Centred on the small village of Tir y Gafel, located in north Pembrokeshire, the Lammas project has been created to pioneer a visionary model for living on the land through which its participants are enabled to explore what it is to live a one-planet lifestyle. In so doing it demonstrates that alternatives to current mainstream are possible here and now.
The project aims to combines a traditional smallholding model with the innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture, and to be replicatable across Wales. At the heart of its village are a group of individual smallholdings of around 5 acres each, all positioned around a Community Hub building and supported by a range of infrastructure projects and networks. Planning permission was granted in 2009 by the Welsh Government and with almost a dozen small holdings it is currently part-way through the construction phase. The whole village is completely off grid, and water, woodland and electricity are all managed communally.
Tao Wimbush and his wife Hoppi are founding members of the project. By virtue of owning all two cows in the village, Tao is village milkman! He and Hoppi also work their small holding to produce a wide range of veg whilst, through the Lammas Earth Centre, also offering a range of living experiences, guidance, and quality courses on One Planet Living – a concept concerned with recognition of the finiteness of the earth’s resources. In addition Hoppi runs transformational healing & coaching programs and has created her own artisan land-based skin care brand Flower Power Organics. It’s an inspirational way of life which is deeply rooted in principles born out of respect for the earth. Its deceptive simplicity hides an intense and deep connectedness.
Tao and Hoppi are just one of the families breaking new ground within Lammas. They have come from all walks of life and have each purchased their individual plots on which they have set up their individual family homes and their businesses. These include fruit and vegetable production, livestock rearing, bee keeping, woodland and willow crafts, seed production, biomass production and organic waste treatment. Through the village at Tir y Gafel, there is real and practical intent to demonstrate successful low-impact development and to create productive, viable, biodiverse eco-smallholdings that empower residents to live lightly on the earth yet in a way which is rich, rewarding and resilient.
In time, Lammas aims to establish a flourishing network of low-impact projects working together to promote the principles of sustainability, biodiversity and environmentally conscious living. The project actively supports aspiring low-impact projects in Wales through providing guidance and resources as well as supporting independent academic studies.
For more on the Lammas Project see the project’s website, Lammas – A Pioneering Village in West Wales. Tao is also featured in Unlikely Heroes.
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