Welcome to the Lammas January 2016 Newsletter. 

Celebrating Winter Solstice at Lammas


Ecovillage news 

Months of heavy rain have created a challenging midwinter here in West Wales, with waterlogged fields, orchards and gardens and lots of muddy paths. Occasional pauses in the deluge have allowed for restocking the larders, woodstores and celebrations such as the Solstice Fire. Thankfully our hydro is humming away sweetly bringing over 2kW of power to each of the Tir y Gafel households.


 Educational visits to Lammas

Here at Lammas we provide a range of tailored educational activities for teens and young adults and are able to offer a wide range of skills, experiences and workshops for students. Here is an example of a day's activities offered to Social Science students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids that visited in November:

Workshop Choice Options:

Students exploring all natural facemasks with Hoppi


One Planet People - by Jasmine Dale

As a new generation of aspiring land stewards, we wish to minimise dependence on fossil fuels whilst learning to meet our basic needs of food, shelter, energy and livelihood, from the land.  This has been entirely possible for millennia. However, in a 21st century context we have so many factors to consider and entirely new lifestyle needs to meet.

The One Planet policy is a fine step towards encouraging people towards an ecologically sound way of living, with support and expertise in this area growing all the time.  A fundamental requirement to reach a one planet footprint, is to integrate both the complexity of the landscape and our own skills and ideas. This is a challenge. Many of us seeking to return to a land based lifestyle have grown up divorced from a relationship with the land, even if this is not the case, we are often  applying for permission in landscapes far from where we or our ancestors grew up.

 As every site is unique, to work with nature’s cycles and minimise energy use, requires detailed observation and research. We were lucky to live nearby our site at Lammas in West Wales, and had 2 years of observation before we started putting our plans into action.  Now 6 years on, I am often contemplating what we would have done if there had been more time to live here and observe, without an imperative to develop and set up within 3-5 years.

Wind, sun and water patterns; soil types, existing biodiversity; access, boundaries; slopes; local resources – the list of factors to understand are considerable and complex.  Even after all this time, I am still learning the intricacies and patterns of this patch of earth I call home.

For us, permaculture has been a vital tool to give us confidence to cope with this challenge.  A set of flexible patterns, taken from thriving landscapes and indigenous communities, permaculture offers a map to navigate the complexity. It is a design process, based on observation, directly focused on meeting human needs without fossil fuels.

This March, we are offering an ‘off grid’ month internship, specifically aimed to support One Planet prospective applicants. It includes a Permaculture Design Certificate tailored for a low impact context. Salena Walker and Megan Williams (successful One Planet applicants) attended the last training and found it an extremely helpful resource. If you would like more info please visit our website www.beingsomewhere.net/courses or contact me on 07773372280.

In the long term nature always returns to equilibrium, in the human and planning policy timescale we need to balance action with observation.  By working together and sharing experience, we are ourselves a flourishing and emergent ecosystem.

Jasmine Dale


Planning News: OPD Success in Carmarthenshire

 Congratulations to Salena Walker and Chris Richards who recently got planning permission for their OPD project in Carmarthenshire. Their 10 acre plot - half of which is coniferous woodland and half of which is pasture - is in the village of Hebron, approximately 2 miles from Lammas. Their application centres around the production of fruit, mushrooms, cosmetics and raw chocolates and includes 2 polytunnels, a workshop and a timber-frame dwelling (technically considered a caravan). 

Their application was approved as a delegated decision which means that it was passed by the planning officer without even going to planning committee for a vote. It is available to download from the One Planet Council website

For a deeper insight into Salena and Chris's story check out Salena's blog

Salena Walker on her land


Courses at the Lammas Ecovillage: 

Either click on title or scroll down to view details

DateDescriptionCourse facilitated by
February 6th Felt Hat WorkshopCassandra Lishman
February 27th Willow FlowersCassandra Lishman
March 1st – April 1st Permaculture and Natural Building InternshipSimon and Jasmine Dale
March 20th Leaping Hare SculptureCassandra Lishman
April 16th Catalan PlatterCassandra Lishman
April 30th – May 1st All Natural Skincare CourseHoppi Wimbush
May 14th Driftwood Frame BasketCassandra Lishman
June 17th – 21st One Planet ExperienceHoppi Wimbush
July 8th – 19th A Complete Build – the Multipurpose Roundhouse ShelterNigel Lishman
August 3rd – 15th The Cob ExperienceCassandra Lishman
August 19th – 22nd Lammas Family Adventure CampMelissa and Jacqui and Robyn
September 10th Foraging BasketCassandra Lishman
September 14th – 18th One Planet ExperienceHoppi Wimbush
December 10th Willow Christmas CraftsCassandra Lishman



A scene from the Lammas Christmas fair: