In this web space we hope to share our experiences of wending our way towards buying a small plot of land and setting up a small holding with other people. The current stage of the journey involves being a ‘Willing Worker on Organic Farms’ (WWOOF) or generally volunteering for any interesting project where we can learn how to live with less of the planet’s resources. We are documenting our WWOOFing experiences in our blog. Also see where we’ve been and where we are going next on our WWOOF map (red pegs).
Alongside this we have been working towards setting up an “eco hamlet or village”. We endeavour to continue to explore that. See below “Birthing an ecovillage”.
It’s a shared space. Although Gwen is the more wordy one and Rob’s archive of photos the best, we may well swap jobs sometimes.
I’m from Cumbria and lived in Leeds for 12 years. The last four years I’ve moved back over the Pennines and lived in Lancaster I’ve done a fair few jobs but the most dominant has been English teaching in mainstream secondary schools. Lately I’ve been focusing on special needs teaching. I have had an allotment and kept chickens. I’m interested in wool, want to become a weaver and increasingly I am developing an interest in trees.
Born in Newport South Wales but have lived most of my adult life in Lancaster where I went to University. I’m now an electrician having changed career several times: researcher in the NHS, University and before that a drilling engineer in oil exploration. I also recently had an allotment. Interested in how we will generate and use energy in our new life as well as growing Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms, charcoal making and coppicing.
Birthing an Ecovillage (background)
In the Autumn of 2011 six households came together having spent time at Lammas. Together we met to seriously discuss setting up an ecovillage in Wales under the Welsh Assembly’s One Planet Development Policy (OPD) and Technical Advice Note 6 (TAN6). This supports low impact building in the open countryside, providing all basic needs can be met from the land and that our typical ecological footprints are reduced.
As a group we:
- Researched all land agents and auctions
- Actively searched for land: ads in newspapers etc
- Viewed several parcels of land of various sizes, locations.
- Drew up a vision statement and a basis of unity
- Researched building regs
- Drew plans for shared building infra structure
- Got training in consensus decision making
- Spent time working out what we as individual households wanted
- Researched legal and financial options
To date (27 Dec 2012) one household has bought land near Lammas. Two other households have an offer in on land 5 miles from Lammas. Rob and I along with another household have formed a new group called Blackthorn Rising and are looking for land in North Wales or the Welsh Borders (see our land search map).