Devon eco-orchard threatened with eviction
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Fri Jun 24 14:01:45 BST 2011
We have a dream and our dream is:
To live a sustainable lifestyle, whereby we are
able to feed ourselves and children.
To give back to our local community in Willand and surrounding communities.
To live a traditional lifestyle in our small
holding working the orchard, growing organic
food and living in a low-impact
traditionally-built house constructed from the
natural materials of the surrounding countryside.
To give our children the knowledge that we once
all had and have now, staying in touch with the
seasonsand growing local organic food.
This enterprise, our dream, has enabled us to
provide for our family needs, with the ability to
look after our children as full-time parents and
part-time workers, opposing the norm of full-time
workers and part-time parents.
Because the sensitive restoration is important to
us, we have conducted research from the Devon
Record Office consulting the tithe maps, drawn
up following the Tithe Commutation Act 1836.
Join (evil) Facebook group
Remove the Injunction to evict the Masons from Muxbeare orchard
The Masons have transformed what they described
as a derelict four-acre plot into a haven of
self-sufficiency boasting a 400 sq m allotment, a
polytunnel and greenhouses to grow fruit and
vegetables, chickens for egg production and an
orchard they have regenerated by planting around
14 new apple trees of various species.
The couple, who have two boys, aged eight and
nine, say because they moved onto the site in
order to work the land, Mid Devon District
Council is turfing them off as officers do not
consider them to be conserving an agricultural area.
They were served with an injunction to leave within 28 days from June 1.
MUXBEARE ORCHARD is a 4-acre mixed site of
pasture and orchard with and existing small
single storey built barn. The agricultural barn
has clay tiles roof; this has now been restored.
The old historic orchard is to the north-east of
the village of Willand. The land at Muxbeare
Orchard has not been managed for over 50 years;
our ambition is to return the orchard back to its glory of the 19th century.
The dream is to run a subsistent organic
smallholding comprising of the Orchard, plus
rearing chickens, sheep and bees, growing
vegetables and herbs, and making cider and apple
juice selling any surplus in the local community.
A foreword by Dinah & Stig...
"We had a choice of squandering our lives
stagnating on a council estate in the suburbs of
London, or taking a leap of faith and moving our
family somewhere to get in touch with nature and the rhythms of the seasons.
"We want a healthy lifestyle for ourselves and
our children, giving them the best start we can
offer. Building our own home, working with the
land to run an organic smallholding that gives
back to the community of which it is part, we
feel is the better of the two lives.
We are restoring a traditional orchard, hay
meadows, and hedgerows to restore the special
landscape and celebrate the rich working history
of the ancient veteran trees rich in wildlife and wild flowers.
The restoration of the orchard apples will
produce fruit for ourselves and the local
community and will serve as example to other
landowners in our area who might wish to restore
their orchards. The remaining few trees of our
traditional orchards will be land managed. We
wish to create a wildlife enhancement scheme
ensuring the long-term social and environmental
and economical sustainability of Muxbeare Orchard."
Our focus will be to take care of our orchard
and land; this will benefit the species of
wildlife that we find in the orchard and ancient hedgerows.
We are very concerned that the value of
traditional orchards to wildlife is threatened by
clearances and unsympathetic management. Too much
tidying up of dead wood removes the habitat of
rare species indigenous to that region. We will
be taking a sympathetic management approach that
concentrates on replanting to provide continuity
of habitat, prolongs the live of old trees and may even prolong fruiting life.
"Key species that thrive in traditional orchards
include the Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker, bats and
insects. In particular, the larvae of the Noble
Chafer Beetle lies on the dead wood of fruit
trees. The Noble Chafer is a rare species listed
in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, which gives
management targets for the countrys most endangered wildlife.
Rejuvenating Traditional Ancient Special
Orchards aims to raise awareness about the
importance our and other orchards in Devon and
Willand area, to encourage the reporting of
findings and to demonstrate best practice in the
management of difference species with the
replanting of old orchards, renovating the
orchard in the landscape surroundings. The
Muxbeare Orchard will encourage healthy local
food, with apples and apple juice making.
Muxbeare Orchard is all that has survived,
making it a unique rare place with rare plants and animals.
"Agriculture in the 21st Century has been
subsidised by a mixture of price-fixing, tariffs,
and import quotas due to the Common Agriculture
Policy (CAP) of the European Union."
Our farm is a micro-service which will encourage a local food economy
"It is our intention to preserve the orchard and
the countryside. Most people who do work on the
land cannot afford to live there since the
commuters have driven the price of housing up,
and there is now a reverse commute situation with
farmers and labourers living in cheap lodgings in
the towns and driving out to their place of work.
"This means that the old local economy, in which
those who lived on the land also worked there and
vice-versa, has been severely damaged, and with
it the system of mutual support and commitments
to the locality that was so vital in making the countryside what it is.
"Local shops and pubs expire, young people leave
for the towns, and old people become increasingly
isolated, deprived of services, transport and the means of survival."
Encouraging the small and local family farms vs agribusiness
"The family farm is the backbone of the rural
economy, and the most important generator of the
distinctive British landscapes. Fiscal policy
must be designed in order to make the family farm
once again viable. This means abolishing the
regulations that make it unprofitable, and
encouraging the local food economy, local
slaughterhouses and farmers markets. Many of
these regulations proceed from the EU.
"Each out-of-town superstore cuts the market
share of in-town food shops by up to 50%, and
means an average loss of 276 full-time jobs in towns and high streets."
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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