'We have transformed depleted pasture into a mosaic of abundant ecosystems that supports human beings to live a sustainable land-based lifestyle.'
The Lammas project has been created to explore an alternative model for living on the land. It empowers people to design their own infrastructure to support a one-planet lifestyle. It demonstrates that alternatives are possible here and now.
The concept for the Lammas ecovillage is that of a collective of eco-smallholdings working together to create and sustain a culture of land-based self-reliance. The project supports a permaculture approach to land management – in which human beings are considered an intrinsic part of the ecosystem. As a result the approach to environmental management is one of stewardship for future generations rather than exploitation for short term gain.
The original 9 plots were granted planning permission in 2009 by the Welsh Government and are at various stages of development and construction. Since 2009 additional plots have joined the project.
At its heart of the ecovillage is our Community Hub, a Village Green, and a millpond.
The residents of the ecovillage have come from all walks of life and whilst some have experience of low-impact living and natural building, many have none. Water, trackways and electricity are managed collectively and the plots are largely dedicated to growing food, land-based businesses, growing biomass and processing organic waste. Land-based enterprises include fruit and vegetable production, livestock and bees, woodland and willow crafts, value-added food production, and seed production.
Under the planning conditions smallholders report to the Council each year, setting out their progress against a series of performance indicators that include traffic generation, land-based productivity, and ecological foot-printing. Residents are required to substantially meet their needs from the land and demonstrate positive environmental, social and economic benefit.
The dwellinghouses, workshops and barns have been designed and built by the residents themselves, with a lot of help from volunteers. For the most part they are built from local natural materials or recycled materials. With the dwellings there have been issues in demonstrating compliance with building regulations, and whilst there are currently no outstanding issues with building control officers, this continues to be a significant hurdle for low-impact builders. Low-impact construction is by its very nature, organic and low-cost.
The Ecovillage's most recent build was the 'Lammas Earth Centre' which provides a venue for healing and transformational courses and events.
Here at Lammas we have guided tours every Saturday (starting at 11am) throughout the summer. These are offered on a donation basis.
More details at www.lammas.org.uk.
Inspiring Lammas Links and Resources:
Free online video series from the early setting up days
Feature films about ecovillage living
Community Hub facebook page
More research & resources
Courses @ Lammas in 2020:
Off-Grid Power Systems - April 20th, 2020
One Planet Living - 8th - 12th July 2020