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ecoglobe [yinyang] news (6 April 1999)
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Sustainable lifestyle village
'discovered' in Wales

One New Zealand specialty is a "lifestyle block" - a piece of land of 10 or 20 acres; enough for 5 cattle, 20 sheep, some chooks, a nice home and a vegetable garden. Some owners of lifestyle blocks choose for organic ways of smallhold farming. But the whole enterprise is supported by many outside inputs.

Not so in the case of the villagers of Brithdir Mawr on the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales. The residents of Brithdir Mawr live a communal, self-sufficient and eco-friendly existence, unobtrusively in the depths of a National Park till they were 'discovered' by a survey pilot.
They grew vegetables, produced milk and cheese, collected water from a stream, erected buildings from straw, wood and turf. They generated their own electricity from the wind and the sun. And that gave it away: the survey pilot saw the solar panel glinting in the sun.
The villagers are now making arrangements with the authorities about buildings for which they had not sought planning permissions. Differences exist about the future of a domeshaped house, a roundhouse, and a storehouse made of straw. Retrospective permissions are xpected for a converted farmhouse, a goatshed, a woodstore, two compost lavatories, a windmill and a lake for the village's water supply.
One of the villagers is Paul Wimbush, 26, an architect.
"We are very pleased," he says. "It means that we can stay and carry on with our lifstyle. People are beginning to realise there must be a better way of living than in noisy crowded cities. There has been a definite change in attitudes towards communities like ours who wish to live a sustainable existence."
Ten adults and 12 children live on this 66 hectare (165 acre) farm, that was founded in 1994. They farm the land, keep goats and pull loads by horses. The power generated by a wind generator, a solar panel and a smal water turbine, is enough for heating, lighting and even a small computer.
Ianto Doyle, 38, who huilt the roundhouse, lives in the community with his wife Liz, 28, and their two children.
"We are proving that a sizable community can live a sustainable lifstyle on a small farm," Ianto says.

[Reference: reported by David Graves in The Daily Telegraph and reprinted in The Dominion of 7 April 1999, p.11]


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ecoglobe [yinyang] news (6 April 1999)
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