Steward Community Woodland - planning support please

Gerrard Winstanley office at
Fri Sep 14 17:59:13 BST 2007

Subject: Steward Community Woodland - support needed for planning
From:    "Dandelion Digger" <shivamahadeva at>
Date:    Fri, September 7, 2007 1:20 pm
To:      mark at
         diggers350 at

Steward Community Woodland
Newton Abbot
Devon TQ13 8SD
Tel 01647 440233
community at

                 APPEAL FOR SUPPORT
                    Autumn 2007

Dear Friends

Our original planning permission has now expired and
we have submitted a new application to the Dartmoor
National Park Authority for permission to live here
and continue the sustainable project for a further 5

Letters and emails of support for the application are
crucial in relation to whether we gain further
permission or not. If you feel you support what we are
doing at the woods and in the wider community, please
could you write a letter or email to:

   Dartmoor National Park Authority
   Parke, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 9JQ
   hq at

*** Please remember to include your name & address,
and quote the ref 0671/07 (otherwise it will not be
taken into consideration). ***
Also, please send us a copy to our address/email

Your letter/email could simply say that you support
the application. However, you may wish to include some
of the following points:

·        Your interest/concern about environmental issues,
climate change, Peak Oil, social and educational
issues, etc.

·        Whether you know any of the people from Steward
Community Woodland and how you appreciate the
friendship, working relationship, etc you have with

·        What you think about our ecological aims and what we
have achieved over the 7 years the project has been
running. We have, for example
-        inspired thousands of visitors to the woods, to our
website and to our stall at events, passing on skills,
knowledge and information on sustainable living and
permaculture (and we, in turn, have learnt from and
been inspired by many of our visitors)
-        demonstrated renewable energy systems, such as micro
hydro power, solar and cycle power
-        demonstrated organic food growing, incorporating
permaculture ideas such as growing perennials and
forest gardens
-        demonstrated low impact building and living over
several years
-        sold some timber and woodland products (such as
larch trees to build a barn at Proper Job in Chagford,
and split larch fence posts)

·        Our contribution to the local community, through our
involvement in various voluntary groups, running
computer course at the Library, offering computer
support, organising events for Transition Town
Moreton, breastfeeding peer counselling, etc.

·        The importance of our educational work – Forest
School, running permaculture design and other courses,
home education, etc.

·        We have carried out a Carbon Audit which concludes
that our carbon footprint is 23% of the national

Consequently, we are a working model of sustainability
and positive action for the benefit of people, animals
and the Earth. We are an asset to the National Park
and the local area.

Our planning application is available for viewing on
our website and in hard copy (please ring and we can
lend it to you). Also, if you wish to visit us in the
woods, you’d be most welcome (please call to arrange).

·        We are applying for a further temporary permission
of 5 years, which would continue to be subject to
conditions guaranteeing that only environmentally
benign, low impact development and activities take
place on the land.
·        Living on-site is essential for the continued
viability of this sustainable project. Living on-site
facilitates us to grow food and live without
connection to any of the utilities (water,
electricity, gas, sewage disposal). We provide all
these services ourselves by ecological and sustainable
means (filtered spring water, compost toilets,
renewable energy, using wood from the land for fuel,
etc). Living in conventional housing in nearby towns
and commuting to the site could only be supported by
having full-time (and well-paid) jobs elsewhere,
leaving us with little or no time to carry out the
project. Living in the woods enables us to dedicate
our time to the project and be fully committed to it,
and to home educate our children in a safe and
nourishing environment.
·        We aim to meet our needs from a combination of
subsistence living, commercial activities on site and
from other ethically based work (such as working at
Proper Job, the local composting, reuse/recycle
·        We are applying for two more individual dwellings to
allow our community to expand a little, a polytunnel
to increase our range of food growing, and we would
like scope to employ eco-build techniques such as cob
and strawbale construction, turf and thatch roof
(these techniques have been used in many other places
for low impact structures).
·        We are committed to reducing vehicle usage, sharing
vehicles and only using biofuels in our vehicles.

Many Thanks.

Dan, Peter, Beccy, Merlin, Son, John, Marylise, Sef,
Mel, Daz, Chris, Owen & all the children

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