Here and There

Reports from near and far

PDC Broadbottom PDC Bury Laudato Si social energy permaculture design Angus Soutar

In this issue, we have reports from the PDC's in Broadbottom and at Bury. We are working with the Diocese of Salfard in the walled garden at Wardley Hall The Warland Farm PDC ends with at trip to see Janet and Michael at The Land. We include a short piece about our autumn social gathering and Angus's meeting with Michael Hallam and Chris Cook on community energy projects. (All reports by Angus Soutar).

Breaking new ground at the Broadbottom Community Centre

A new venture brings the Northern School PDC to the village of Broadbottom which is nicely situated at the foot of the Pennines on the Derbyshire-Cheshire border.

The teaching team has been strengthened, and materials updated, just in time to receive a lively and talented group of participants. It's always good when a new course gets off to a cracking start.

Permaculture Design Permaculture Design Course
Broadbottom Community Centre Permaculture Design outdoor classroom

Laudato Si project at Wardley Hall

Earlier in the year, we were invited by the Diocese of Salford to advise on the development of the walled garden at Wardley Hall in Salford. We worked away steadily over the summer to establish basic site information with surveys and soil testing.

Permaculture at the Laudato Si project Laudato Si project at Wardley Hall
Permaculture at the Laudato Si project Laudato Si project at Wardley Hall

The site information that we have gathered will provide a firm foundation for the development of the garden as a demonstration site for sustainable neighbourhoods. Teresa has prepared a detailed report that was well received by the Laudato Si project team.

Permaculture at the Laudato Si project Laudato Si project at Wardley Hall

PDC progress at Manchester Road Community Centre

This year we have had some fine autumn weather which has allowed us some comfortable time outdoors to explore the local (suburban) ecology to the south of Bury. The area near the River Roch provides us with a useful outdoor classroom wqhere we can all come into direct contact with Nature.

We are slowly assembling all the pieces required to take a permaculture approach to all the problems that are facing us.

Permaculture Design Permaculture Design Course
Manchester Road Community Centre Permaculture Design certificate community

Permaculture Design Course at Warland Farm

This course is moving to conclusion and we have got to the point we are working on our various design practice projects. Participants are coming up with great ideas and we have something to look forward to when these will be shared later on. Meanwhile we have been enjoying the late summer on site at the increasingly productive Warland Farm.

Design at Warland Farm Permaculture at Warland Farm

At the end of the course, as a "bonus extra" we were invited to visit Janet and Michael Whittaker's new property at "The Land" in Lower Wyresdale. We were delighted to walk the site and review their designs and plans. I'm sure we'll hear more from their project as their plans progress. The Land is now in good hands!

The Whittakers design Permaculture at the Whittakers
Local food and energy Permaculture design certificate Lower Wyresdales

Social at Prestwich

This year sees a return to our seasonal social gatherings. The break in the cycle owing to the recent pandemic seems to have broken communications and disrupted the seasonal flow, leaving our friends pushed for time and short of resources. The final turnout was low but, once again, the quality of the people there made for a very enjoyable event.

It was a lovely autumn day with some fine food and wonderful all-round hospitality. We could enjoy the afternoon in the garden with the sun lasting into a golden evening. There were informal and wide-ranging discussions popping up all through the day on topics as varied as food, medicine, travel, family life and a fascinating dialogue on the ethic of care and how that is expressed across the world in faith and religion.

Following the conclusion of the recent Bury course, we took a photo opportunity with Safina receiving her international PDC certificate.

Northern School autumn social Social at Safina's
Apples in Autumnm garden Permaculture gathering

Fun and games at the University of Cumbria

On 14th September, Angus went to Lancaster to attend a University of Cumbria event that showcased Justin Larner's work on Sustainable Development Goals. Lancaster ESTA played a part in hosting the conference, shaping the UN SDG regime into a more community-friendly framework by running a version of their "ESTA Game". (Angus was not shaken from his view SDG is an inappropriate initiative for cummunities and community enterprise.)

After the event, Angus got together with Justin, Michael Hallam of ESTA and energy and community consultant Chris Cook. Taking full advantage of an empty cafeteria on the Lancaster campus with stunning views out over Morecambe Bay, the discussion focussed on organising for the re-localisation of essential services. Chris's proposals for the nondominium were particularly interesting. We need to find out more.

Morecambe Bay from the University of Cumbria in Lancaster Energy meeting with Chris Cook
Morecambe Bay from the Bowerham campus cafeteria Meeting with Michael Hallam and Chris Cook

News in brief

Mike Alty (Bury course 2019) has settled with his family in Hebden Bridge. Alongside putting his DIY skills to good use on a 'doer-upper' and trying to work out what a permaculture inspired kitchen might look like, he's also busy in the observation phase to transform the garden into a forager's feast. He hopes to be in touch again soon.

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