Tuesday, December 08, 2009

First building work at Lammas!

It's absolutely brilliant that the people of Lammas finally have their planning permission. Now they can get on with their ground-breaking project of 9 eco-smallholdings and community hall on farmland in Pembrokeshire.

Pembrokeshire County Council adopted a low-impact policy (Policy 52) in July 2006 and the Lammas group submitted their application in March 2008. They were refused and appealed to the Welsh Assembly finally getting their permission after much further hard work in August this year.

To me this is a fantastic step forward as it will allow a large part of what has been a monoculture, green desert farm to be nurtured back into low-impact, resilient, diverse systems which will be able to support people directly where they live with food, energy and materials. It was great to be there in the run up to Copenhagen too, I'm sure the Lammas project will show us many solutions to current problems that will apply in the cities as well as out in the countryside. It has been wonderful to take part in some of the first building work there - it's felt like being a real cutting edge, eco-pioneer. I hope it's the first of many projects like this and people are indeed thinking along those lines already: check out the Ecological Land Coop.

The picture above is taken from the top of Paul and Hoppi's plot looking down to their caravans and yurt. Paul and Hoppi have already done a lot of ground preparation on their site, planted up areas with trees and started work on the foundations for their barn.They kindly let me stay in one of the caravans for the third week I was there - I don't think I could have coped with many more nights of rain and wind in my tent. I don't ever remember being rained on quite so much as I have this November but at least we never had anything like the twelve inches plus at Cockermouth.

Nigel and I talked about the fossil fuel used by the machinery to put in the roads on the site - if you look at it as an investment of energy now to develop systems which will save energy in the future it doesn't seem quite so bad. They've put in about 1.5 km of roads into the plots with various levellings and earthworks as well.


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