Lammas eco-village

Lammas Hobbit House

She herself, in common with many of the other residents, takes a ‘many strings to the bow’ approach to income generation. Her six hives of bees play an important role in fertilising the crops of her own and other’s gardens, fruit bushes and trees. In turn, they provide her with honey to sell, and a source of wax for cosmetics and furniture polish. In addition she grows and sells vegetables, salad crops and strawberries, and teaches willow-work and basket making at a centre a few miles away. Her small holding also produces seed for the ‘Real Seeds’ company. Other members of the community have businesses selling raw milk (delivered by dog-cart), eggs, firewood, garden furniture, hay, cut flowers, and speciality ‘wild’ plants, much in demand at certain expensive restaurants. Almost everyone is engaged in multiple micro-businesses.

 

Lammas’ application was one of several at the time which led to the adoption by the Welsh Government of the ‘One Planet Development’ policy (OPD) (TAN6, originally passed in July 2010), which covers the whole of Wales. This ground breaking move means it is now possible to build new homes in the open countryside in Wales provided there is a clear commitment to sustainable living, zero carbon building, and land-based livelihood.

 

Lammas Hub - South

the community hub, built with a grant from DECC to promote zero carbon, off grid and Low Impact techniques..

Lammas Hub - educational

An educational course in progress in the newly completed hub building

Lammas Hub - Interior

The interior of the hub with the typical contoured effect walls created by lime rendered straw bale construction.

Lammas Hub - Courtyard

The community hub was built with help from a grant from the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) to promote zero carbon, off grid and Low Impact construction techniques.

 

Another resident, Simon Dale, commenting on the policy, said that although this is an improvement over the way things were, it is still a difficult and expensive process, involving paying consultancy fees for work such as full environmental assessments, drawing up business plans, etc. The goal posts have been modified slightly since Lammas was originally set up. The emphasis is now less about income, and more about carbon footprint – households are expected to demonstrate an ecological footprint as low or lower than 2.4gHa/cap (after 5 years), and a minimum 65% of household income must be derived from the land and land based activity. Over and above that residents are free to supplement incomes by other means, so long as that doesn’t increase their carbon footprint. Further details can be found on the Lammas website.

 

As a successful project, Lammas has proved an inspiration to others, and three other One Planet Developments are currently growing in the neighbourhood.One is the celebrated (or infamous, depending on your point of view) ‘Hobbit House’, the turf roofed roundhouse built in 2012 by Megan Williams and Charlie Hague, on land owned by a family member adjacent to Lammas.

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