All posts by George

FarmHack UK 18th & 19th April 2015, Ruskin Mill farm Gloucestershire

Subject: [RTF- UK ] FarmHack UK 18th & 19th April 2015, Ruskin Mill farm Gloucestershire

Dear All,The Landworkers Alliance present the first ever FarmHack event outside of north America at Ruskin Mill Farm, Gloucestershire on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th April 2015. The event will bring together farmers, growers, fabricators, engineers and IT programmers to demonstrate and share tools, skills & ideas. Over the two days there will be field demonstrations, practical workshops, seminars, entertainment, good food, local ale and a stomping ceilidh.

FarmHack is a community of farmers and growers developing appropriate tools for small scale ecological farming. It was founded by The Greenhorns in the U.S. in 2010 and has since held regular events to bring the community together on farms and in workshops across the USA. FarmHack is founded on the principles of open source technology meaning that tools and techniques are also shared and developed on the online forum

Please help us to spread the word, especially to those who have appropriate tools and machinery to demonstrate. There are also a couple of free slots in the workshop sessions for anyone who has ideas, theories or technology of benefit to the FarmHack community. Please contact Ed directly on 07858 381539 or if you would like to present at FarmHack UK.

Booking is essential for the Ruskin Mill event and can be completed online here:

We look forward to seeing you there!

Neighbourhoods That Work (NTW)

thelandissacredNTW is a concept for achieving a ‘neighbourhood that works’ – a place where most of us would like to live.

Neighbourhoods could be vibrant, productive, fun and sustainable places to live. Beyond what it would do for the local community this also has increasing global significance.

Dr. Ted Trainer from NSW University says that while greener industries and greener technologies will play an important role in the future, sustainability must also involve more self sufficiency and more cooperation at both household and neighbourhood levels.


Yorkley Court Open Day Saturday 30th August 12 – 5pm

Open Day

You are invited to an open day at
Yorkley Court
Community Farm
On Saturday 30th August 12 – 5pm

Featuring ..
*farm tour *meet the animals
*gardening *tea and cake
Plus a chance to find out about our planning
application for the farm
project and to ask questions.
Hope to see you there!

Yorkley Court Dodgy Eviction Attempt

There are emails on our Yahoo group about a dodgy eviction attempt at Yorkley Court

Latest News from Yorkley Court defending land against illegal eviction Sent: Wednesday, 25 June, 2014 11:21
There has been a 48 hour stand off between private security contractors and residents & supporters of Yorkley Court Community Farm.

Legal updates

  • The legal injunction against the security firm could not go through this morning because there was not a judge with sufficient qualification/power/experience to make a decision 
  • It is likely the injunction will go through just after 10am tomorrow
Policing & Security
  • There was a larger police presence today
  • Roadblocks on both ends of the road managed by the police to reduce traffic passing the side
  • New shift of cops at 8pm & shift change 8am
The site is well defended with barricades & other tools. There are growing numbers of people but more are needed.
What you can do in solidarity 
  • Get to the site if you can!
  • Bring food/snacks/water
In the early hours of Monday morning, police and private security thugs decended, without prior Notice (a legal requirement), upon the peaceful peasants living on the land, and growing food at Yorkley Court. This outragous, competely unlawful act of aggression came without warning, whilst Yorkley Court Farm are fully engaged with the District Council in their planning process, and were looking likely to be granted the initial stages of planning permission during the coming weeks. We’re not sure what exactly the Council, no doubt in colusion with certain private business interests think they’re doing, more information as we get it. Please come and help us stop this illegal eviction attempt

How to get there: Head to Yorkley, near Lydney in Gloucestershire. See a map below. 
Site mobile: 07784887895

Uk mailing list




Pembrokeshire roundhouse fails retrospective planning application permission?

Charlie Hague and Megan William’s roundhouse in North Pembrokeshire fails retrospective planning application permission? Council officers are recommending that retrospective application be refused after it was built without planning permission (June 17 2014)



Infrastructure Bill: Act now, sound the alarm, spread the word… any public land could be taken from us and given to developers

For all those sent this who don’t know me… I am secretary of Hands Off Our Forest, a pressure group dedicated to keeping the Forest of Dean and other public woodlands in public ownership. At our meeting this week, we decided we must press for an exemption for the Public Forest Estate (that is, all those woodlands in England that are owned by all of us, and managed by the Forestry Commission) within the Infrastructure Bill…
You may recall that we kicked up quite a fuss in 2010/11 over plans for the forest sell-off, and the law which would have made it possible, the Public Bodies Bill. Our campaign, in association with others around the country and national efforts has transcended politics, class and many, many interests because our public woodlands mean so much to so many people (40 million visit them in England every year)
Once a statement has been agreed by us all on the HOOF Steering Group, I will be sending it out… our remit is our own Forest and its surrounding, or contiguous woodlands, so the statement will focus on our group’s interest (see
However, I feel compelled to give everyone a heads up and try to raise the alarm because this Bill is like a massive juggernaut that is coming up a hill and could hit us before we’ve had a chance to take evasive action. It affects ANY public land and all private land except that owned by the Queen and Royal family.
I hope you can pass this message on to all your contacts. I hope the media will take notice and journalists and columnists will investigate the issue, and it will be reported.
The Queen’s Speech announcing the Infrastructure Bill was on June 2, it was introduced to the House of Lords three days later, and gets its second reading (and first debate) this coming Wednesday, June 18. Last time I looked, only a handful of peers are due to take part in the debate. I believe if more were aware of the contents of the Bill, and its massive enabling powers, many more Peers would be taking part – as they did in the Public Bodies Bill debates in late 2010/ early 2011.
The Bill is designed to fulfil a number of functions, so many in fact it’s easy to only concentrate on that hot potato, fracking, and possibly also the HS2 railway line – personally I am opposed to both, but the Bill enables far more than that.
There is also the issue of the need to build more houses. However, is it right that all these developments should take place on the precious little public land there is? Isn’t it our land, the people’s, and shouldn’t we have a say in what happens to it? As about three-quarters of the acreage of Britain belongs to 0.6% of the population (see Kevin Cahill’s Who Owns Britain?), can’t they spare any of their land to be built on?
What the Bill proposes is that the Secretary of State can hand over any amount of public land to the arms-length, non-departmental Government body, the Homes & Communities Agency. The HCA can then dispose of it to developers. There will be no need to go through local authority planning processes – the Sec of State can give the green light without any local politicians or planners’ involvement, just by consulting a panel of two people.
As for public rights of way, the proposed law allows any of them to be extinguished. There is no need for permission for easements (ie roads, powerlines, railways. drilling, tunnels, etc). And any existing laws that protects land and prevents it being built on, appear to be overriden by one simple enabling clause (quoted from the Bill, see
SCHEDULE 3 Transfer schemes…

2 (1) The property, rights and liabilities that may be transferred by a scheme

(a) property, rights and liabilities that would not otherwise be capable
of being transferred or assigned;”

So, while the Public Bodies Bill came to the attention of forest campaigners because it specifically mentioned the Forestry Commission and forests and proposed changes to the Forestry Act 1967, for the Infrastructure Bill there is no need to list this act or others (such as Rights of Way and other protections for other pieces of land), because in one fell swoop, it enables every statute to be ignored and overriden!

The Government briefing ( on this aspect of the Bill states:

Public sector land assets

The bill would permit land to be transferred directly from arms-length bodies to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). This would reduce bureaucracy, manage land more effectively, and get more homes built.

The bill would make sure that future purchasers of land owned by HCA and the Greater London Authority (GLA) will be able to develop and use land without being affected by easements and other rights and restrictions suspended by the agency. Sometimes land owned by HCA and GLA has easements or rights and restrictions from its previous use. At the moment HCA and the GLA can suspend these, but not pass that suspension on. The bill would make sure that purchasers of this land would also benefit from the suspension.

Land Registry

The bill would also allow Land Registry to take on statutory responsibility for the Local Land Charges register and an extension of powers would also allow Land Registry to play a wider role in the property market. Consultation on these measures took place between January and March 2014…


You may be aware there is already a campaign against the privatisation of the Land Registry. Not only will it be privatised, the newly-private entity will have extra powers over who owns what land!




I am sorry I cannot be more eloquent and have not had much time to research this. I am also not a legal expert. I hope legal minds (those not involved with this Bill) will offer their opinions and tell me I’m overreacting. But from my several years in scrutinising Government legislation in a bid to save our forests from privatisation, I have acrued a fair bit of legalese…

I haven’t had time to launch a petition, to consult my colleagues in HOOF and other campaigns, and apologies if anyone thinks I’m jumping the gun. If it wasn’t urgent, I would bide my time…

The more of us who do whatever is in our capacity to do, write to Lords (I recommend Bishops and Crossbenchers), MPs, media contacts, public interest groups, legal experts… make banners, make petitions, whatever it takes… but please help me sound the alarm… today, if you can.

I think it relevant to end this email with a quote from Nietzsche:

“The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: `I, the state, am the people.’… Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth.”
Best regards
Owen Adams