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M Ferguson

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since Oct 08, 2016
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Recent posts by M Ferguson

Henry Jabel wrote:Wow that is cheap. Near me they are trying to get £14-15 grand an acre!

That's a few grand more than average land price in UK, which seems to be 10K+ per acre

Lol we all really need to just move to a country with more space, e.g. New Zealand, Australia, Canada
4 years ago

Eddie Conna wrote:

Check out  They have a LOT of info there, but are a bit pricey.  I found earth bags and earth bag tubing for less than half of what Calearth charges for their stuff.  

...And also this site:
In the youtube link I pasted initially you will see a guy building an earthship out of earthbags. He has bermed the external walls just as would be done in a tirewall earthship, however there is no batter. Instead I was really impressed by the clever way that a membrane is used to bind the earthbag courses into each layer of backfill. This makes the whole thing monolithic and very strong, no need for buttresses.

I also heard on a youtube video that 8% of CO2 emissions are from manufacturing cement. Not sure if it's true. Earthship Biotecture have been criticised for using cement by some
4 years ago
Unless you have a large team of people then tire walls look like way too time consuming to put up

Look how fast 2 people are able to put up an earthbag course:
4 years ago
There seems to be much commercial forestry sale at cheap prices (by UK standards anyway) in rural Scotland. For example this:     I shudder to think what this size plot would cost you further south.

So this type of land tends to have a lot of disadvantages but I feel these would be overcome by a longterm owner. It is typically a conifer, monocrop desert. My very limited understanding is that this ecosystem alters the soil quality so little else can grow or live there. But I would assume over time native species would take hold again if sections of the conifer crop were felled. Without the plantation what would the land eventually revert to ... heather moorland? Actually the cheapest land available is a forestry plantation which has just been felled. This must be because it would take several years to grow the trees again before any profit could be made from the land But bare land could be replanted with whatever you please. Smaller areas could be enriched with nitrogen fixing plants prior to growing crops. Then there is location. Rural Scotland is either a great thing or a disadvantage depending on your outlook. Probably the biggest difficulty would be planning permission. I have heard it is almost impossible to get permission to build on such plots. My guess is that it would take years. You could always live there in the mean time in a temporary structure. I grew up on a farm about 30 acres, and if forested even this size plot this would provide plenty of room and privacy to live tucked away. I've only ever visited Scotland as far north as Inverness, and this was in high summer... I gather it gets much colder =D I'm interested to hear thoughts from others about the feasibility of doing something like this. Is it possible to convert such land to grow crops on a very small scale, perhaps in a few polytunnels?

4 years ago

Steve Hitchen wrote:Just put an advert in Farmers Weekly. Everyone reads it, and the small ads section gets scanned by everyone - no point going to people if they can come to you.

I would add you will cover legal costs.

You will be FAR more likely to be able to secure land if you rent as a tennant rather than want to buy - there isn't a huge amount of land for sale at the moment, but it's easy enough to find small plots on a 5 year tennancy. And, if you find you don't like the lifestyle, you aren't locked up with a big mortgage

Interesting tips, but for me I want to own the land outright.

Land prices are ridiculous in UK. Even land which is not suitable for farming is expensive. And even if you get some land then chances are there will be no chance of planning permission. It is almost as if someone designed this situation deliberately to force you to be a consumer hooked up to the their profit hungry grid. Insert rant about the global corporatocracy / banking cartels here.

I think it is to do with the high population density in the UK. More and more people getting crammed in to what is actually a pretty small area compared to many other countries. Supply and demand. I also feel that the British are too polite and so put up with much more oppression and bureaucracy than many other nations.

Many have suggested living abroad to escape both the pricing and planning situation. Unfortunately for me I would not be confident to move permanently to a country where I could not speak the language. Which leaves perhaps Canada (too cold?), New Zealand, Australia (too far?). I know nothing of the legal processes in these countries but would guess that given the very low population density and the vast amount of land available (at least in Oz and Canada), these places would see your money go much further in terms of land quantity, and you would have an easier time persuading the local authorities to let you live there.

4 years ago

Charli Wilson wrote:

Check out Wirksworth Eco Centre- they do some good and inexpensive courses on straw bale and lime building and things.

Having just come back from the Eden Project I'd highly recommend it, but it's on such a huge scale as to be completely unobtainable as far as building plans go. The Lost Gardens of Heligan is nearby, and has restored Victorian glasshouses, including a working manure-heated pineapple pit- I'd recommend going to visit, it seems much more realistic as far as home-building goes. Also Chatsworth House has some good glasshouses that are sometimes open, and any botanical gardens (Edinburgh botanical gardens glasshouses are amazing! As is Kew Gardens- they have modern builds as well as the original Victorian ones).

Hi Charli

Oh, I'll have visit this eco centre in Wirksworth, I'ts close by. Thanks for the heads up

Been to Chatsworth ages ago, although at that age was far more interested in the maze. I'll have to check it out

If you fancy meeting up drop me a msg =)
4 years ago
Hi all. I'm in in Derby/Nottingham area. I'm saving to buy land, not necessarily in this location. My dream is to live in privacy from urban noise and government control in an off-grid home. Read up all about earthships. Now more interested in earthbag construction. Ultimately, I want to stop working in my current job (stressful, meaningless) and make a living by building and selling sustainable, off-grid homes (something which feels worthwhile and may help others). Unfortunately I've no formal training in the various relevant facets of architecture, agriculture and the associated legal / planning processes. So the last year or so I've been studying a lot, but still feel totally unprepared for this journey. If anyone wants to chat or meet up please msg. I am interested to visit the earthships in Brighton or Fife, the centre for alternative technology in wales, the Eden project, and other such places. I am especially interested to visit examples of off grid homes. Regards, M
4 years ago