Category Archives: Appropriate Technology

La Premier…

So here’s my go at a little documentary.  Part 1 of our Wwoof to Oz adventure.

Next stop Spain…

Planning Granted!!!

Today we received the long anticipated news that our planning application was granted.  We’ve been checking almost daily to see if there has been any change on the online application and what a relief to see that it has all gone through ok.

Nice to see a reference to key design considerations and a special mention in the permission details for “Sustainable Development in Rural Areas – The Council was particularly mindful of the following matters: – scale, design and materials appropriate to use and location – impact on landscape. The simple form of the building is considered appropriate to its use and location on an agricultural holding. The site is well screened and remote from residential properties. The proposal will not impact on the wider rural landscape.”

The full application form, design statement, neighbour comments and decision status can be found here

Gasland

This is a must watch documentary about the wide spread use of fracking.  Check out the maps of the shale fields in the film as living on or near one has disastrous consequences on drinking water.  Fracking is massive in the USA but there are also numerous gas fields across the rest of the world that could be opened up to the same processes soon.  Climactic disaster!  Check the Gasland website.

“The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.”

Somerset to Wales

After leaving the Burrowhill Cidery we visited the Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre for an insight into the ancient craft of growing and harvesting willow for crafts and charcoal.  Another National Trust property later and we were in Wales to visit more friends, Gerd, Camilla and Lea.  They happened to live quite close to the Centre for Alternative Technology and so we also spent a day there…

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Cornwall

On route to Cornwall we visited the Eden Project.  It’s incredible and well worth the visit.  Sitting on the site of a disused clay quarry it’s demonstrates the power of regeneration in only 12 years.  I am somewhat dubious about their energy usage but they are displaying an incredible amount of learning material.  It seems they will soon be building a large geothermal power plant.  We also visited friends in Cornwall.  Living in a small yurt community and studying renewable energy at Falmouth Uni is a nice combination.  On leaving Cornwall we ended up in Somerset and the first stop was Burrowhill Cider!

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Devon

After leaving the New Forest and spending a few days on the Jurassic coast we came to Devon.  This amazing county has so much to offer.  We visited victorian walled kitchen gardens, did a bit of basic cider making, toured around Martin Crawford’s Food Forest demonstration site, picked more mushrooms, visited travelling friends and explored Dartmoor with them.  We checked out the last remaining working water powered forge and Lydford Gorge… amazing times.

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