Sitcomma Excursion

Last Saturday we were lucky enough to visit our second permaculture land centre.    Sitcomma hopes to one day achieve this status so as a permaculture learner centre, these trips help us to experience, learn and research  the wonders of these magical places and I confess have a jolly good time in the process.  Lambourne End outdoor adventure centre in North Essex, 1hr in our bus from Southend, does so much more than the name lets on.  GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

After a warm welcome from our host for the day- introducing TonyGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

We firstly toured the centre place, a holiday home feeling set of single story dorms, and planning/ teaching rooms..  Set around a big square court. grape and kiwi vines adorned the canopies.  To think Kiwis happily growing in England! this must be magicplace.Road cone plant pot

Kiwis in light Vic and Carole vieing kiwis Kiwi bunchesLambourne end receives visits from an amazing variety of  backgrounds form the likes of business people on team building courses although a great many of the visitors are disabled physically, mentally or emotionally and often a mix of all the above.  Sounds daunting but the atmosphere around this place is so relaxed and positive.

Pool, Kayaks and Canoes

Huge pool suitable for practicing in Kayaks.   For the larger Canadian canoes a nearby canal is visited.

Bell tent camp

Traditional bell tents, for the happy campers.

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One activity they run is a ‘make your own Pizza’ day, learning and good fun especially when a brilliant clay oven is to hand.

Climbing tower scale

After the pizza has gone down, first one to the top of this monster climbing tower.

Caving

Challenges like climbing or caving in this network of underground tunnels allows anybody, not just the nervous perhaps, to build their confidence and fear control skills.

Pond ropes

Low ropes over pond for more confidence building, with a summer algae rich pond you would try extra hard not to fall in eh?

Mirrors and trees

Exploring the senses with a nifty trick.  Hold a mirror under the nose and see the world from the perspective of a tree frog.  This really makes the hairs of the back of your neck stand on end.

Roundhouse, Fi foreground

Fiona admires the awesome wood and cob round house, built with the help of bank workers.  They benefit from the stressless environment and the health benefits of physical, outdoor work as well as practicing team building skills.  Lambourne end gets a wonderful roundhouse.  Win win.

The land learners all like sponges soaking up all the permaculture wisdom around them.

The land learners, like sponges soaking up all the permaculture wisdom around them.

 

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Polytunnel chillies growing like wildfire.  Could it be the ready source of  natural fertilizer from all the animals on the farm.

Wildlife pond can be used by biology degree students.  Tony informed us they have recently introduced a particular species of carp to combat an overbearing duck weed.

Wildlife pond can be used by biology degree students. Tony informed us they have introduced a particular species of carp as an experiment,to combat an overbearing duck weed.

An open field area, home to some to just some grass snakes and grass hoppers etc.  A nice block of flats, clean tarmac roads no messy foliage,  that's neater.  A tongue in cheek way of raising the awareness of the importance of green spaces to our kids who perhaps may become town planners one day.

An open field area, home to just grass snakes and grass hoppers etc. A nice block of high-rise flats, clean tarmac roads no messy foliage, that’s neater. A tongue in cheek way of raising the awareness of the importance of green spaces to these kids, who perhaps may actually become town planners one day.

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Resting bull

Holy cow! Some beast.

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Don’t tickle him, he wants a good hard scratch.

Meet Freddy. A real scallywag of a goat.  He has the habit of constantly testing the fencing around the field in order to reach that particularly juicy looking nettle just out of mouths reach.

Meet Freddy.  scallywag of a goat. He has the habit of constantly testing the fencing around the field in order to reach that particularly juicy looking nettle just out of mouths reach.

Tony and his girls

Tony and his girls

The well though through infrastructure within Lambourne end includes a pair of clever compot toilets,  minimal water useage and of course the free fertilizer after a year or two.

The well though through infrastructure within Lambourne end includes a pair of clever compost toilets, minimal water usage and of course the free fertilizer after a year or two.

I'm the king of the castle!

I’m the king of the castle!

 

We were astounded by Lambourne ends facilities, the multitude of ways in which they serve the needs of some of the most needy people in and around Essex, the interconnectivity of the different aspects of the farm and it’s other guise as an activity centre.  This is what permaculture looks like in the flesh.  It all looked so natural and easy, that we conclude is the result of careful planning, planning and planning, and once all is planned and in place, that is when the real journey of constant change and adaption begins.

 

 

 

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One response »

  1. Looks like a great place to visit, spoke with a friend yesterday and she wanted to take her scouts there, looking forward to future trips, there are many places of interest in Essex to get inspired from.

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