Join this fantastic project building eco-pods for visitors in the UK's unique Lammas Ecovillage!
Hi! My name is Cassie, my 11 year old daughter is called Bea, she absolutely loves horses - my son David is 14, and wants to be an actor...my husband is called Nigel and our eldest son is Ted, who is nearly 23. Together we are the Lishman family. We live on a low impact smallholding in the Lammas Eco-village in West Wales - only 2 hours from Bristol.
We moved to Lammas in 2009, and we make our living from the land, keeping animals, growing food, making artisan crafts, and teaching lots of courses, including eco-building .
We moved here because we wanted a sustainable life, with fresh air and safe spaces for our kids to play. We also wanted a safe place for our son Ted, who has a learning disability and autism, to enjoy the freedom to wander in a stress free neighbourhood, surrounded by people that know him. There are 8 other families that live here, and lots of them have children.
So here we are, 7 years later, and Lammas is thriving. We receive hundreds of visitors each year, people coming on tours, for willow workshops, for eco-building workshops - some people booking their holidays nearby in order to visit, and once even their honeymoon just to come here! We also get dozens of volunteers wanting to experience this way of life.
However, there are no places to stay here, other than if you bring a tent, and not everyone wants to do that. We have been told many times that people would really love to stay in an eco-building here. So we'd love to create some visitor's spaces with you, and offer it out for everyone to enjoy. The project will build an 'Eco-pod' for visitors and friends to stay in, using several natural building techniques. We will build the pods then offer them out on Air B&B for rental, and that's the cool business part of the project.
Once built, the eco-pod will offer a total low impact experience in a small but beautiful self contained unit, completely off grid. The pod will be built using local slate, straw bales, lime plaster and local wood. It will have solar electricity, and a wood burner to keep you warm. It will use passive solar gain to bring in the sun's warmth to heat to cob floor. Here are some pics from our courses - two of the rewards invite you to join us building the pods!
Once the Pod is built, we have got 5 weekend stays on offer, ready for those that want to invest in a retreat away from it all, or want to give that Green Friend a very special present! We will be making it extra lovely for those that take up this reward - everything will be freshly built, with crisp sheets and chopped wood ready for your first fire, and an organic home grown breakfast using our own preserves and fresh bread, made for you in our lovely pink roundhouse.
However, we have more to offer than just a place to stay. We keep many very friendly animals who also love people, including sheep, geese, chickens and ducks, a pony, a dog and cats. We have a large garden and grow lots of fruit & veg, and we get plenty of eggs. Perfect for your B&B breakfast!
Additionally, the setting of the eco-village is lovely, with long walks in rolling hills and lush landscapes. We are also within a stones throw of the Lammas Community Hub building, where many courses and gatherings are held, perfect if you want to come on a course & book in overnight stay.
Here is where we are - only 2 hours from Bristol! Our nearest train is Clunderwen, we pick up visitors form there. Just copy this link into your browser...
For adventurous types, you can have the experience of working alongside us, and learning some eco-building techniques yourself. You will learn about stone walling, straw baling, lime plastering and woodworking. Not to mention the bonus experience of living low impact, eating homegrown food, and drinking spring water!
You can come for a 3 day weekend for £95, or for up to 7 days for £175. Normally a week long course with us costs £375 so this is a super crowdfunding offer :-)
Nigel & I have already built 3 roundhouses, a cob walled garden and a cruck frame barn here, with the help of volunteers and on courses, so we have plenty of experience. We are most proud of the a little eco-hut made for our eldest son Ted. It is cosy and lovely, and it is the design that has inspired the Eco-Pod idea.
Other rewards include...
£50 private tours of our smallholding and the Ecovillage for up to 8 people
£175 design a day out - tour, workshop & lunch with us!
£15 dedicated tree planting, for biodiversity & to offset your carbon footprint :-)
£25 you will receive a willow heart, a star and 4 gift cards featuring my willow sculptures, normally £35. These make great gifts!
We have costed the pod up, using our knowledge of natural building materials. We are aiming to build 1 complete pod. The pod will sleep up to 2 adults & 2 children. The costings are as follows, per pod:
Outside of Pod:
£350 timber (we will use some of our own)
£150 straw bales
£400 wool insulation for roof
£100 digger for the foundations
£400 recycled rubber tiles for the roof
£500 door & window & glass
£500 solar system
£200 rocket stove wood-burner
£50 cob floor made using recycled polystyrene
So £3000 per pod in materials for the frame & off grid utilities - this is our target!
And if we overfund - we will complete the inside....quickly!
£200 lovely curvy wood
£1150 for artist woodworking neighbour to make beautiful bed & shelves
£150 bed linen
£250 woodbasket, kettle, soft furnishing (made by local artisans, of course!)
So £2000 to fully fit the inside, making each pod £5000 in materials.
A win/win project
We believe this is a win/win project - a great experience for everyone, and a sustainable income for us. The Eco- pod will take around 8 weeks to build, so if we are successful in raising the money for a complete pod, we will build it by the autumn. Maybe you can enjoy a Christmas retreat here with us? We are really excited about this project, it's a new way of raising money for us, and what we love about crowdfunding is that it's really inclusive and open to people everywhere.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming you both onto our team, and maybe even to our home!