How I fell in love with Matara and the natural world we share
The Matara Centre was created as a place for well being in 2006. Geoffrey Higgins, the founder, describes it as "a meditative healing centre, dedicated to the full expression of the human spirit and a deeper relationship with nature"
Here Geoffrey answers a few questions to offer a greater context for his continuing inspiration of exploring and expanding Matara.
What was the Inspiration behind Matara?
I grew up next to a green built area in Coventry, where it was easy to see the contrast between the industrial, urban environment and the natural beauty of nature.
Then working as an organisational change consultant for 20 years I realised the people were the product of their environment and I wanted to create a place of natural beauty where people could evolve and reach their highest potential. As a result, 25 years ago, Kingscote Park was purchased. At that time it was a stud farm and pretty much a green desert. After several years of working with nature - creating a beautiful, tranquil place - Matara evolved, naturally attracting people to want to get married here.
What still inspires you after 25 years?
The most extraordinary thing is meeting and working with people in the happiest time of their lives, where you can naturally talk about love and care. This is the environment our wedding guests have brought to Matara. It is amazing to have people come back year after year to visit their tree that was dedicated for their wedding day often with their growing family.
I am also inspired by the people who work here. Jean has been the housekeeper at Matara for the last 25 years. Her 3 daughters, Abbie, Kelly, & Vicky, all married at Matara and now work here. Holly and Rebecca, two of our wedding coordinators, have been at Matara for 15 years. This is a place where everyone loves to be which in turn provides extraordinary service to our clients.
To date we have planted over 2,000 trees within the parkland, with 2km of hedgerow creating natural habitats as well as woodland, wetlands, meadow lands all without the use chemicals or pesticides. I am excited for the further plans to develop the parklands creating a place for wildlife and fauna to return to and flourish.
Where do you see Matara going in the next decade?
As caretakers of the land we are returning the grazing fields to a range of natural habitats, which protect and encourage diverse wildlife. I would like Matara to stay in the public domain as a Wildlife sanctuary and for the restoration of people and place.
Places like Matara are going to be more and more relevant where we are all faced to disruptions of climate change and want to live a more sustainable meaningful life.
I want to be involved in creating a new and better world around us. Life has been more incredible then I have ever imagined. I want to leave Matara at Kingscote in safe hands of like minded people.