbar and overlooking the Firth of Forth. It is topographically, geologically and botanically extremely diverse. Rather hilly, abounding in springs and crossed by two small streams. It was once a rich, worked wood with massive trees. Passing through was once a well-worn track beside a marsh and a mill lade linking one prehistoric place to another. Atop the hill sat an ancient burial ground. Today Pishwanton wears an air of dereliction but, behind this, the visitor Is enchanted by a multiplicity of places, of plant communities and of potential here for plant, animal and human involvement. Given the "marginal" nature of the land and the relative abundance of indigenous representational southern Scottish flora, our research has revealed this place to be of considerable educational value and highly suitable for our proposals.

Future Development:
of the project would be slow and in cooperation with the nature of the place, this being seen itself as a study and research activity. Next steps are envisaged as follows:

- restoration of the woodland, care and development of ecological sites for demonstration and educational purposes.

- the establishment of a small-holding with remedial agricultural work building up pasture, fencing. hedging etc.

- creating an "Agricultural Centre" with living and working spaces so that teaching, living, research and farming can begin.

- the creation of a vegetable garden and place for herb growing on a commercial basis, Science laboratory and Art and Craft studios. finally student accommodation and the Social Centre.


1.You can contribute financially in a variety of ways:

Gifts and legacies, Deed of Covenant, Purchase of Land Care, Gifts for specific aspects of the project.

2, You can become a "Friend of the School of Life Science" The "Friends" are a wider support body of the Life Science Trust and its activities. Membership is open to anyone by applying to the address below. The membership fee of 10.00 will entitle you to receive the Newsletter and be kept abreast of current activities. The Newsletter provides a forum for you to express your ideas, needs, scientific and artistic creations.

3, You can offer your services as a Volunteer: if you have particular skills, or if you would like to offer help in particular areas of life such as farming, gardening, forestry. woodland management, building. administration, fund raising, organising events or preparing publicity. exhibition or display material or in anything else please send details of your offer to the address below.

4. Courses and Events If you would like to be sent information of courses such as the Life Science Seminar, other short courses, week-end workshops and events organised by the Life Science Trust please write to the address below:

The Administrator,

The Life Science Trust,
Pedlar's Way,
East Lothian,
EH41 4JD,

Tel/Fax: 01620 810259

Charity No. SC020705

Company No. SC140925

Directors: Isis Brook, Derek Brown, Erhard Keller, Richard Ramsbotham, James Dyson, Christian Thal-Jantzen.

Company Secretary: Rebecca Donald

Executive Director: Margaret Colquhoun

Patron: Sir Chris Bonington CBE