Lammas Newsletter, July 2009


Practicing What We Preach: Swansea University plays key role in Cutting Carbon at prestigious Conference.

A Lammas director and Swansea University academic invited to speak at the National Mall, Washington DC on Friday 26th July has declined an all expenses paid VIP trip and will attend by video conference. Inspired by this innovative stance other key speakers, including WAG Minister Jane Davidson and UWIC's Molly Scott Cato will also have their presentations streamed by staff at Swansea University.

Dr. Larch Maxey's first response when he was invited to the prestigious 43rd Smithsonian Festival on the National Mall, Washington DC was to dismiss the idea out of hand because of the carbon emissions the flightalone would entail.

'It's the irony of our times!', Dr. Maxey explains 'I was invited to speak because of my research and practice into sustainability, and this same commitment to sustainability means I never fly to conferences as just 4 hours in a plane gives a year’s emissions!'

The conference, entitled 'Convergence on Zero' is organised by Wales' Centre for Alternative Technology and working with them, Dr. Maxey has developed a green alternative: presenting by video link.

'Swansea University has excellent video conferencing facilities and the
staff are so great, even I can manage it! I now regularly use phone and video conference meetings, but this is the first time I've used it to present at an international conference, may it be the first of many!'

Dr. Maxey's presentation entitled 'The Future in Our Hands: Low Impact Development and Sustainability Transitions'. It draws on his recent book and current research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust and is available to stream here

For further information on Larch's book see the book's website

For further information on the Conference see

Glandwr Primary School up for sale

The former school is very near the proposed Lammas eco-village site. It has planning for conversion to residential units with grounds of approx 1 acre. This is a large building with full plumbing and heating. £150,000 01437 764551

Lammas News

The Hearing

The hearing had echoes of David Dimblebys Question Time with seats rising to the heavens and a horseshoe of “panellists” sat at the front. Lammas representatives comprising of Paul Wimbush of Lammas, Simon Fairlie of Chapter 7, Andy Goldring CEO of Permaculture Association of Britain, Rupert Hawley and John Gower planning consultants from Quiet Water Consultancy sat to the right of the inspector and David Popplewell, Chief Planning Officer for Pembrokeshire County Council to his left.

Mr Andrew Poulter, the planning inspector himself, positioned like a fulrum point to a huge scale of justice….the scale from my perspective hung heavily in the balance of Lammas from the very start. Andrew Poulter spoke outlining the order of the day which, until this moment, had been a disconcerting mystery to us all…

Paul opened the hearing, then, with a moving opening speech which raised a tear in most eyes present. The Inspector received all the suspicions, doubts and fears with a welcoming air, acting as a deft arbitrator. Every single point that was expressed was given space and was bounced back primarily to Paul and then opened out to general comment. I had a sense of a vital bridge being constructed by the whole process. Indeed by mid afternoon the points raised by opposing locals began to fizzle out and dry up. Seeds of understanding had been sown on that bridge.

And intermingled with this were the three miniscule points that were grounds for refusal by the LPA and cause for the appeal in the first place. Andrew Poulter presented deeply probing questions to both sides, but to my eyes the most penetrating and exposing questions seemed to be levelled at David Popplewell who squirmed more times than a warmed up worm. In the absence of local terrors and dark imaginings, I suspect that the planning process would have taken around an hour to resolve, yet as it evolved, the day began at ten on the dot and was completed a gruelling eight and a half hours later.

The whole process for me personally was riveting and intense, and awe inspiring and challenging and stimulating and gutting and jaw-dropping and moving and astounding and humbling and useful and phenomenal, and absolutely exhausssssssting…….

We should hear on or before 26th August.

Hoppi Wimbush

30 acres of flat pasture for sale

Near Preseli mountains (North Pembrokeshire). Directly next to Lammas project.

Would suit tree-planting project/ long term permaculture vision.

Offers around £100,000
Contact Su Burke on 01994 419432/ 07774251967

Low-Impact News


Climate Camp Cymru
This summer people all over the world will join together and take action against climate change. The growing climate camp movement aims to inspire, educate, inform and take peaceful direct action against the greatest threat we face.

Wales' first climate camp will pitch its tents near Merthyr Tydfil this August (13-16). The camp will be a living example of sustainable and radical alternatives, while providing a space to meet people and learn new skills. In order to make this happen we are calling on everyone who is able, to get involved. Climate Camp is built upon inclusive democratic decision making, and relies on the contributions of all those that attend. If you would like to run a workshop, email:

If you can help with structures and transport, legal or media, we need you! If you have any specific skills and want to put them to good use, get in touch:

See you at the camp!

On The Web


The latest episode from the 'living in the future' mini series is now available online:

It covers the latest news on the Lammas project.

Undercurrents are seeking sponsors for future episodes in the series. So if you are interested in advertising (£500 per episode) please contact Undercurrents. The series currently has over 20,000 subscribers.

Talks on Low-Impact Development

A note to say that Lammas residents/ organisers are available to give talks and presentations on topics surrounding low-impact development.
Please contact us for further details.

An Invitation…

Lammas holds monthly meetings and we welcome people interested in supporting both the ecovillage project and the wider vision of Lammas (as an umbrella organisation promoting low-impact development) to come and contribute to the meetings.

The next meeting will be held at 10am on 8th August 2009 at Pontygafel. If the weather is good we will meet outside. If the weather is poor, it will be in a tent.

For more details please use our contact form

Lammas meeting, spring 2009

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