Lammas Newsletter, February 2008


By Ayers Gipson
(Potential resident)

My friends and family are always very curious when I speak about Lammas. They marvel at the ideas of ‘sustainable living’, and congratulate me for ‘saving the planet’. Being a part of the Lammas eco-village project has, aside from the gruelling work of educating myself in permaculture, agroforestry, sustainable building, woodland management, and small-scale farming, given me much food for thought, and the more I think about it, the more I realise that the planet does not need me to save it. Until our Sun explodes or the Universe folds, her surface will creep and crawl and swarm with the inexorable and ineffable incarnations of Being.

So let us abandon the arrogance that creates the fantasy that humans could possibly destroy, beyond resurgence, the life-bearing, Life-affirming ability of the Earth… or save it. Yes, we should mourn the tragic, wanton, and unnecessary destruction of the wonders of Creation. Through our mourning, perhaps, we will realise that no creature is a permanent resident, nor has dominion, and every manifestation of life, including humans, is threatened with ‘pre-mature’ extinction until humanity understands this. It’s humanity that needs saving.

Yet I am constantly bombarded by evidence that humanity does not want me to save it. Pity, because despite all its faults I quite like humanity. However, I’ve been a therapist long enough to know that what people don’t know, we tend to persist in not wanting to know. For when we know, we have choice, and choice leads to power; power inevitably leads to the question of responsibility, and who wants that?

So… I need saving. I need to be saved from my cynicism and despair, resentment, anger, feelings of impotence, powerlessness, and hopelessness, and that’s where the Lammas project comes into my life. Henry David Thoreau said that most men lead lives of ‘quiet desperation’. I’d hate to think he was right, and yet, I realise that it is my worst fear. To be separated from Gaia by concrete and noise and pulled from her so that I may execute my tasks more efficiently as a function of the marketplace, is for me the ultimate life of quiet desperation.

I am an expression, a child, and a steward of the Earth. My task is to bring forth life, food, and sustenance, see humans as an integral, beneficial and benevolent function of the ‘ecosystem’ and affirm the abundance that comes from direct relationship to the planet that is both home and provider for us all. I am saved.

Lammas News


We are very close now. Aiming to resubmit mid- February.

We have had some new people join the team lately including Dawn and Ant, the driving force behind a permaculture project in Northampton:

We are planning to make the revised planning application available online so that people can see and assess for themselves the calibre of work involved.

So watch this space!

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The Land, The Potato Store, Flaxdrayton Farm, S. Petherton, Somerset, TA 13 5LR

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Low-Impact News
from around The UK

Low impact village planned for Norfolk
A group of like minded people from the Norwich area have come up with a plan for affordable green rural housing. The locally based Common Ground Co-operative has bought 20 acres of land in Ilketshall St Andrew and hopes to turn the site into a sustainable community of low impact environmentally friendly homes. Strawbale houses, carpentry workshops and fields of crops all feature in the designs for the new eco hamlet.
The plans include building 10 houses using locally produced straw, which would mean the dwellings had very little embodied energy, using solar power to provide energy, using cars as little as possible and keeping goats and chickens.
Unsurprisingly though some local residents say that the plans are not suitable for the area and that instead of providing housing for local people, the members of the new community will be coming in from elsewhere.
Waveney District Council has said that locating a new hamlet in open countryside is contrary to conventional planning policies, but that this application is unique and needs careful consideration.
In a report to planners, the Common Ground Co-operative said that its plan is to reduce carbon emissions while improving the biodiversity of the local environment.
The report said: “Common Ground believes that its project can deliver a 'win win' scenario through the combined use of low-impact, traditional building materials and best practice in modern technologies to produce carbon-neutral, low-cost, rural housing. Common Ground understands this is a potentially controversial project, has consulted with the community and believes that the project could be a flagship for sustainable communities in rural areas.”
Planning officers from Waveney District Council will visit the site before discussing the plans at a rural development control meeting in early February.

link to article on local blog