Lammas Newsletter, March 2009

Request for small plant

Not the leafy kind!

Lammas residents, having purchased the land, are keen to begin some excavation works; ditches, ponds and some landscaping.

If there are any people out there with some small plant machinery available as a gift or loan (below market rates) the please let us know. We are particularly interested in mini-diggers and dumpers.

In Ecuador, Nature Has Rights

Taken from an article by Gar Smith (

"Vive Yasuni" spelt out by 100 people.

After many years of environmental destruction especially due to oil extracting activities, Ecuador has approved a new constitution that is the first in the world to extends “inalienable rights to nature.”

On September 29, 2008, the Associated Press (AP) reported that Ecuador’s new constitution would “significantly expand leftist President Rafael Correa’s powers.” It wasn’t until the end of a 15-paragraph article that the AP mentioned the new constitution – approved by 65 per cent of voters – “guarantees free education through university and social security benefits for stay-at-home mothers.” Also missing from the AP’s report: any mention that Ecuador’s voters had just ratified the world’s first “eco-constitution,” a pioneering document that, for the first time in human history, extends “inalienable rights to nature.”

Not too long ago, Ecuador would have seemed an unlikely nation to become the birthplace of Earth’s first green constitution. To service its massive debt to US creditors, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund forced Ecuador to open its Amazon forests to foreign oil companies. Nearly 30 years of drilling enriched ChevronTexaco, desecrated the northern Amazon, and utterly failed to improve the lives of millions of poor Ecuadoreans.

Ecuador’s radical new constitution features a chapter on the “Rights for Nature” that begins by invoking the indigenous concept of sumak kawsay (good living) and the Andean Earth Goddess: “Nature, or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.” The constitution contains a Nature’s Bill of Rights that includes “the right to an integral restoration” and the right to be free from “exploitation” and “harmful environmental consequences.”

The Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) notes that [most country’s] regulations “treat nature as property under law. These laws legalise environmental harm by regulating how much pollution or destruction of nature can occur.” They don’t forbid pollution, they merely “codify it.” By contrast, Right of Nature laws challenge property law by “eliminating the authority of a property owner to interfere with the functioning of ecosystems that exist and depend upon that property for their existence and flourishing.”

Lammas News

Land Purchase

Lammas has now purchased 76 acres of land at Pontygafel. Hooray!

Su Burke and Paul Wimbush from Lammas signing the land transfer agreement

We have begun to do some works on the site such as fencing repairs, soil analyses and tree planting.

Planning Appeal

The Lammas Planning Appeal is now lodged. It is a written appeal and therefore we are expecting a decision and a resolution sometime this summer.


As ever we will be posting our documentation online for anyone keen to read through the detail.

Poem – by Paul Wimbush,
Project coordinator.

I wrote this poem after having overseen the tenant farmer remove his livestock from the land at Pontygafel. It is the first poem I have written in many years.

January 30th 2009.
Liberating the land

Twenty five years continuous occupation,
across the seasons all.
One hundred and fifty ewes meticulously,
cropping the fine green sward.
No flowers of diversity within these fields,
the wilderness pushed aside.
One hundred lambs to harvest each year,
with the old and infirm left to die.
Six hundred cloven feet work the soil,
to a compacted impermeable crust.
60 acres of degraded green desert,
our stewardship question we must.

On The Web

A Farm For The Future”
This is a must-see, 50-minute documentary about the essential transition from agriculture to Permaculture, available for free viewing on the BBC2 iPlayer here.

Don’t delay, as it is only available until Monday 16th March!

Low-Impact Events

Earth Activist Training,
taught by Starhawk and Andy Goldring.

July 11-26 ~ Devon, England

A permaculture design course and more for activists! Learn the skills to transform a piece of land, a community, and our political and economic systems.

* Nature and wilderness awareness * Diversity in ecosystems and social movements * Solutions that exist: alternative energy; organic farming; natural building; bioremediation and restoration * Soil and woodland ecology * Ecological economics * How to collect, conserve and clean water * Direct action principles and practices; movement building and strategy * Consensus process, facilitation and conflict transformation * How to transform fear, rage, grief and frustration into creative action * How to stay grounded and centered in challenging situations * How to create ritual and weave magic into action... and more! On completion participants will receive a permaculture design certificate.

Applications must be made by the end of this week
Application form:
For further enquiries email:

Coed Hills Spring Equinox Gathering.
20th – 22nd March, near Cardiff

An action-packed wacky combination of cabaret, music, workshops, food, storytelling in an inspirational setting.
01446 774084

Book review –
Soil and Soul by Alistair McIntosh

This book has been around for a few years now and it tells the story of the empowerment of the people of the Scottish Islands in overcoming the powers of lairdship and corporate development. It is a fascinating read and highly recommended for anyone interested in people power.
The book describes in detail the spiritual journey of the various campaigns and the importance of cultural roots in providing strength and resilience.

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