Heard of Embercombe?

Embercombe

Embercombe is a great place that offers all sorts of training and volunteering opportunities where you can learn all sorts about sustainable living in the South West.

Just have a look at the website HERE.

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‘Humanity stands at a cross roads – we live at a time when the choices we make today determine the way our children will live tomorrow. Making the right choices depends upon our vision and courage – yours and that of others in the communities you live and work. Embercombe exists to encourage you to be the leader you could be, inspired, resolute, and resilient.’

Enough said!

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Local Works!

sustainable communities

Local Works is a coalition of over 100 national organisations campaigning to promote the use of the radical and exciting new Sustainable Communities Act!

These guys were the coalition campaign for the Sustainable Communities Bill, originally set up by the new economics foundation.

The campaign was successful when the Bill became law – the Sustainable Communities Act – in October 2007. Since then Local Works, as a part of Unlock Democracy, has been promoting the Act and urging people to get involved and government to implement it properly.

Well done Local Works! This is the kind of lobbying and results we need!

Have a look at their site HERE for more info. Theres loads of further campaigns you can get involved in, and loads of resources for you to use.

For anybody wanting to fulfill their dream of setting up their own little Sustainable Community then make sure you have a look at the act HERE and see how it works, and make sure you know where you stand or where you can fit in.

This only applies to England though Im afraid, but there are similar things going on out there.

Wales has the ONE PLANET policy for instance, which is way ahead of the curve!

The times are changing…

The Plotgate Adventure

Pupils harvest potatoes as part of the British Potato Council's Grow Your Own Potatoes project - Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - 22nd June 2009.

The Plotgate Venture is a ‘co-operative exploring the appropriate use and development of the rural environment, to increase resilience in an uncertain world.’

Set in 23 acres of land in Somerset, these guys are practising and playing with enlightened agricultural principles to create an abundant, minimal input food system that is able to meet our appetites, whilst enriching the ecological diversity of the land.

Sounds great right!?

They see people as part of this ecology and wish to create a place where we can work and live lightly together, sharing our skills and resources to realise our aspiration of…

“A Good life for all.”

Set just near the inspirational Tinkers Bubble, Plotgate aims to be something for people to relate to & understand – an alternative for the majority!

Plotgate Venture is open to new members looking to participate in this process and discover their niche, so get involved if you can!

They have regular work weekends, where you can learn loads of useful skills working on one of their projects.

You can see more at their website HERE

Asking the question

Communal roundhouse

This is the round house at Tinkers Bubble community in Somerset.

Its a beauty isn’t it!

One of many little sustainable communities around that are showing there is a different way of living that is low impact and closer to nature.

Communities like these, and others that have been photographed by David Spero in his series on ‘Settlements’ can perhaps lead the way for other people to follow suit.

All the pictures can be viewed on his website HERE

ROOTS recognises that this cannot be the solution to all our problems, but surely exploring these possibilities and asking these questions is a good start.

What do you think?

Diggers and Dreamers

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The ultimate guide to Communal Living in Britain!

Diggers & Dreamers is a not-for-profit collective whose aims are to dispel the myth that communes came and went with the 1960’s, and to bring the idea of communal living to the attention of more people.

To these ends, the collective has been publishing information about communal living since 1989 – in the form of printed books and the website, which you can see HERE

A fantastic resource to find out about communities near you who are trying to live in a different way.

From Diggers and Dreamers you can find out about:

  • communities that need new members
  • communities that need volunteers
  • groups that are looking to form a new community
  • properties that might be suitable for building communities

The communities are not vetted by D and D, thats for you to do, but it’s an amazing resource for people starting out on the road towards self sufficiency and low impact living

Incredible Ideas

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Why have prickly plants growing outside your doctors surgery when you can medicinal herbs?

Incredible Edibles from Todmorden thought about that, and then got growing. 

From starting to grow herb gardens in unused public areas, they have now made links with local businesses and public services all over the town to plant and grow veggies and trees all over. These guys have got community growing all figured out!

From simple beginnings the idea has taken off and there is well over 200 similar projects that have popped up worldwide.

To find the nearest Incredible Edibles group out there, try HERE

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Ready to learn something new?

Greeniversity-logo

Greeniversity gives people the opportunity to volunteer to teach or learn ‘green skills’, to use in their local community. This could be growing food, it could be riding a bike or yoga. Search below to find out what’s going on in your area and join 3106 members across the UK.

Get involved HERE.

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Home is Where the Heat is

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A good place to start making waves could well be in your very own home.

There are always ways and means, from getting solar panels to applying for insulation.

These are options that may well save you money for other things!

HERE is a list of companies who are around to try and help you, and might be worth a phone call even just to get some advice.

Or if you know or are part of a company that isnt on there, then you can easily list your business.

Inspiration for All

The Lammas project ecovillage at Tir y Gafel, in North Pembrokeshire, Wales.

 

Ever heard of Lammas?

This incredible place in South Wales is named after the ancient festival placed between the Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox where for agricultural communities this was the first day of the harvest, when the fields would be glowing with corn and reaping would begin.

The Lammas project has been created to pioneer an alternative model for living on the land. It empowers people to explore what it is to live a low-impact lifestyle. It demonstrates that alternatives are possible here and now.

You can watch a video about it HERE

The project centres around the ecovillage at Tir y Gafel, in North Pembrokeshire, which has been designed using a model that can be replicated across Wales. It combines the traditional smallholding model with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture. The ecovillage was granted planning permission in 2009 by the Welsh Government and is currently part-way through the construction phase.  At its heart it consists of 9 smallholdings positioned around a Community Hub building, and it is supported by a range of peripheral projects and networks.

Inspirational we would say! In Wales the Welsh Assembly has the One Wales: One Planet Policy which actively encourages a more sustainable approach to our future, making Wales one of the leading countries on the planet for this kind of thinking!

So why dont we have something like this in England then?

Why indeed…

Surely somewhere like Cornwall, which has loads of projects that are trying to encourage sustainable living and are trying to do it themselves, this kind of change to policy can be made here as well?

Thats what ROOTS and the Holifield Farm Project think. How about you?

If you think people should be given a bit more support to get off the ground, like at Lammas, then get in touch with us. Email us HERE or pop on our facebook page HERE

The more of a voice we have, the more chance there is of making a change.

Where to Start…

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With such busy lives and the many distractions around, where can we start if we want to try and make a change…

There are plenty of guides and websites out there of little things we can all do easily enough. There is a link HERE for one of them.

Its very easy to think ahhhh yes I’ll do that tomorrow.

Or perhaps you are thinking whats the point!? As the drip drip drip of the glaciers continue to thaw is it really going to make any difference!?

Theres no easy answer to that one, and I guess you’re either on one side of the fence or the other, or floating on top of the half full glass or sinking in the half empty part.

Of course, if theres no water around then one option is to stick your head in the sand.

Climate change is MASSIVE and it is easy to become unmotivated and uninspired.

Believe me, we at ROOTS know all about it!

But still the fact remains, there ARE changes we can make, and those changes DO have an impact, however small that may appear to be.

Surely the main thing is to do what we can with the time we have, and to keep positive. Always…

Easier said than done we know, but its a good place to start.

When people ask us about the fence and which side to be on, we say the fence is there to be jumped over!