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to the 7 Oaks Community

activities here.

Live in Vacant Spaces are the power behind this new lease of life, they are connecting with the existing local community, and opening up new opportunites to grow and enhance the community projects here. 


This site has had many lives, once a training ground for wine-making and horticulturalists and then an independent school.   And now to a number of creative projects and community groups who hold events, workshops and various

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The local community has a deep passion

for this site. It has a lot of meaning to many

who live around here or have been part

of the many activities on this land.


 Who's here ... 


 1.  Artist Studio: Harry 

 2.  Office & Education Room: Free 

      Theatre Company 

 3.  Artist Studio: Viv, Steph, & Bianca 

 4.  Toilets 

 5.  Artist Studio: Kuava, Heidi & 


 6.  Shared Garage 

 7.  20:20 Compost Project - Bailey 

 8.  Shared Kitchen 

 9.  Artist Studio: Rebecca, Frankie, 

      Zoe &Tamara 

10. Bookable Space 

11. Artist Studio: Jasmine, Jen & Free 

      Threatre Company 

12. Community Group - Heather 

13. Tunnel House: Free Theatre 


14. Tunnel House & Shade Area: 

      Canterbury Permaculture Institute 

15. Orchard & Vineyard Kaitiaki:

      Canterbury Permaculture Institute 

16. Garage 

17. Tunnel House: Pachamama 

18. Tunnel House: Community Group        - Abby Shaye 

19. Glass House: 

20. Seed House: Bush Kindy 

21. Market Garden: Pachamama 

22. Little Kiwis Nature Play area 

23. Community Garden Space:      

A past view of how this land has developed...Lucky resource to have is the Canterbruy Maps website, it has a huge bank of aerial photos going back over a hundred years. Here is a selection of the entire block around Hassals Lane community site.

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Part of the charm of this site is the wildness, nature holding the main intention for the future direction at present. This site has a feel of a hidden world, like the secret garden. Though at the same time there is a need to protect the assets for future use and site from degradration.

Below are a few of the picture from the end of 2020 when Canterbury Permaculture Institue took on a kaitiaki role at Hassals Lane.

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The polytunnels, smothered in blackberry, old man's beard and native trees

The bookable space, the orchard and community garden grass and beautiful flowers fill the space

Canterbury Permaculture Institute has been coming to 7 Oaks (now Hassals Lane) over the last couple of years to run a few of the PDC module workshops from. It has been an exciting move to go deeper with our involvement, and to be a part of the community that is present here.

There has been a continued presence held over the years since CPIT (now ARA) horticulture department closed. After 7 Oaks school moved to Halswell, the local community has been the full force of guardianship.

I was introduced to the possibilities of Hassals Lane in 2015, when the Food Resilience Network had the opportunity to use this site as a potential hub for the organisation. Serval sites were on the table for evaluation for the network. Ōtākaro Orchard was the site that made it to the top of the list for matching the network's priorities. And this is how . 


Over the years a number of visioning sessions from varying groups and individuals has led to a collective pool of similar views about how this site could be used to engage community resilience. Plus, the need to value the assets and opportunities present with such an abundant location.

The vision and purpose for Canterbury Permaculture Instiute at Hassals Lane is to restore and develop new food gardens on top of the existing layers, for community food resilience and education.

The 1st Saturday of each month the locally community group meets to do working bee around the property. And, now every Friday there is a working day to run through a list of tasks needed to care for the land and to get the food systems thriving. 

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The apple orchard, getting a boost with a layer of cardboard to hold back the grass and a thick covering of mulch sourced from tree scrub previously cleared from the broader of the property. 

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The Wednesday Bush Kindy Kids planting in the central community garden beds.

The next step is to identify what is already around the site and to establish  a planting plan of guilds to boast the existing plant life and vitality. From there we can add species to bring in new guilds that will enhance the diversity & abundance b

Seedlings that will then get planted out in spring in the central garden and in the orchard

of food and benificals plants

Check out our blogs for the updates and journey that we are on as we grow a strong community and resilience with food as the heart of these connections. 

And follow the FB page for more updates on the events and workshops happening at Hassals Lane

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