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.
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.
Lambourne 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.
Huge pool suitable for practicing in Kayaks. For the larger Canadian canoes a nearby canal is visited.
Traditional bell tents, for the happy campers.
One activity they run is a ‘make your own Pizza’ day, learning and good fun especially when a brilliant clay oven is to hand.
After the pizza has gone down, first one to the top of this monster climbing tower.
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.
Low ropes over pond for more confidence building, with a summer algae rich pond you would try extra hard not to fall in eh?
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.
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.
Polytunnel chillies growing like wildfire. Could it be the ready source of natural fertilizer from all the animals on the farm.
Holy cow! Some beast.
Don’t tickle him, he wants a good hard scratch.
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.