Friday, 25 July 2008

Transition Towns (Llandeilo)

(Click on photo to enlarge).

This is the Towy valley from Llangunnor, just outside of Carmarthen.

I have discovered that one of our local towns (Llandeilo) is the first Transition Town in Wales. What is a Transition Town?, I can hear you asking. Well, I think basically this can be explained as a local community-based response to Peak Oil and all that implies, by seeking to reduce our carbon footprint and to empower ourselves by living sustainably and with the emphasis on local. Growing up on the edge of Southampton in the 50s and 60s, my mum shopped daily for fresh (local) produce. There were no end of market gardens to the East of Southampton and lots of strawberry fields which were picked by local people. Nearly every neighbour grew their own vegetables, had fruit trees, and quite a few kept chickens in their back gardens too. Many also had allotments. Very few people had cars and we relied on public transport. I foresee a return to a similar structure again. I would happily catch a bus into town - except at present I would have to walk three miles to the nearest bus stop . . .

Llandeilo became a transition town in the spring of 2007 and there are already several sub-groups in existence: -

  • Allotments
  • Food and Farming
  • Renewable Energy
  • Permaculture
  • Afallon Teilo - the Apple project
  • 'Heart and Soul' - the psychology of Energy Descent
  • Diwylliant a Iaith - culture and language
I have not yet been along to a meeting - I only found out about this last month - but I intend to become involved and hope that I have something to offer (if only how to make jam and chutney!) as well as learning from the group. I am especially interested in the Apple project. St Teilo is the patron saint of apples and Llandeilo derives from his name (the main church is dedicated to him). There are three local varieties of apple local to Dinefwr alone. Apparently the Towy valley was once renowned for its apple blossom and on the 1905 map, there are over 100 apple orchards between Llandeilo and Llandovery. As an apple-oholic, the project to plant new orchards, correlate information on existing ones and the creation of an orchard near Llandeilo sound right up my street.

I have a lot to learn, and I am looking forward to going to the first meeting, and possibly the Summer Party which is being held locally tomorrow.


Josie said...

Sounds like a great idea! I love the idea of being more self suffient and working towards sustainability as much as possible.

The idea of having a "transition town" is really an awesome one.

Mam said...

This is a wonderful thing. I wonder if there are any like it in the Dorset area. Is is a common thing in the UK now?