Local Ambassador Gathering Case Study: Somerset

We're gathering inspirational case studies to help inspire you to organise your own local pemaculture gathering.

Here's the first case study in this series:

Participants at the Somerset gathering, Westfield Farm, find field mushroomsSomerset Ambassadors Gathering - Westfield Farm Forest Garden, Chew Magna

Aims: To gather people in the broad Somerset area to meet, network and plan how together they can share permaculture more widely. 

There were 18 people at the gathering and although there was a schedule for the day, there was also flexibility built in to allow for it to change according to what people needed.

It began with everyone meeting in the barn for a chat, followed by a tour of the garden by Bryony Huntley which included finding mushrooms and seeing one of her bees nests in a tree.

There was also a practical activity planned to help in the host's garden (a permaculture LAND Centre), which is a great way to get to know each other and learn something practical (each element performs multiple functions). “The practical activity (cutting willow) was brilliant - we all found our niche and got loads done, more than planned” - comment from one of the participants.

A general buffet was provided by the host and WWOOFer Joe, but people also brought along food to share. Sharing delicious food in the barn with a fire in the wood stove was a perfect way to socialise.

Although there wasn’t much time to discuss in detail about sharing permaculture, a really useful step towards this was simply meeting each other in person! It was very much about bringing nodes closer to one another, as in Bill Mollison's principle of Relative Location. It was also useful to have Ryan from the Permaculture Association there, to pick his brains about the Permaculture Ambassadors project and exactly what support it could offer.

Main learning from this event: Getting people together is powerful in itself. Get together, meet, chat, enjoy an activity and/or some food on a regular basis. You also never know what will come out of it so be open to new ideas. In this case a new woodworking course is now running at the farm for local people to learn these skills together.


See more photos from this gathering on Flickr.

We have launched a programme of support to help you to organise your own local pemaculture gathering - see full details.