Q. What facilities are there?
The structures consist of a Roundhouse, Yurt and Shelter.
Associated facilities are a grass amphitheatre, kitchen, campfire, barbecue.
There are two beautiful compost toilets, one is a disabled loo with baby changing facilities. There is even a urinal for the men!
Most of the above structures described are within the hub, a 2 acre section of the site surrounded by its own hedge which can be closed for private events.
Within the larger woodland area there is:
. a natural willow dragon for children to play in with mud kitchen, storytelling chair.
. a 5 element trim trail for our more active hirers!
. the oak tree glade (further information below)
This area is open to the public but the whole site can be closed for events such as weddings, children’s parties and other hires where this is appropriate.
Q. Is there water and electricity?
A. Whistlewood is off-grid. There is solar-powered lighting in the roundhouse and under the shelter and 2 solar powered arc lights for our car park and toilets but no mains electricity. We also have a rainwater collection system for washing up and washing hands but recommend that you bring your own drinking water or boil our water before drinking. Our water is regularly tested.
Q. Do I have to hire the whole site?
A. We have rates for site exclusivity. Please enquire if you would like this option. Otherwise you may be sharing the site with others including our kitchen, shelter, campfire and barbecue. We ensure that activities taking place are similar.
We are confident that the site is big enough for everyone so sharing is not a problem!
For childrens’ parties and adult parties you will not be sharing the facilities with other people.
Q. What is the roundhouse?
A. The Roundhouse is our main structure, inside it seats 45 people theatre style or can be set up for a workshop (normally 15 people) or meeting with tables and chairs. Alternate types of hires are exercise classes (10 people max), pop-up restaurants (30 people seated round tables) or a stand-up buffet celebration for 50 people. It has a wood-burning stove for heating, cooking and solar-powered lighting. Outside the roundhouse is surrounded by a 3 metre verandah widening out to a 5 metre stage. Wood for the wood-burning stove is included in the hire price.
Facing the roundhouse is a natural grass amphitheatre.
Q. What facilities are included with the roundhouse?
A. You can hire just the roundhouse which will give you access to the Kitchen. Please enquire if you would like to hire our other structures. Your hire would of course give you access to our toilets.
Q Are there tables and chairs in the Roundhouse
Yes, there are. Up to 45 chairs can be provided and there are several collapsible tables depending on your needs.
Q Is there any other spaces associated with the Roundhouse?
A At the back of the Roundhouse there is a covered verandah which wraps around the whole of the structure before turning into the stage. This has a number of outdoor chairs and tables and provides additional outdoor possibilities but with shelter from the elements. it is a lovely place to sit and soak up the sunset with friends but can also provide workshop space. It is within easy reach of our fire-pit.
It can seat 12 people comfortably.
Q. How big is the shelter?
A. The shelter is large and seats around 20 adults. The shelter is a multi-functional timber structure with open sides. Chairs and tables are available and you can arrange the shelter to your requirements. It also houses our lovely bar which you may wish to utilise for a party. It can provide additional food preparation space on top of our kitchen.
CAMPING AND YURT HIRE
Our Yurt can be hired during the day and could act as a small classroom. It can seat 10 people comfortably.
All your other questions about Camping and Yurt Hire should be answered by visiting our on-line shop
Q. What does the kitchen contain?
A. The kitchen has fitted cupboards with lots of space for food preparation. Use of all the crockery, cutlery and pots and pans that you will need are included in the hire price. We encourage you to use all the equipment provided as we strongly discourage use of disposables to help you safeguard the environment. It does not contain a fridge or cooker.
FOOD PREPARATION AND COOKING
Q How do I cook food at Whistlewood?
A. As mentioned already the Roundhouse has a log burner with an integral oven that is excellent at warming food and with a stove-top for pot cooking and boiling kettles. We have a fire-pit within easy reach of all our structures and the camping field. The fire-pit has wooden seats surrounding it (it can seat approx. 20 people with the option for more seating for larger groups). We provide all you need for cooking round the campfire including kettles.
Alternately or in addition we have a large barbecue next to the shelter
Q. Is wood provided?
A. Yes, we provide one basket of logs for the campfire, which may be included in the hire price (additional logs are available at extra cost).
Q. Is charcoal provided for the barbecue?
A. Please bring your own charcoal or let us know in advance and we can provide some lovely local charcoal for you (charges apply). Alternatively wood can be used on the barbecue.
THE OAK TREE GLADE
The oak tree glade is in the public part of our site but is tucked away and very private. It is next to the original sole tree that was on site when we bought the land. We encourage outdoor activities as much as possible and our Oak Tree Glade can be hired for our outdoor woodland rate for a class or gathering. An example is our regular Monday Yoga class which is held in the Roundhouse in the winter and at our Oak Tree Glade when the weather allows. It is used as a Blessings Area at many of our weddings.
It can take up to 20 people for a class and hold 50 – 60 people seated theatre style. Please note that it is not covered.
Q. Can I come and have a barbecue or party one evening?
A. Yes, it’s a great place for a gathering. Standard prices are for up to 10 people, but if you want a larger gathering then please contact us for a price. We also have party packages for the Roundhouse which includes (spring/summer only) the shelter, bar and Yurt if you require it.
Q. Your Roundhouse and other structures are not large enough for my event but I would love to hold it at Whistlewood. What can I do?
A. We have a large open area next to our Roundhouse which we call the Festival Field. This can hold much larger temporary structures. We have held successful weddings and festivals at Whistlewood using this approach. The hire of any temporary structure is down to you but we can advise on local suppliers. Our planning permission allows for a maximum of 500 people on site at any given time.
We encourage access for all.
Q. I am 18 or under – can I hire the yurt or the facilities or come and camp or have a party?
A. To hire the Yurt, have an evening gathering or party if you are 18 or under you will need to be accompanied by an older person.
HOW DO I BOOK AND PAY?
Q. How do I book?
A. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if your preferred date is available and to receive a quote. Let us know what you are looking for.
Q. How and when do I pay?
A. When we have confirmed your date and the details of your hire we will send you a link to pay online via our website or we may request payment by BACS . Your booking is not confirmed until payment is received. We may ask for a deposit for advanced bookings and/or a refundable noise and mess deposit depending on the type of hire.
Q. Are there any safety aspects that I need to be aware of?
A. The site has small ponds (well away from the main hub area). The site is fenced with two gates. The site is open to the public (outside of the main hub area), but there are no dogs allowed. The site also has Swales or water ditches which help manage water on site. Care should be taken around them.
Q. Can I bring my dog?
A. Sorry generally dogs are not allowed at Whistlewood as we grow food and children play on the site and Melbourne has lots of dog walking areas. Dogs are allowed at most volunteering sessions and some Whistlewood organised events. Rules to be followed: on short leads, clean up and take home poo, be respectful of other site users as not everyone likes dogs, some areas may still be no dogs to protect wildlife. Of course we always welcome assistance dogs.
Q. Can I get to Whistlewood by public transport?
A. Yes please see details on the website.
Q. Can I park on site?
A. Yes, there is parking, some of which is on grass. Please only park in the designated parking areas. There are specific disabled parking spaces. The capacity for our car park depends on the time of year. In the winter (and periods of inclement weather) we can park up to 30 cars expanding to 65 during the spring/summer. Further parking can be provided for larger events.
Q. How accessible is Whistlewood for people with disabilities?
A. You can drive very close to the facilities for access during dry weather. We have disabled access paths that take you to the Roundhouse, Community Garden and disabled compost toilet from our car park. We welcome assistance dogs. If you or a members or your party have particular needs please contact us in advance and we will do our utmost to accommodate you. We are committed to access for all.
Q. What do I need to consider?
A. Whistlewood is a beautiful natural space so we require all users to look after it, by caring about wildlife, not dropping litter, taking away your own rubbish, and not using plastic disposable items.
Whistlewood has over 380 owners, all of whom are committed to keeping it beautiful and natural – please join them in making a commitment to Whistlewood’s ethics. Better still become a member by buying shares.
Q. Can I bring amplified music?
A. For normal hires there is no amplified music allowed out of courtesy to our neighbours. If you wish to have amplified music please discuss with us about prices for larger groups and exclusive use. For all users there is a noise curfew of 11pm.