Recognition of the contribution of small-scale farms and horticulture differs in each UK nation, yet the sectors commonly receive little or no support in proposals for the new policies.
Once we understood the intrinsic value of the natural world, not just what it contributes to our well-being, our economy and the local ecology, there was no going back.
Cottage Economy is not, however, just a nineteenth-century DIY manual. It is also a fiercely polemical defence of smallholding as a way of life.
“If people are serious about producing good, sustainable and healthy food with high animal welfare and environmental standards, whilst looking after rural communities, county farms have an important role to play.”
The Ecological Land Co-operative (ELC) was set up to address the lack of affordable sites for ecological land-based livelihoods. A life on the land is a dream for many, but one in which the barriers are high, and the ELC recognised that this needed to be addressed.
Supporting and strengthening the wider movement to reclaim land from the ecologically destructive, market-driven mainstream of conventional land use.
“Localization stands, at best, at the limits of practical possibility, but it has the decisive argument in its favour that there will be no alternative.”
An imaginative and exciting scheme was launched to provide would-be smallholders with affordable land and low-impact dwellings. But then it was blocked by a local council, and has now gone to appeal. The story highlights how our planning process can frustrate so many ‘good life’ dreams.