Here’s a quick overview of what the Ecological Land Co-op does, before going on to their latest news. The problem that they were formed to solve is that many people who would like to build a home made from local, sustainable materials, harvest their own renewable energy and work the land to produce food, fuel and other organic products for their family and for local markets find it impossible because a) if the land is affordable – i.e. in open countryside – the planning system ensures that they’re not allowed to build a home on it, and b) if the planning system allows them to build a home – i.e. in or around existing settlements – the land is too expensive, and has probably already been snapped up by developers. They are kept off the land, and society continues to be fed largely via a system of non-organic, monoculture agribusiness that is extremely damaging to ecology and to communities.
The Ecological Land Co-op is a small organisation swimming against this current, and we’d like to see them get bigger. They purchase land in the open countryside and apply for planning permission for homes, with the proviso that they will oversee the smallholdings so that they operate sustainably in perpetuity. Plots will never be sold to commuters or second-homers, and smallholders will continue to live sustainably and work the land organically. They currently have one settlement of three smallholdings at Greenham Reach in Devon, and have recently purchased land in Sussex for a second group of smallholdings. Here is a video, and below is the latest news from the ELC.
Read more here.