Sunday, 15 May 2011
Peacocks, Lambs on New Grass, Lammas Project
Yesterday the Farmer & I had an opportunity to visit the Lammas Project in Pembrokeshire (http://www.lammas.org.uk/) The Lammas Project is an eco-hamlet being created under the new 'low impact development' planning policy (Policy 52 JUDP 2006) that was set in place in Pembrokeshire and is now for the whole of Wales.
Under this new policy eco smallholdings can be built in open countryside as long as they are off-grid and blend into the countryside. The people involved in these developments must be working the land, getting 75% of their needs from their smallholdings.
The project is in its second year and the 9 families that are living in this eco-hamlet are working to get their houses built and crops growing. Many of them are living in caravans whilst building cob and straw bale dwellings and in time it will look great. However, we were surprised at how little had been done in terms of growing food in 2 years. The food production plots were not very large and we could not see how any of the families were going to keep themselves fed. There was almost no livestock to be seen, one family had a few chickens but that was all and there were no decent sized plots of potatoes and other vegetables that would produce sufficient food for a family. When one thinks of the incredibly productive gardens that can still be found on farms, particularly those run by older people, and that have been managed using tried & tested husbandry methods over centuries it seems a pity that the new smallholders do not try to replicate thse amazingly productive gardens. And they all need a pig!
All that said, as a project Lammas is fascinating and it will very interesting to visit it again in couple of years time.