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Permaculture-ish projects to visit in UK

 
pollinator
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Now I am researching the possibility of doing a bicycle tour, I want to know too which places to visit in England. I know of two towns that seem interesting to me: Todmorden ('incredible edible') and Totnes ('transition town'). One in the North en one in the South, so probably impossible to visit both on the same trip. These are projects promoting themselves, so even here in the Netherlands we know of them. I think there must be many unknown permaculturists too in England. Maybe you are one of them? Or your friend is?
Please, if you know a permaculture project in England, let me know. Tell me more about it here. Thank you in advance.
 
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You will like Totnes (pronounced Tot‑ness′), though it is a slightly weird place. Also go to Dartington, only 3miles (~5km) away along the A385. Beware of the traffic: half the time there is nose to tail traffic from Totnes almost to Dartington, travelling at walking speed. Dartington is flat and Totnes is very hilly. Totnes is the only place where I have seen a pub selling no beer, only cider. No, I was mistaken. That pub is at Newton Abbot, about 10miles (~15km) away.
I was looking for the market at Durham City a few weeks ago and on one of the websites about County Durham I found a mention of a County Durham Permaculture association. I didn't look any further. It should be easy enough to search:- link 1 link 2 link 3.
You will like County Durham. The eastern half of the county is moderately hilly and it gets hillier as you go west. The towns and villages in the east are mostly old mining communities and not much to look at, but those in the west, e.g. Barnard Castle, are much more picturesque. Go into the dales of the Tees and the Wear. The one large town I would think worth visiting is Darlington, which is home to Bank Top Station, the largest railway station in the county, and also the coldest place for many miles around The countryside near Darlington is the least hilly part of the county. If you stray into County Durham, which is easy enough if you take the ferry from Ijmuiden, be sure to visit the City. [addition] Durham City is very hilly. [/addition]

I don't know Todmorden.
 
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I agree, you will like Totnes.  And if you go to Dartington, be sure to book a tour of Martin Crawford's forest garden.

https://www.agroforestry.co.uk/research-site-tours/

As for other sites, I'm sure if you look through the Permaculture Magazine UK, you're bound to find places to visit.  You could even put an advert ahead of time, asking if anyone is available for a visit - who knows.  Good luck and enjoy your trip!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Thank you thank you!

So Totness and Martin Crawford's Forest Garden are in the same region. Sounds good!

I don't know when that trip will be. Maybe 2021, maybe 2022, ... I like to prepare my bicycle tours long in advance. And then probably I'll still change my route while cycling ...
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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And Abundant Earth (links 2 and 3) has interesting courses and volunteer work!

More like that is welcome
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:. . . in the same region. . . .

Same region? You can walk from Totnes to Dartington in an hour. We used to have a small area of woodland garden like that only about 1½miles from here, but the trust went bankrupt in 2012.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Thank you for the apple and sorry for not noticing earlier.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:Thank you for the apple and sorry for not noticing earlier.


Thank you for your replies, helping my other topic to win the PIE!
 
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Stroud in Gloucestershire is another town to add to the list. Lots of environmental/organic activism there the uk biodynamic association is based there is a permaculture LAND site in the town.

East Meon in Hampshire has the sustainability centre which was set up by Maddie Harland who also started Permaculture Magazine:

https://www.sustainability-centre.org/

There is the Centre for alternative technology in Wales:

https://www.cat.org.uk/

There is more just the ones I can think of to begin with!
 
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I volunteer (when we are not in lockdown) at Old Sleningford Farm (http://www.oldsleningford.co.uk/) near Ripon in North Yorkshire. You could possibly tie in a visit here as well as Todmorden as they are relatively close to each other.

Anyway, at Old Sleningford they have a forest garden as well as an orchard and raised beds, chickens, pigs and sheep. I love it there but haven’t been able to visit since last September.
 
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Hello, have you taken your trip yet? I hope not as the UK is much nicer to cycle around in the summer time.

My recommendations are to visit Tinkers Bubble in Somerset, which is not a permaculture site, per se, but a community with a set of traditional land management techniques and a focus on living without fossil fuels. They have an incredible steam-powered sawmill, an apple orchard, some polyculture and livestock. It is a very welcoming community and I've stayed several times.

On another year I would recommend visiting the Green Scythe Fair which is very close to Tinkers Bubble. I cycled from there on one occasion to volunteer. It's full of young, hippie farmers and is a great spot for picking up hand tools (and drinking cider). Sadly it's been postponed for the second year running. I was really hoping to buy a new handle for a scythe I inherited there, alas...

London has many interesting projects, as do, I believe, Manchester and Leeds, although I don't know those personally.

Cecil Sharp House in London holds an annual permaculture fair with talks and the like. There are also community and forest gardens at Organic Lea, The Castle Climbing Centre and Glengall Wharf Garden (Peckham). I'm sure I've forgotten some from that list.

Bristol is home to several urban agriculture projects and, generally, a vibrant alternative community (with very good music and arts). Check out Feed Bristol/Grow Wilder (who manage a 6 acre site for food and wildlife), Incredible Edible, Shift Bristol (a group offering PDCs), Windmill Hill City Farm, Purple Patch...

Good luck!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Luke Mitchell wrote:Hello, have you taken your trip yet? I hope not as the UK is much nicer to cycle around in the summer time....

Good luck!


Thank you for your tips Luke. I don't think I can visit all of them in one trip.
No, I have not yet been to the UK, and yes I will go there in summer ... not yet this summer. Being Dutch (living in The Netherlands) I know cycling around in other seasons is not that nice ... the climate here is like that in the UK
 
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Hi,  always happy for you to pop into see us here in Ilkeston. We’ve got a permaculture community garden that we’ve just set up https://seag.uk and there are many others near us in Nottingham and Derbyshire. Hope you get to come over and cycle in England. :)
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Hi Bess. Sorry, I will not (yet) come to England this year.
 
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