We are a non-profit regenerated forest collective near Neral in Maharashtra, located almost three hours away from Mumbai. The collective comprises 24 people across different professions, who revived a 65-acre piece of land over the past 26 years, situated in the foothills of the Sahyadris into a beautiful forest.
The revived land now has over 90 percent tree cover and is home to over 120+ traditionally useful plant species (including 54 forest food species) and a host of birds, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, and crabs.
The space is maintained & managed by members and a local Adivasi/ Tribal family of Mahadu Bua, Ambibai, Daulat, Kalpana, with the help of volunteers. They host, manage programs, conduct walks/treks, cook food, wash dishes, oversee on-going work, and help with documentation and other tasks, as needed from time to time. We have a resident volunteer living at all times. Various members of the Collective are present on a rotation basis. For other activities, the local Adivasi communities from the region are engaged and about four to 12 people are hired depending on their requirements and the work involved.
We are currently involved with not just the maintenance and regeneration of the Forest but also the following:
- Sustainable entruerpreneruship
- Eco Tourism
- Building dams and desilting of stream beds and water bodies
- Biodiversity studies and listing
- Reviving local wells
Conservation Activities and Impact on Local Communities
The collective has been actively engaged in rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge activities. One of these was building check dams on the streams. We have built about six check dams — a large one which is 8ft in height and 40ft in length. The five others are about 3-4ft in height and 10 to 20 ft long.
The presence of so many trees on the property helped the soil retain moisture. The land under the forest becomes like a sponge with open pores and helps the water percolate and recharge the groundwater aquifers.
One of the central focus is soil conservation. Bharat (founder) recognizes the importance for soil conservation from being able to grow food to retain significant amounts of Carbon from the air.
“Since some people from the village had engaged with us before for activities we had carried out before, they approached seeking help. They were experiencing a scarcity of water and needed water from the well for themselves and their thirsty cattle. So, we helped the villagers de-silt the well and extend the rim of the well up to 5ft,” explains Bharat.
The collective now wants to scale up their conservation activities, particularly rainwater harvesting, increase farming and conduct more forest-related workshops and activities for people to come and attend.
We also look forward to adding new members to their group who can be instrumental in carrying out these activities and also provide a fresh impetus to environmental conservation.
A forest eco-versity on our land where people can learn everything related to ecology, nature, forest, farming, habitats, and sustainable livelihoods. We want new people to come on board and teach these; and where people learn skills practically rather than just theoretically. We also want to promote culture, music, art, natural healing, and meditation. Lastly, we envision a community – an organically evolving eco-village – where people can learn from each other and grow just like the forest around us.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Volunteers will get to learn from individuals like Bharat Mansata and others.
The original members of Forest happen to be people from the initial ecological and sustainable movements in India.
Learn forest conservation.
Learn about indigenous forest food and species.
Interact with Adivasi/ tribals and learn about the forest from them. Also, visit their village which is 10 minutes walking from the forest.
Natural Farming/ Forest Farming
Forest harvest/ scavenging
Creating art from waste
Rental listings management
Camping, Hiking, Forest Walks - Organising and managing
Yoga and meditation practices
Social Media Marketing
Forest Tree Listing
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
Shared community house. We provide sleeping mattresses and pillows.
You are welcome to bring your own tents and pitch around the community house or in the forest.
We provide full access to the kitchen and three meals a day. (Meals are jointly prepared by all residents)
The space is maintained & managed by members and a local Adivasi family of Mahadu Bua,
Ambibai, Daulat, Kalpana, with the help of volunteers. They host, manage programs, conduct
walks/treks, cook food, wash dishes, oversee on-going work, and help with documentation and other
tasks, as needed from time to time.
• We provide simple, vegetarian food, and shared accommodation. We provide mattresses and pillow and sometimes have extra sleeping bags available.
• Please bring your own bed sheets or sleeping bag and torch; umbrella and mosquito net (during
monsoon); perhaps also any musical instrument you play, ....
• We have no grid electricity and depend on a small solar panel. Mobile network is reliable in a few identified spots on the property
• Your safety is our concern, but the responsibility of looking after yourself is yours!
• We strongly encourage use of eco-friendly products in our forest, and request you to avoid any and all use
of plastics, chemical soaps, detergents, toothpaste, etc.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Please bring a JIO Dongle or Sim Card of your own. Please note that there are specific spots where the data is good for video calls and working. These spots are not always close to the community house. We dont promise any hi-speed internet and we are off the grid. We charge using neighbour's properties and solar panels
We have ample parking space.
We already have two cats living on the property. Other pets are welcome.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week