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Connecting with land : Community Land Advisory Service

The Community Land Advisory Service (CLAS) is a really useful advisory service aiming to increase community access to land across the UK, www.commmunitylandadvice.org.uk. The England land advisors are Jade Bashford and Rebecca Marshall on 0117 966 9491. CLAS is a project of the Federation of City Farms and Gardens.

CLAS held a ‘Buying Land Workshop’ at the Secret Garden, Bute Park in Cardiff on 30th January, where I spoke on Buying Land and gave a workshop on Community Shares.

Katie, the FED organiser, introduced the day by asking the question, ‘What is calling you to the land? What is calling people back to the land?’ She then read an evocative quote by Tim ‘Mac’ McCartney, the founder of Embercombe in Devon, taken from Mark Boyle’s Moneyless Manifest:

‘There is a piece of land out there, perhaps closer than you might imagine, that is calling to you.

In your heart you know this to be true, because you have heard the song of that land on the breath of the wind, or in the longing of a child dear to you.

Of all the deeper needs that our people, have, the desire to truly inhabit our land, find community, and develop meaningful work, matches any.

Many of the aspirations we burden ourselves with do not belong to us. Thyme were sold to us and the price bore no relation to the value, but rediscovering kinship with each other and the shared experience of growing food is an authentic longing which belongs to you and me and our children.

We are a people and we are returning to ourselves and our land.’

And another quote from the day:

‘To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.’ – Simone Weil

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