The Peasant Evolution Producers' Co-Operative

Many of the smallholders in the co-operative have started their holdings on bare land largely because, as peasant farmers, we could not afford the often million pound farm houses that surround us. We built our own homes on the farm as self-built eco homes. These homes are affordable for us, often costing less than £5,000. This means that we can earn our living through small-scale farming which is not as profitable as many other forms of livelihood.

We would like to live in a way which has a low environmental impact and design our homes in harmony with the land. This style of housing is called “low-impact development”. This is a term which has been defined by The Land Is Ours, a land rights campaign, who have highlighted nine features which characterize a low-impact development. These are that the development:

  • is temporary;
  • is small-scale;
  • is unobtrusive;
  • is made from predominately local or recycled materials;
  • protects wildlife and enhances biodiversity;
  • consumes a low level of non-renewable resources;
  • generates little traffic;
  • is used for a low impact or sustainable purpose;
  • is linked to a recognized positive environmental benefit.

Several members of the co-operative are active in the nationwide land rights campaign to promote more low-impact developments and access to land for sustainable land management. We publish a magazine called The Land.

We are also working on a campaign in Dorset to encourage the plannign authorities to adopt a low-impact policy as part of the Local Development Framework, similar to Policy 52 implemented by Pembrokshire Council in Wales. If you are interested in a Low Impact Policy campaign then contact jyoti@tlio.org.uk. The Land Magazine is a magazine which helps network people throughout the country that are interested in Low Impact Development.

Kerrie and Olly, kids and animals

Kerrie and Olly, kids and animals

The Land Magazine stand

The Land Magazine stand

Fivepenny Farm self-build house

Fivepenny Farm self-build house

Pat's self-build house

Pat's self-build house