Safer Spaces agreement at London Rad Herb

A Safer Space

Safer Spaces Agreement

London Radical Herbalism Gathering

July 21st 2018


Why have a Safer Spaces Agreement?

The London Radical Herbalism Gathering wants to be part of addressing and challenging the root causes of ill health, and work for social and ecological justice. We recognise that this is a complex endeavour: we’ve all grown up in a world of structural oppression, inequality and injustice, and can maintain these structures, perhaps without realising it, through our learned behaviours. This Safer Spaces Agreement aims to support the gathering to be more aware and inclusive – moving towards the world we want to live in, where nobody experiences prejudice or disadvantage because of their ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity, gender presentation, sexuality, age, income, ability, appearance, immigration status, activist experience or any other forms of difference or perceived difference.

Behaviours and prejudices that maintain structural oppressions might be things that are widely accepted and seen as normal within the dominant culture. This Agreement aims to support the challenging and energising work of minimising the marginalisation and inequality that many people regularly face.

Privilege within systems of inequality is not something to be ashamed of, or defensive about. However, we believe it requires self-reflection. In order to dismantle systems of inequality, we all need to think about how we are perpetuating them.

We recognise that people may be new to these ideas, and we want to create an inclusive an atmosphere as possible that facilitates learning, growing and moving forwards together. We hope to build a community of trust and respect that supports all of us to challenge ourselves, to listen, and to participate.


A collective work in progress…

Creating “safer space” is our aspiration in the context of the many forms of oppression which exist in our society. In our collective we’re continuing to discuss and learn about the ways we can do this better. We don’t always agree and certainly don’t claim to have all the answers. We recognise the limitations of this Agreement and see it as a work in progress as we learn and share our experiences together. We’d welcome any feedback on this Agreement and your experiences of the gathering (especially from those that experience particular structural oppressions).


How can we create a safer space together..?

Things to remember:

  • There are a range of different lived experiences and identities (gender, race, class, sexuality etc) that people will have, so avoid making assumptions or sweeping generalisations about people.
  • Anyone could be a survivor of a particular form of oppression, so treat others with care and consideration.
  • Feeling confidence in a skill or particular area of knowledge can be a privilege; please make space for others to learn what you already know, and share your knowledge with others in a way that is empowering.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Whose voices are being heard? Am I taking up more space than others?
  • In what ways am I privileged? Am I exerting power because of my privilege?


It’s a collective responsibility to challenge prejudice & oppression…

It’s up to all of us to help create a space where everyone feels respected, as able to participate as possible and to share the emotional labour involved in creating and maintaining a safer and more inclusive space.

Things that come up at our events may be emotionally triggering for some people; we ask of everyone to care for one another.

If people wish to bring an issue to the organisers’ attention, please do so, and we will try to resolve any issue or conflict together. We will introduce ourselves at the start of the day in the opening circle.

We hope that this Safer Spaces Agreement will be evident in the overall atmosphere of the day. In order to help us make this Agreement meaningful, please do come and talk to any of the organisers if you have any questions about the content and ideas, or if it raises any issues for you.

London Radical Herbalism Gathering – now sold out! programme details below

The gathering is on the horizon – just over a month away! Here are some of the workshops that will happen on the day, to whet your appetites… and for that there will also be yummy food from Red Moon Roots collective, along with fresh foraged herb teas and info about getting involved with community herbalism in the city…

  • London community herbal projects sharing, with Hackney Herbal, Glengall Wharf Garden, Phytology, Castle Climbing Centre Garden, OrganicLea & Core Landscapes
  • Traditions in Healing exploring healthcare practices from around the world in the context of colonial + post-colonial paradigms and the capitalisation of health in the west – with Mama D of Community Centred Knowledge, Marion Makonnen – London herbalist practicing in west African tradition, Buki Fagbenle S- herbalist connected with Yoruba tradition, Shumaisa Khan speaking about Ayurvedic health support practices and UK herbalists talking about indigenous traditions and colonisation of European plant medicine tradition by biomedicine
  • Herbalists without Borders London info-sharing and invitation to involvement, followed by a solidarity medicine-making session creating remedies together for London projects supporting those without recourse to healthcare – with Lorna Mauney-Brodek
  • Housing as Healthful Community – London struggles and movements with St Ann’s Redevelopment Trust and others involved in community resistance and action
  • Session sharing info and exploring trans inclusivity and struggles in herbal healthcare

We look forward to seeing you there!

London Radical Herbalism Gathering – tickets on sale!

London Radical Herbalism!
We invite you to the first of our 2018 smaller city gatherings from the Radical Herbal collective.
You can find info on this page and get tickets through the link below. The day will happen at the Round Chapel Old School Rooms in Clapton, home to many community groups and activities with families, migrant support and more.
We are taking a year off from the main gathering in the field in Shropshire and connecting with radical herbal roots in our cities around the land. Manchester & Bristol gatherings are also planned for later in 2018.
This London gathering will bring together some exciting workshops, people, plants, visions and you all, to share, learn and grow our networks of grounded solidarity: in community herbalism, healthcare activism, land work, mutual aid and the struggles and movements we share in this city of contrasts between collectivism & commons, cooperation & shared resources and systemic inequality, greed, separation & poverty.
It will be a one-day programme of participatory workshops and an opportunity for us to come together and exchange our work, projects, practices, ideas, fury and love!
What we have planned:
Herbalists Without Borders London group info-sharing & solidarity medicine-making sessions
– Panel of community herbal growing projects around London
– Session exploring cultural appropriation in healing/colonialism/decolonisation in plant medicine/whiteness
– Housing as healthful community – London struggles & movements, uniting powers
– Bringing to view diasporic healing traditions in London from the city’s intercultural communities
We’ll have a plant medicine info stall with fresh foraged seasonal infusions from Wild Brew Crew, bringers of healing herbal teas at demos & protests, and food from Red Moon Roots, local cooking collective who make community meals with food waste.
So come join! and spread the word to all who might be interested to be part of the gathering – the more voices and bodies representing all the dimensions of health, the better equipped we may be to get to the roots of what it means, what the imbalances are for everyone, how to address them.
Keep an eye on this event page for updates, links and sharings about the programme – get in touch if you’d like to be involved in a supportive way with preparations and on the day with the organising crew.

London Radical Herbal Gathering! Saturday 21st July 2018

As many of you will know, we are taking a break from the main weekend Gathering in Shropshire this year, and instead organising smaller city events. The first of 2018 is to be in London, and this is to let you all know the date – Saturday 21st July! Put it in your calendars, and keep an eye on here for updates as we go. Venue will be north London, details to come very soon, and we have a day programme in the making including sessions around London community herbal growing projects and networks, Herbalists Without Borders and migrant solidarity, cultural appropriation and decolonisation in herbalism and healthcare, sharing of global healing practices and more. Exciting!

If any London people would like to get involved to support on the day or with aspects of organising like promotion, please get in touch!

There will be city gatherings in Manchester and Bristol as well, a little bit later in the year.

2018 updates!

folks, to keep you posted on Radical Herbalism activities this year!

We are not doing a main gathering in the field this year as we are taking a rest after organising this for the last 5 years – but we will change shape and are doing a series of smaller city-based gatherings where collective members live: Leeds, London, Manchester & Bristol. Keep an eye here for news announcements and the first one is happening next month in Leeds!

Leeds Radical Herbal Gathering, 17-18 February 2018

The 5th Radical Herbal Gathering 9-11th June, 2017

Tickets have now sold out. We’re very excited about the whole thing. There is a facebook group for selling any last minute tickets if you can’t make it.

This year’s Radical Herbalism Gathering will take place on Friday afternoon of the 9th, Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th June, 2017, at Crabapple Community in Shrewsbury, the same location as the four previous years.

See the ‘2017 Gathering’ menu item above for all info, including the programme, schedule and kids’ programme.

This year’s gathering will be over two and a half days with varying workshop lengths. We will be posting more details and a booking form by the end of March so hang on in there!

The 2017 gathering will begin with an opening space, explaining why we are holding a Radical Herbal Gathering and why we believe it is so important to put herbal medicine and health in the context of social change.

This year we will carry on weaving four strands of ideas together:

  • The first strand focuses on workshops that offer radical approaches to health in general, specifically looking again at psycho-emotional health around anger and overwhelm, a herbalist’s approach to trauma, trans health competency,  radical bodywork, men’s health, and living with a chronic illness.

  • The second strand focuses on workshops that discuss ideas around ecological justice and the sustainability of conventional medicine and herbal medicine. This year there will be a focus on the resistance happening around fracking in Lancashire, a herbalist’s experience at Standing Rock, Dakota and a specific herb growing slot.

  • The third strand focuses on workshops that talk about health and social justice issues, for example, herbalists organising around the migrant crisis, global corporate violence to indigenous land and medicine, community organising, ‘finding the power within’ to carry on resistance, prison politics and reformative justice and more showcasing of community health projects.

  • We will have a strand that focuses specifically on herbal medicine in practise including advanced medicine making skills including deep decoctions, percolations and glycerites, forgotten native herbs, herbal foot and wound care and veterinary medicine.

Alongside all of these, there will be herb walks and foraging walks in the surrounding countryside.

There is also going to be a kids timetable of herbal workshops, some catering for all ages, and sometimes the slot will be split with 2 workshops running concurrently, one specifically for younger kids and one for older kids. We are really interested in hearing from children who think they could, with an adult, run a workshop themselves.

Herbal Aid 2016 deadline

Folks, send us your applications for this year’s Herbal Aid funding – deadline is 1st December 2016. We have received a few already which will be looked at by the collective when we meet in December, so if you are starting or visioning a herbal community project that shares our visions and aims for change, get in touch!

Herbal Aid is our seed funding project, made with surplus proceeds from the annual Gathering, to support grassroots herbal and health projects to start up. Please go to the Herbal Aid page on the website for full details about the kind of ideas we’re looking to support, and projects that we supported last year.

Email us at radicalherbalismgathering[at] with your application.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The first Scottish Radical Herbal Gathering! 8-11 September 2016

13173633_10154255956355962_7223458991362900407_nradical herbalism is seeding around the british isles…

the Scottish Radical Herbal network, a collective of herbalists and health activists, are bringing the first Scottish Rad Herb Gathering, to happen over the weekend of Thursday 8th-Sunday 11th August, at the Big Shed ecobuild, Tombreck, Perthshire – exciting, with a potent mix of workshops/discussions/practical skillshares including:
Herbalists Supporting Camps in Calais & English Anti-Fracking Camps; the Politics of Health; Introduction to Permaculture; Cerebral Palsy: Lived Experience; Herbal Pharmacy as Direct Action; Creative & Meditative Approaches to Herbalism; DIY Women’s Health, Herbs & Fertility; Soul Midwifery; Seaweeds; Medicinal Mushrooms with a Fungi Foray; Men’s Health & Responses to Patriarchy; Bioregional Medicine; Refugee & Asylum Seeker Solidarity… much to enjoy, learn, connect with and support. Building on our connections!

More info at Radical Herbal Scotland and go to the Eventbrite page to get your tickets

2016 Gathering tickets now on sale!

You can now get your tickets for this year’s Radical Herbalism Gathering which will take place on Friday afternoon 3rdSaturday 4th & Sunday 5th June, 2016, at Crabapple Community in Shrewsbury, the same location as the two previous years. This year’s gathering will be over two and a half days with varying workshop lengths.

Go through to the tickets page and click on the link there to go to the Brown Paper Tickets page where there are full details about prices.