The Hour is Getting Late

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Sunset at St Peter’s Chapel, Bradwell

The time we have left to avoid climate disaster is getting short and the sun is setting on the opportunity to avoid catastrophe. Not that you would know it from the political inactivity around here. Continue reading “The Hour is Getting Late”

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Defining bioregions in these islands III

Watsonian vice-county 1

Ed Tyler has written an interesting response to the previous posts in this series (I, II) on his bioregioning site. He makes a number of interesting points that are worth reflecting on, but here I’ll limit myself to his reference to the Watsonian Vice County map.

I first came across the Watsonian Vice County map in the course of researching the Continue reading “Defining bioregions in these islands III”

Defining bioregions in these islands II

Johnny Appleseed

‘The necessity for scores of bioregional Johnny Appleseeds’

– Kirkpatrick Sale, ‘The Birth of Dartia’, Schumacher College journal #3, (Summer 1992)

It was good to see my last post on this topic receive attention on social media, it was shared widely and garnered some useful comments – this follows on from that and is best understood having read it beforehand. Shortly after publishing that post I saw Kirkpatrick Sale’s line about the ‘necessity for scores of bioregional Johnny Appleseeds’ and was heartened that perhaps we were seeing that flowering now, both with the Bioregional Learning Centre‘s Community of Practice and with a wider cohort of wild re-seeders – we still need Continue reading “Defining bioregions in these islands II”

Defining bioregions in these islands

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Catchment Area of Essex & Suffolk Rivers Trust

In a recent post, I mentioned how ‘I’m still struggling to articulate a suitable spatial scale for bioregional praxis in the Atlantic Archipelago’ and part of this struggle will be identifying particular bioregions within the Archipelago. Today I received a message from Kate Swatridge who had attended Ed Tyler and I’s session on bioregions at the UK Permaculture Convergence asking about this issue. She wrote: Continue reading “Defining bioregions in these islands”

Super Blood Wolf Moon

 

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‘Lunar Eclipse 21/01/2019’ by John Press Chair of East Essex Astronomy Club 

I had a dream last night: I was tasked with capturing a wild black beast that was inside a suburban home. I stood outside the porch of the house with a small dog – as it had been determined that the dog’s presence would calm the beast. I opened the porch door and Continue reading “Super Blood Wolf Moon”

Landscape Scale Land Management

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Aerial photo over River Crouch taken 30th May 1966 by Simmons Aerofilms https://ncap.org.uk/frame/11-1-2-107a-289?pos=48
(Higher resolution images are available from NCAP)

At the Oxford Real Farming Conference I attended the session ‘Shaping our future together’ organised by CTRLShift and facilitated by Andy Goldring. Rather than a presentation from the front, this session was designed to create a space for collaboration and planning between organisations, practitioners and networks building on the process started in Wigan, March 2018 at the initial CTRLShift: An emergency summit for change event.

The session began with a brief introduction and then encouraged participants to introduce an area of focus they would like to discuss.  Folk then clustered according to which area they found richest and most relevant to them at that time in order to discuss that topic through the lens of three questions: Continue reading “Landscape Scale Land Management”

High (Tide) and Dry

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Environment Agency publicity

It’s now ten days since I wrote to my District Councillors (Peter Elliott and Ron Pratt) asking why Maldon District Council has no current Environment and Climate Change Strategy despite the Climate Emergency and I’m still waiting for a reply. I recognise that they may be busy, that it’s not a salaried role and their time may be stretched, so I think I’ll give them a month before I follow up with another letter seeking an update on progress. I’m also thinking about other ways I can raise this issue – ask the leader of the opposition on the council to raise it?, seek recognition at the town council level? Again, learning how local politics works is proving to be a case of just try stuff.

The urgency of the emergency was brought home last week with Continue reading “High (Tide) and Dry”

Bioregional Economy

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Isabel Carlisle introduces the panel for ‘Bioregions: a powerful way to reconnect people to land’

Yesterday I attended the Oxford Real Farming Conference, primarily to attend the session on bioregions which featured a panel chaired by Isabel Carlisle of the Bioregional Learning Centre and included Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato,  the writer John Thackara, and my friend Andy Goldring – the Permaculture Association CEO. I’ll try and capture more of what I learned in a subsequent post, but hearing Molly Scott Cato speak reminded me that I had reviewed her book The Bioregional Economy; Land, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for Permaculture Magazine back in October 2014, but that they never ended up publishing it.

Here’s that review: Continue reading “Bioregional Economy”

Community Wealth Building

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This morning I’ve been thinking about the ‘Preston Model’ and how this model of ‘new municipalism’ might inform bioregional praxis – with special attention to how it might work out here on the Dengie. In my workshop on bioregionalism at the UK Permaculture Convergence in September  I briefly mentioned the Preston Model as a possible technique that might emerge as appropriate from a bioregional design and now seems a good time to think some more about that. I’m generally not keen on beginning with a technique and working backwards but going through some survey and analysis of the local economy with the model in mind may help reveal aspects that would otherwise be unapparent. Continue reading “Community Wealth Building”

Climate Emergency

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On 8th December I posted on social media about trying to find a point of agency in the face of the wicked problem of climate change – partly re-energised by the Extinction Rebellion actions:

‘I’ve never been a member of a political party, I’ve always been against it on the basis that joining a political party seemed to indicate you supported implicitly everything their representatives ended up saying or doing, no matter how idiotic, and even the barmiest parts of their manifestos. No thanks, I favoured the Groucho Marxist position. Continue reading “Climate Emergency”