Damage done by Storm Arwen
Our woodland needs your help. Please donate now!
Drala Jong is a home for Vajrayana Buddhism, inspiring people to reconnect with innate kindness, authentic creativity and the natural world. It comprises a series of converted buildings, a shrine room, and several acres of pasture land and beautiful woodland in West Wales.
But in late November 2021, Storm Arwen brought the most severe winds in decades to the UK. It caused widespread damage across the country.
Trees play a vital role in nature, the climate and our wellbeing – however, the UK’s woodland is in decline and recently Storm Arwen has caused widespread damage to some of the most precious and unique trees in our care.
Its impact on the woodlands at Drala Jong was catastrophic, causing enormous damage in fallen trees, making parts of the land dangerous and inaccessible, and blocking road access for neighbours. The nature of the storm event means that the damage is not covered by insurance.
Sang-ngak-chö-dzong – the small charity that owns Drala Jong – has been working hard to address the situation. The work needed to make clear the fallen trees and make areas safe, whilst restoring access to the road is estimated to cost £43,000. This is money that we have been fundraising to otherwise support future activities such as art and craft projects, lama housing in Nepal, and the establishment of a retreat centre at Drala Jong.
For now, the charity’s priority is to make the woods safe and to reopen the road for our neighbours and community who use it on a daily basis.
The scale of damage is beyond our own skills and capacity, however we have found some excellent contractors to do the job. But undertaking this work will enormously impact the charity’s funds.
By donating to this appeal, you will enable us to refocus on the pressing fundraising activities for developing Drala Jong as a fully functioning retreat centre for the Aro gTér Lineage. Such a retreat centre comprises not just of buildings but of the land that we and our neighbours enjoy:
Dzogchen has always utilised natural locations, in the midst of mountains, hills, rivers and streams — and in proximity with liveliness, in terms of the wildlife—in all dimensions—who inhabit these glorious places.
It is our hope that Drala Jong and its woodlands will soon be a place that is not only safe and thriving again, but is able to welcome visitors to connect with kindness, creativity and the natural world. We look forward to sharing this wonderful place with current and future generations.