Photo: Simon and Jasmine Dale's self built Lammas home. The house, like other Lammas properties, has a distinctly hobbit element.Their newly constructed home is part of the Lammas Ecovillage (Wikipedia, Lammas Village web site), a low-impact, off-grid ecovillage near Crymych in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, comprising nine households and a community hub on a 76 acres (31 ha) site. Buildings are constructed of natural materials and energy obtained from renewable sources.
The Village website (link above) describes Lammas in this way:
The concept for the Lammas ecovillage is that of a collective of eco-smallholdings working together to create and sustain a culture of land-based self-reliance. The project supports a permaculture approach to land management – in which human beings are considered an intrinsic part of the ecosystem. As a result the approach to environmental management is one of stewardship for future generations rather than exploitation for short term gain.In a way, Lammas can be described as the desire for self-sufficiency and alternative life styles meets planning regulations. The key features of Lammas are:
- individual small long lease blocks with common land that has to be centrally managed
- specific performance requirements manadated by Council placed upon both individual holders and the community as a whole, mandating a combination of individual and community effort.
- performance rules and requirements combine a combination of environmental and economic considerations.
Photo: Lammas house. Note the greenhouse on the left, a feature of the Lammas landscape.
Photo: Lammas Ecovillage. From Lammas to Denmark's Christiania, there is something familiar about the hippy now alternative life style.Earlier I described Lammas as desire for self-sufficiency and alternative life styles meets planning regulations.
I have felt for a long while that growing state and council regulations on the way we live have become a growing impediment to finding new ways to live and also a blockage to increased housing supply. I don't feel quite the same way in the Lammas case.
Lammas describes itself as a research experiment. In this case, the planning regulations seem to have provided a discipline and a framework that helped the project achieve the success it has. Horses for courses, I guess.
kvd pointed me to this piece on the prospective use of pedal power. An Australian example is the pedal powered radio invented by Alfred Traeger.
I can see real advantages in some uses, but some also strike me as gimmicky (a pedal powered blender) or just plain hard work!
Postscript 6 January 2018
Sadly, on New Year's day 2018, Simon and Jasmine Dale's self built Lammas hobbit home.burnt down. It's a sad end to the Grand Designs' story, a reminder of the fragility of life.