Paramaethu Cymru Gathering Lammas June 2016

Lammas ecovillage in Pembrokeshire proved an excellent choice for the Paramaethu Cymru gathering in June. Not only did the site offer a beautiful place to meet within the community hub with all the facilities we could need, but also the eco-village itself (now in its 7th year), and the plots contained within it, offer one of the most interesting examples studies of medium to large scale permaculture design in Wales. This all provided ample topics for learning and discussion. Those who are unaware of the project are recommended to view the website and if possible arrange to visit the site itself to learn form the experiences of those living there.

people in polytunnel

The residents at Lammas have been through many difficulties both in gaining permission for the project and in the establishment process. Their determination and persistence in developing productive plots, building low-impact homes for themselves and at the same time, bringing up families and maintaining relationships is formidable and admirable. It is certainly a big ask for those without superhuman levels of energy and organisation.

After arriving on Friday we were treated to a delicious meal – thanks Peter and Alison!

Following this an inspiring film about regenerative projects in Ethiopia. Great to see some parts of the world overcoming obstacles and building a resilient future.

Saturday we were able to choose from a variety of different workshops including the following:

  • Plot design and process

  • Planning a timber-framed self-build

  • One Planet Development policy

  • Shropshire & Edges LAND centres

  • Catalan platter willow basket workshop

  • Working with conflict within groups

  • Needs-based decision-making

  • Using medicinal plants for tinctures

  • Microdairying

  • Bees: talk/demo

Some feedback from workshops:

“It was great -learnt about the ins and outs of planning from a designer and project manager” (Planning a timber framed self-build)

“Impressed by design of everything, how everything fitted together sensitively – tuned into nature -a breathe of fresh air!” (Micro-dairying)

A shared lunch fueled us up for further workshops in the afternoon and more films in the cinema tent (solar-powered of course) At the end of a busy day we were ready for a hearty meal – provided by Ragamuffin Catering and then a gathering around the fire, with some great music provided by the group and some of the residents.

 

Sunday we had the opportunity to reflect on our experiences and think ahead to how Paramaethu can be nurtured and brought forward. A basic structure has been decided on consisting of a network of intersecting groups (see plan below). Groups include Learning/Dysgu, Language/Iaith and groups from various regions. A central group consisting of one at least one representative from each group will ensure that all groups are communication. We are fortunate to now have a Network coordinator, Cara Wilson.

Thanks to all who contributed to the success of this event, either by planning the event, bringing ideas and inspiration along, by contributing food or simply by bringing themselves. Lastly thanks to Lammas residents for being there and providing the space.

Plans already progressing for next year's event. See you all then!