The Death of Monkton Wyld?
30th December 2023 – by Linda Beamish
… It’s as if Four Headless Horsemen rode in on the back of Stephen Williams in 2023 – and murdered the Charity and the Community that ran it!
When 4 new trustees; Laura Guest, Steven Slavin, Juliet Ann Lovelace-Johnson and Richard Lovelace-Johnson; took over their roles in January 2023, they effectively killed the charity they took over.- just as if it were a hostile corporate takeover.
Like poison, the Toxicity of The City spread through the green veins of the countryside all the way to the rolling hills of Dorset, blackening the capillaries of it’s host body as it did so, seemingly aiming to kill-off their own hosts, the experts in Sustainable Living that provided the educational and exemplary aims of the UK registered Charity.
If the UK Charity Commission does not take any form of Legal action against the four new trustees, and the instigator, following complaint, it must be seen as duplicitous as a government body.
What’s happened at Monkton Wyld Court this year should not be allowed to happen anywhere else to anyone else, and the world needs to learn from this case now. (Change your foundation documents so that Trustees do NOT Own The Land and Property.)
On the 11th October, quote: ‘Without any warning or consultation, Trustees change the Charity’s Articles of Association on the Company House website. They take the Articles of a London-based Community Interest Company called Public Voice CIC, make a few small changes, and paste it in to replace the previous Articles. Funnily enough, one of the Directors of Public Voice is Laura Guest who is also the main Trustee driving all the changes at Monkton Wyld Court.
Among other things, there are changes to the objects of the Charity, which for many years have been to promote education in sustainability and to maintain the listed buildings. Now the Charity’s objects include the promotion of “commerce, art, science, education, religion, charity or any profession, and to promote any social, political or sporting activity and anything incidental or conducive to the above objects”. Just about anything in fact. There are also changes making it easier to pay Trustees for their services and to sell off the charity to something other than another charity. A complaint to the Charity Commission has been made by former Trustees and community members.’ reference the Monkton Wyld Court Case website linked above, which transparently carries continuing updates.
It is vital, now, that ALL communities and Intentional Communities, EcoVillages, Coops and CoHousing Communities, everywhere, take note and learn from this case – fast. (Please help to spread the word.) Ensure that, where your community may have (new) trustees, they have a genuine understanding of, and empathy to, your charitable aims, and that – if they come from the corporate sector they have understanding, experience, and/or training in environmental sustainability, and aims of your community.
If you have set up as a Workers Cooperative, please (please) do insure that NO former members have any form of access to your online accounts, if they do, they could also achieve the aims of the former member of the workers coop that ran Monkton Wyld Court charity, that hacked into their accounts and changed details to cast shadow on their good work.
The corporate world should not be allowed to have anything to do with the control of the non-profit Third Sector – let alone sustainable and ecological communities like Monkton Wyld Court, particularly since it has been the unsustainable and unethical practices of the Corporate sector, that have created the need for the Third Sector guidelines for environmental sustainability and sustainable community living projects like this in the first place!
People need to feel safe in living in communities, not be under constant attack by people who haven’t even a thread of understanding of the aims of sustainable communities they’ve never left The City to take a look at – but taken the word of one man – against the democratic community vote. (Living safely in communities is one of the planning guidelines.)
Lessons need to be learned – and not just in how to live sustainably – but most especially now for communities, since several other well established ecologically sustainable community living projects in the UK have also been subject to similar or corporate takeover recently. (We are all vulnerable, especially rurally and in isolation.)
The non-profit Third Sector has a whole mountain of additional rules to adhere to, and targets to meet, that are completely alien and opposite to those of the the corporate (capitalistic) Private Sector, and even much of the Public Sector too now, since Councils boast of their new Corporate bodies on the colourful covers of their glossy journals.
It appears that we are at that point in time that has been prophesied for millennia, (as well as that of the millennium prophecy of 2002)… But don’t worry, since: ‘The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth’ (Matthew 5:5).
In short, some of us knew what was coming… Some of us didn’t, and some of us didn’t want to know, or thought that they had the solution in place already, and – like Monkton Wyld Court – were taken off-guard, and without defence or the opportunity to defend themselves.
If any intentional community member is reading this now, please ensure that it is possible for your community non-profit to scrutinise any trustee applicants credentials, and if applicants come directly from any other sector than the Third Sector, that they have fully studied the full quota of rules, laws and guidance for the governance of non-profits and coops stipulated by the United Nations, government departmental guidelines, and more. If they haven’t, they should not become trustees of a charity – nor be directors of a non-profit.
According to the Law, nobody, in any sector, should ever take the word of one person, and/or take action against a community of at least 15 witnesses – without first taking diligent notice of the statement of every other person witness to, involved or accused, or looking at the evidence – and most especially not when they have only just walked into the position as trustee of a UK registered charity, as in this case.
From what I was able to ascertain speaking with friends at the Resistance Festival at Monkton Wyld Court and the Valley Vibes Festival in Devon held earlier this summer – including investigative journalist Tony Gosling and other members of www.tlio.org.uk – action needs to be taken to support the rights of Simon Fairlie, Gill Barron, Jasmine, Jon, Jarred, and all the other community members affected.
As is the case with communities and intentional communities, this is not just ‘a job’ it is a way of life – it is both home and environment – in other words, the community has lost everything. The people have lost everything,
The pigs were gone by the time the Resistance Festival was held at the end of August, and since then, the micro-dairy, which was one of Britain’s oldest examples as taught at the Resistance Festival, the Programme for which is shown right.
Because the members of the intentional community followed the law – they were sacked – and made homeless. And in fact, aged 72, sustainability and rural planning expert, author Simon Fairlie was himself put into virtual house arrest as the new rules of the new (ruling) trustees, governing his lack of access to any of the community spaces or amenities, since the entire 11 acres where the community lives, is, of course, both!
According to the latest news from Monkton Wyld, Simon’s virtual house arrest eventually spiralled into a police arrest, on a trumped up charge of car theft by trustees. As shown in the photograph online, Simon, co-author of The Land magazine, was forced into the back of a police van – as if he were a criminal – and kept in custody for nine hours. The trustees have also now forced Simon’s micro dairy to have no income whatsoever, as they have initiated action with the authorities prohibiting the sale of their wonderful range of organic raw dairy products. (It was amazing to hear how much could be made from so few jersey cows at the festival. And the taste, was truly scrumptious!) What an unwarranted sad loss.
Co-Author of The Land magazine Jill Barron, aged 73, was also sacked by the trustees and forced to move out of the community, as was Jasmine the Gardener, her partner Jon, Jarred and his partner, and more – and most of the community have resigned in protest, alongside the only remaining original trustee.
On top of all that, somebody, somewhere, has also hacked into the workers coop accounts – and altered them – changing evidence vital to their case. (Another reminder for Intentional Communities: make sure that accounts CANNOT be hacked into by anyone not currently a member of their Workers Cooperative or Community.)
There is now nobody with the knowledge, educational research, or understanding, left, to run Monkton Wyld – and as such it really has been murdered. (The question is, can it be rebuilt, like Stiffkey Bridge? Or perhaps to Rebuild Community @WhatsApp?)
Sustainable Community Living Projects are even more vital today than ever, so it really is crucial that communities ensure that this sort of takeover doesn’t happen again, for the futures of everyone concerned – and for Earth.
What’s happened in the Monkton Wyld Court Case linked above, should be criminal, and is:
On the Pearson BTEC HNC in Building Studies 2001-2003, students were taught of the need for (truly) sustainable construction, and, as the government and Local Authorities had targets we all needed to aim to achieve as designers, exactly what that is in terms of construction and the environment, with aims to achieve the highest possible design and build targets of build code Level 6 (+). *IE GREEN DESIGN by Avril Fox and Robin Murrell, 1989 © Longmans ISBN: 1 85454 200 1
Students were advised to further research CAT EcoVillage in Wales – Canolfan Y Dechnoleg Amgen – www.cat.org.uk
– And were also advised to look online for others as there were many exemplars to the same educational standards – one such being Monkton Wyld Court Centre for Sustainable Living, until now.
It’s seriously wrong isn’t it…
So… Why would anyone, ever, want to become a trustee of a charity such as Monkton Wyld Court? (School?)
Well, in this case, it might also later prove to be a case of The Land – and not just the now homeless magazine.
If trustees takeover the running of charities, wherein the trustees Own The Land under the terms of the Intentional Community documents, as recorded on the Intentional Community platform www.ic.org – there could easily be incentive. (Beware! Write Community Foundation Documents differently! Protect The Community that lives on The Land! Protect the Village! Protect the EcoVillage! Save The Parish! Save The Children & Vulnerable too.)
The Four trustees took on their roles in January 2023, and apparently took the complaint of a disgruntled rejected applicant to the intentional community as a Code Red, and sacked the backbone of the community in flagrant disregard for the rule of law that actually governs sustainable community living projects. (As students were taught at HNC level in Building Law, quote: ‘Ignorance Is No Defence In A Court Of Law’ – that cuts both ways.)
In other words, ensure that you do you your own research. Historically:
Going back to the HNC course in Building Studies, students were taught building history, and why it really is crucial now, to design for social exclusion – and without any more waste, to design for low impact and zero impact construction – and to consider ecological and regenerative designs for the landscape too, I.e. Permaculture.
Following on from The Egan Report, the construction sector also needed to change to become Ethical – as so much of the sector wasn’t – and again, this followed UK government guidelines that included Partnering (experts) rather than Tendering for projects. (Architects and designers need to know this, as they often guide the design team, which now also includes their clients, whom they have a legal requirement to advise.)
Does any of this ever get taught to financiers, bankers, or anyone working in the corporate sector? (I don’t know because I’m not from there myself thank God – but it should, especially in terms of Building Law.)
The fact that we all need to design and build differently now – SHOULD be taught to everyone – not just students on HNC courses following their own Continued Professional Development.
We can’t carry on designing and building unsustainably as it goes against all the government EU and UN guidelines.
This is because 70% of our planet is covered with water, and of the 30% of land above sea level, one third is now desert or suffering from drought, and is degenerating at an alarming rate – while the human population increases, landmass decreases – and as arctic and antarctic ice continues to melt, (also at an alarming rate), designers needed to design differently. It is also criminal to cause any more land, water or air pollution or contamination, or take away natural habitat vital to the support of endangered species.
(We couldn’t carry on living or building unsustainably. UK Planning Guidelines were changed to keep the UK in line with UN guidelines.)
We couldn’t carry on and on, fighting for The Land to build upon, mine or excavate – and in 2002, when the lecturer delivered THE most damning and accurate prophecy – there was a terrible frenzy for every single piece of land that came up on the market, with everyone bidding hoping to make vast profits from property investment. Some people even gave up their day jobs, and built up property portfolios instead, never bothering to study Building Studies first.
Property and land values were positively booming – and that was a second problem – because it was completely unsustainable as proven historically. From Boom to Bang to Bust – repeatedly – repeatedly leaving millions in dire poverty, homeless, bankrupt, bereft of food and water, and shelter.
Historically, it has always been the same really, hasn’t it? And that is exactly why all the rules were changed after WWII, giving people their human rights back, and ensuring their protection under International Law.
Since The Roman Invasion 2000 years ago, it’s been a case of Divide, Rule, Conquer – and make money in the process.
And that’s exactly where the Third Sector differs, because it really is dead opposite.
IF the UK Charity Commission fails to take action AGAINST the four new trustees at Monkton Wyld Court, listed on the UK government Charity Commission pages as being: Laura Guest, Steven Slavin, Juliet Ann Lovelace Johnson and Richard Lovelace Johnson, then perhaps as Friends we should take further action in support of MWC.
Perhaps we should call in the (new) Ketts brothers to protect rural, and urban, communities rights, or a renewed Boudicca force to be reckoned with, or co-create and drum up a new Peasants Revolt.
The Land Is Ours, www.tlio.org.uk – is possibly the best place to click to start and join the Peasants Revolt – it’s possibly one of The Best platforms now to get your voice heard – especially as a rural Peasant!
Common Land (peasants have registered rights to in gross) has been reregistered by the CRA in the UK, after application by Corporate Bodies, and Private Estates, (and some major and minor charities), for their profits, at the loss of Common Rights Holders Rights and due consultation with CRH.
Historically, Rights have been removed from local rural people and parishes, which were finally returned and guaranteed protection by ALL the Nations united in forming the UN.
Once upon a time, we were ALL rural, lived in the countryside, and understood the importance of stewarding The Land wisely, for the benefit of our families and communities, for future generations. We once understood, and were wise, to the ways of the countryside – or, we died.
We knew we were completely at the hands of God and nature, and were dependent on the natural environment – and were as flexible as we needed to be to survive.
The Romans started to change all of that, changing the landscape, bringing in non-native species, and separating the communities that carried the knowledge of the natural environment, and introducing and enforcing their own rules.
People were no longer free, and were expected to pay taxes for the food they grew, and that was just the start of it.
Over the years, The Land has repeatedly been removed from the people indigenous to it, who were either forced to work as slaves, were tortured or killed.
The Domesday Book of 1086 originally cast in stone WHO owned The Land at the behest of William the Conqueror – King William 1 – listing the Lords of The Land, as decreed then, and what their dues were to the King.
Over the centuries, the amount of land available to The People has been taken away from them, and, in the end, the Industrial Revolution was the start of the end.
The Land Inclosure Acts then went on to create legal property rights to land previously held in common in England and Wales according to Wikipedia, which goes on to explain that between 1604 and 1914, over 5,200 individual acts enclosing public land were passed, effecting 28,000sq kilometres.
The vast majority of the public land still available at the time, was categorized as either common or waste land, which rural peasants being landless themselves, were able to farm or forage. This then led homeless or landless peasants to go to work in the factories in the towns and cities, since they had no other options, or very few.
Apparently, quote: “The powers granted in the Inclosure Act 1773 of the Parliament of Great Britain were often abused by landowners: the preliminary meetings where enclosure was discussed, intended to be held in public, often took place in the presence of only the local landowners, who regularly chose their own solicitors, surveyors and commissioners to decide on each case. In 1786 there were still 250,000 independent landowners, but in the course of only thirty years their number was reduced to 32,000. (Reference Wikipedia.)
Obviously, as shown by the four trustees, despite or in spite of all the new laws and governance, this is STILL going on today.
It IS historically the case, that the corporate and capitalist, needs slaves working for nothing in order to maximise profits – and even more people to count it all, and protect or defend it from thieves.
But it is also very wrong to expect people working in communities or in the non-profit sector, to have the same wage or working conditions as those in the corporate, Public or Private sectors. Or even to have the same expectations.
Most people forming the Intentional Community at Monkton Wyld Court, lived there FREE – or at least, had FREE Free-range organic dairy produce, organic fruit and vegetables, and FREE facilities. (Instead of High Wages.)
Some things in life are worth far (far) more than money…
Since the end of WWII, a raft of Human Rights have been written to protect humanity – and to protect Earth’s natural and organic environment. The Third Sector specialises in giving all to these aims – where the Corporate, the Private and the Public Sectors do not. The 1950s and 1960s led to an environmental awakening, and the call for World Peace – ‘Make Love Not War’ was the order of the day.
Veteran environmentalists and authors such as Avril Fox, George Monbiot, Simon Fairlie, Tony Gosling, Dame Jennifer Lonsdale, Dr Christopher Busby and David Attenborough, have been researching, educating or spearheading protests and campaigning for change for decades. In some instances their knowledge spearheaded UN guidelines for change.
Right now, we either need to start to build environmentally and economically sustainable community living projects across the entire UK, (and Arks in risk zones), following the exemplars of EcoVillages and other eco-communities that have already blazed the trail and pioneered ways in which to hit ALL the Planning Guidelines, both in terms of Nationally and Internationally – or we will end up in the fullness of the 1984 projection.
Right now, today, there are two paths we can go by (quote: from The Long Road to Realism, autobiography of Avril Fox), one is inherently good and follows those guidelines, the other is disastrously bad – and will end in the end of humanity, and the end of an environmentally sustainable planet.
It was only on the award winning and green exemplars of EcoVillages such as CAT, Lammas, Findhorn, Fife Earthship, and the Hockerton Housing Project, CoHousing Communities and Eco-Communities such as Monkton Wyld that set the standards for others to follow that the UK government set aside as many millions as it did for Community Land Trusts (CLTs), and gave us the Right to Bid and the Right to Build. If the exemplars that we are supposed to learn from are taken away from us, as is proving to be the case for Monkton Wyld and other established eco communities, then God help us – all.
If we have ‘Proven Need’, are suffering from exclusion, poverty, and have the evidence to prove our case, then we have the Right to Build as either individuals or intentional communities in application, according to the UK government’s Communities website and PDFs, and Exemption and Exception sites were to be allocated by Councils, then where should we be allowed to learn what is required? (Should everyone just keep on and on reinventing the wheel?)
Given the fact that humans now ALL have a Right to Life protected by Law, a Right to Water, a Right to Life – a Right to Live as one in Nature.
The Workers Cooperative formed by the Intentional Community had an Agreed Low Wage. Ergo, it was very wrong for the new trustees to use the clamant’s claim of a Low Wage against the Community that democratically chose or voted between them to refuse The Claimant’s Application to join Their Community.
FREE showers – free water and toilet facilities – free organic food, and a healthy, safe and happy environment in the beautiful Dorset hills, WHO wouldn’t want to work there, learn there, and become a part of this amazing coop community. (I know I would – if it weren’t for my dependents, and other commitments within the non-profit sector I volunteer. N.B. Note to the UK Charity Commission – IF action is taken against the four new trustees, and you need to fill vacancies for trustees of the Monkton Wyld Court Charity – I, for one, volunteer.)
In fact, when I heard what had happened at Monkton Wyld Court, I first travelled down to Devon this summer to attend the Valley Vibes Festival, to meet with investigative journalist Tony Gosling and other www.tlio.og.uk members and supporters to discuss the case, and then later travelled back down to the West, to The Resistance Festival held at Monkton Wyld Court in Dorset to find out if there was anything that I could do to help, and again, to network with other supporters and members of The Land Is Ours.
Although it wasn’t the same as the T.L.I.O. Gathering of 2011 – I still managed to learn an awful lot, (and not solely about the Monkton Wyld Court Case), as I attended as many of the classes as I could! In short, I learned an awful lot this summer – including what I might be able to do to help – for example, writing this now!
George Monbiot originally formed T.L.I.O. However, now seems to consider that The Land should be allowed to regenerate – without people either stewarding it or looking after it while living upon it as we have traditionally – and then considers himself to be the only person on the entire planet concerned about how to feed the world simultaneous to regenerating the natural environment – while preaching the Land Reform Act.
Living in a city – or even The City – looking out at the reducing countryside, is completely different to living in the countryside looking at the damages caused to the countryside by those of The City, the cities and the towns, (as a peasant)…” – Speaking as a Revolting Peasant – because the government made me so.
Written by Linda Beamish; Group Moderator/Regional Organiser EcoVillage Network UK; Admin. Pentref Eco Cymru EcoVillage Wales; Ambassador Imagine Rural Development Initiative (IRDI) Ecovillage Zambia; Community Organiser www.off-grid.net // www.LandBuddy.com – freelance (self-employed) Eco-architectural designer www.eco-designs.co.uk and social entrepreneur – AnArkAngel representing Avril Fox, the Patron Saint of the Ark Angels non-profit organisation.