At the end of the 1970s, Jette Søndergaard and Jørn Aagaard purchased a smallholding of 10 hectares in Hedeskov. The property had no running water, electricity or heating. Between working and renovating, they brought up a family, and as surrounding farm land came up for sale, they acquired it to maximise their sustainable environment. In 2012, they established 25 hectares of afforestation – the second largest afforestation project in Jutland that year. Their land currently comprises 180 hectares, of which 75 hectares are forest. Today, 40 years later, the property and the land still form the beautiful framework of Jette and Jørn’s lives.
In 2004, Jette and Jørn set up the Aagaard Clinic in Skejby, specialising in gynaecology and fertility treatment. The clinic achieved the highest success rate for IVF patients in Denmark. However, over the years they observed how reproduction was affected by lifestyle – and for example by the substantial amounts of greenhouse gases emitted. In 2016 they sold the clinic, and since 2020 they have been able to put all their energy and experience into what has become Hedeskov Center for Life Science.
On one of their daily woodland walks, Jette and Jørn caught sight of the former Hedeskov School, and realised that the disused building offered wide-ranging potential for working with sustainability. The school building was purchased, and this decision led to their setting up the family-owned Hedeskov Center for Life Science in 2021. For Jette and Jørn, HCLS provides the opportunity to live out their dream of making a difference by combining their environmental passion with professional experience. A decision that – in the light of the current climate situation – has become more relevant than ever before.