19 May 2009
Rethinking Land Use at Dartington: my presentation to an amazing Think Tank day
Had a fascinating afternoon recently at Schumacher College (you can read Simon Berry from DEFRA’s account of the day here). Schumacher is part of the Dartington Estate, and I was asked to speak about the future of Schumacher as part of the wider Dartington Estate. At present Dartington’s land is let for conventional dairy farming, and the lease comes up for renewal in 2014, so the process is starting of thinking what to do with the Estate’s 1000 acres. Here is the talk I gave, filmed on Simon’s phone…
What was so fascinating for me was that on the spur of the moment just before I left to cycle over to the College, I thought I would print out and take with me the timeline from the still-being-written Totnes and District EDAP that related to Dartington and food, and read them out like a story. I had no idea how it would work, and whether reading out a timeline like that would be something that would capture peoples’ imaginations.
As it turned out, it did, and powerfully so. The result of the day has yet to be seen in terms of what emerges as actual policy from the Think Tank, but I am told by those who stayed on for the second day that there was great energy for the idea of the Estate ‘going Transition’ and becoming the UK’s first agroforestry estate. Very exciting. Anyway, enjoy the talk.