Lammas – Britain’s first ecovillage

The concept of the Lammas ecovillage is collective smallholder farming that supports the idea of ​​full self-sufficiency through the use of land and available natural resources. The project uses a permaculture approach to farming, in which people are an integral part of the ecosystem. The construction of the ecovillage began in 2009-2010. The people of Lammas come from a diverse range of backgrounds, some of whom have experience of living within natural potential, and many of whom do not. Each family has a plot worth 35000 – 40000 pounds and 5 years to complete it. Water, electricity and forests are collectively controlled, while land is used for growing food, biomass, eco-business and recycling organic waste. Local business includes the production of fruits, seeds and vegetables, raising livestock, beekeeping, wooden crafts, vermiculture (breeding of earthworms), cultivation of rare herbs. Every year, the eco-village provides the Council with a report on progress on a number of indicators, such as mortality-fertility, land productivity, and the ecological situation in the settlement. The project needs to demonstrate that it is able to meet most of the needs of residents through agriculture, as well as show positive social, economic and environmental impacts. All residential buildings, workshops and utility rooms are designed and built by the residents themselves with the help of volunteers. For the most part, local natural or recycled materials were used for construction. The cost of the house is from 5000 – 14000 pounds. Electric power is generated by micro photovoltaic installations along with a 27kW hydro generator. Heat is supplied from wood (either forest management waste or special coppice plantations). Domestic water comes from a private source, while other water needs are covered by rainwater harvesting. Historically, the territory of the eco-village was a pasture with poor quality land, it housed a mutton farm. However, with the acquisition of land for the creation of a settlement in 2009, fertilization of the landscape began to maintain a wide ecological spectrum in order to meet various human needs. Lammas now has a wide range of vegetation and livestock.

Each of the plots has approximately 5 acres of land and its share in the total forest area. Each plot includes a residential building, an area for growing indoor crops (greenhouses and greenhouses), a barn and a work area (for livestock, storage and craft activities). The territory of the settlement is located at 120-180 meters above sea level. Planning permission for Lammas was won after an appeal in August 2009. The residents were given a condition: within 5 years, the territory of the settlement must independently cover 75% of the need for water, food and fuel. “says a resident of the settlement Jasmine.” The inhabitants of Lammas are ordinary people: teachers, designers, engineers and artisans who really wanted to live “on the ground”. The Lammas Ecovillage aims to be as self-sustaining as possible, an example of civilization-independent and sustainable life in the future. Where once there was a poor agricultural pasture, Lammas allows its residents to create a land full of natural life and abundance.

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