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Lammas eco-village
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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Location: south east England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catweazle wrote:


I'm certain there are thousands of people who would swap work / benefits and social housing for a chance to own their smallholding.


Yep. And the land could be made available in one go by getting rid of the Monarchy and confiscating 99% of their land.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
clv101 wrote:


There are no claims of self sufficiently. What Lammas represents is a way of living where personal consumption has been cut by two thirds...


...and my point is that I don't know many people who are remotely interested in cutting their personal consumption by two thirds.

True, this certainly isn't an attractive option for millions... but it doesn't have to be. Life isn't about one size fits all.

I think the transformation between the two photos above is pretty impressive, especially as it hasn't cost much money (far less than building conventional houses which we do by the hundreds of thousands). Zooming out on the aerial photos over Wales shows a vast expanse of similar 'green desert', over grazed, compacted, degraded land, poor bio-diversity, losing soil carbon - much of it could be improved in pretty much every way by the establishment of settlements like Lammas.

As a response to the environmental, energy, economic shocks coming our way this century, this seems like a more useful approach then continuing to prop up failing 20th Century agriculture models.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
I don't want to cut my personal consumption by two thirds. I already don't fly, don't buy consumer goods unless I really need them, grow quite a bit of my own food and forage for quite a bit more.

But, for example, I did just spend a week on holiday in (ironically) Pembrokeshire. I drove there, we ate out in a nice restaurant three times, a drove quite a bit while I was there, visiting many beaches at low tide in search of photos of edible seaweeds for my second book (on edible wild plants). I used a £500 camera to take the photos. Right now, giving up things like this means giving up on a fledgeling career - the first time in my life I've got a prospect of earning decent money doing something I really enjoy. I also can only realistically do what I am doing because at the moment I am being supported by my wife who does a "normal" job and needs a proper holiday from it every now and then.

It would not be possible to do what I am doing now from a plot of land at Lammas with my consumption cut by two-thirds from its current level. I need my car, my camera, my computer with its internet connection, and my wife.


There might be a misunderstanding here. Lammas residents also have cars, cameras, computers with Internet connections etc. At least one has written/published a book. The point is that their ecological footprint is only a third of the Welsh average - your ecological footprint might not need to be cut much at all, certainly not by two thirds to comply.
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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Location: south east England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
clv101 wrote:


There are no claims of self sufficiently. What Lammas represents is a way of living where personal consumption has been cut by two thirds...


...and my point is that I don't know many people who are remotely interested in cutting their personal consumption by two thirds.

True, this certainly isn't an attractive option for millions... but it doesn't have to be. Life isn't about one size fits all.

I think the transformation between the two photos above is pretty impressive, especially as it hasn't cost much money (far less than building conventional houses which we do by the hundreds of thousands). Zooming out on the aerial photos over Wales shows a vast expanse of similar 'green desert', over grazed, compacted, degraded land, poor bio-diversity, losing soil carbon - much of it could be improved in pretty much every way by the establishment of settlements like Lammas.


Well, I'm obviously not going to argue with that. Yes, much of our landscape could be used more productively at the same time as increasing biodiversity if there is the political and personal will to make it happen. It is far from impossible.

In fact, if increasing biodiversity is what we are aiming for, this could be achieved with zero effort by everybody in the country who has got one to allow a third of their garden to grow wild, maybe getting rid of aggressive patches of brambles and nettles, but otherwise letting nature do its thing.

But people prefer neatly trimmed lawns. Or in some cases (like my neighbour), large patches of bare earth. Or astroturf, or concrete slabs.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Catweazle wrote:


I'm certain there are thousands of people who would swap work / benefits and social housing for a chance to own their smallholding.


Yep. And the land could be made available in one go by getting rid of the Monarchy and confiscating 99% of their land.


Most of the Monarch's land is let already to ordinary farmers. Are you going to kick them out like Mugabe did in Zimbabwe, maybe kill a few in the process?
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clv101
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite! There's absolutely no need to kick anyone off their land! There's plenty of land to buy in the usual way. In fact, a lot of land, under conventional agricultural practices is financially marginal at best and any post-BREXIT changes to the subsidy regiem could bring a lot more land to market.
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Catweazle



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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Location: Little England, over the hills

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
Quite! There's absolutely no need to kick anyone off their land! There's plenty to land to buy in the usual way. In fact, a lot of land, under conventional agricultural practices is financially marginal at best and any post-BREXIT changes to the subsidy regiem could bring a lot more land to market.


"Financially marginal" ? That's difficult to quantify. If you expect an acre of land to pay for itself in profit made from crops in, say, 5 years then it doesn't look like a sound investment. If, on the other hand, you consider that the land will still be producing food for your great-great-great-grandchildren, then it looks like a bargain.

I'd love to see more caravans / dwellings in the countryside, with young families shaping their own lives.
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to wear my economics hat here.

One farmer can make 2000 pounds a year from the land and after the construction of Lammas 50 people can make 100,000 ponds a year from the same land. Seems to me like the amount of money that can be made is about 2000 pounds per person either way. So the limiting factor is not the land but the people and how much work they can put into the land. Looking more closely at the accounts a lot of the 100,000 comes from things like courses and not the land.

Problem is here that you are not going to be a rich country if everyone does this. A GDP of 2000 pounds per annum is about the same as Bangladesh and I have been there and would not wish it on anyone. However if people can make 2000 a year being a 'weekend farmer' and have a day job or investment income then I have no problem.

Nice idea but you need an income outside the land to be a benefit to wider society. Communal living similar to this has appealed to me from time to time until reality kicks in.

As far a I know from an internet search there is one communal style living place in Australia that is selling 'shares' whatever that means. For about AU$150,000 you get (from google earth anyway) a dry dusty area of scrubland about 10 hectares in area with no visible water supply and the 'off grid' is thrown in for free. Not good value really.
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Last edited by BritDownUnder on Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Catweazle



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
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Location: Little England, over the hills

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you live on a plot that provides your shelter, food, water and energy needs then how much money do you actually need to make ?

Many people living conventional lives end each year further in debt, many more just break even - are they economically viable ? The Lammas people, if they do it right, will end each year with a better smallholding - little improvements that will make their lives and those of their children better.
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catweazle wrote:
If you live on a plot that provides your shelter, food, water and energy needs then how much money do you actually need to make ?


You don't in the short term. But there are a lot of things that people in the UK, and even Australia, especially Labour voters take for granted such as NHS, Social security and old age pensions. Unfortunately these things are not paid for by weekend gardening. They are paid for by tax payers both individual or commercial or by government borrowing.
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Catweazle



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
Catweazle wrote:
If you live on a plot that provides your shelter, food, water and energy needs then how much money do you actually need to make ?


You don't in the short term. But there are a lot of things that people in the UK, and even Australia, especially Labour voters take for granted such as NHS, Social security and old age pensions. Unfortunately these things are not paid for by weekend gardening. They are paid for by tax payers both individual or commercial or by government borrowing.


They're not doing too well at the moment, and I don't expect the situation to improve. In fact, I don't expect to ever get a state pension.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
Problem is here that you are not going to be a rich country if everyone does this.

Absolutely, I think I was pretty clear above that this isn't any kind of solution for 'everyone'. In a country the size of Wales, it's a potential solution for thousands, not millions. It can contribute to increasing the workforce involved in primary agriculture from less than 1% to 10%+.
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Mark



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 928
Location: NW England

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Yep. And the land could be made available in one go by getting rid of the Monarchy and confiscating 99% of their land.


Scotland is a prime candidate for closer investigation....
The Highlands were far more densely (sustainably ?) populated before the clearances and the introduction of millions of sheep.....
Huge tracts of land are kept fenced off by the obscenely wealthy (not just the Monarchy) for grouse shooting and the like....
Fairly sure that land reform was one of the promises made by the SNP.....
I'm not Scottish, but they seem to have gone cooler on it since winning power.....??
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

History of Scotland is interesting.

There is evidence that it was densely populated back in the middle Bronze age, but went through a depopulation event possibly linked to an Icelandic volcanic eruption, triggering local climate change and sharply reduced carrying capacity, possibly linked to over exploitation at that time.

Was a relatively prosperous and widely forested again by Roman period.

Was critically deforested and badly over-grazed by the highland clearances for sheep farming.

It will take a long time and a very low population and/or a lot of active intervention to restore forestation or fertility to former levels.
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Automaton



Joined: 22 Jan 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS_RalphW wrote:


It will take a long time and a very low population and/or a lot of active intervention to restore forestation or fertility to former levels.


It's surprising though: I was in Glen Affric a few years back with a reforestation project there. One year after an area was fenced off to stop the deer and the sheep, there were approximately 100 Scot's Pine seedlings per square metre in many areas. So take away the grazers, and there would soon be forest again.
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