Big thank you to everyone that came to the meeting on Sunday night. Overall it was a massive success, a chance for people to show their support and raise their concerns about the project. We started the meeting by introducing ourselves, our aims and ideologies (see our Aims & Objectives sections for more details). We then fielded questions before splitting into groups and discussing what everyone would like to see at Yorkley Court.
Some of the major concerns raised include:
– The legal situation with the land: Yorkley Court is unregistered land that appears to have no owner. Ownership has not been proven for many years, despite a legal firm collecting rent from tenant farmers and contractors in recent years. We want to stress that we have no intention of stealing the land as our own. If a true owner does appear we would love to meet with them, perhaps they will be inspired by our ideas as they are not currently using the land. If no owner is found is seems fitting that the land should be used to benefit Yorkley, and should belong to the people of Yorkley. This is what we aim to facilitate. See Community Land Trust from more details on how we aim to achieve this.
– The Yurt in the field is an eyesore and a dangerous distraction to cars on the adjacent road: While we see the yurt as a beautiful structure we can see that not everyone has the same tastes as us (though do come to visit to see the wooden frames on the inside, it is stunning). Thank you for raising the concerns about the dangerous strip of road. It is not our intention to create a hazard. We have agreed amoungst ourselves to move the yurt to a more discreet location further from the road when circumstances allow (a sunny day with enough hands on site to help us).
– The site will become a festival site, or travellers site: There are about 10 of us who form the core group. We have friends in and around the Forest of Dean who come to visit us and help out. We do not plan to put up more tents in the field, play loud music, or invite large numbers of people to the site. Our intentions are to live a simple, healthy and honest lifestyle.
– This project isn’t needed as all people at the meeting currently have sustainable, local sources for their food: The meeting was attended by a great number of people who care about these issues and are already active in transitioning their lifestyles. However if more local food wasn’t necessary in the area would Sainburys (and, we just discovered, Asda) be planning to open additional supermarkets in Lydney?
Our group discussions raised a number of exciting and interesting ideas for how Yorkley Court could be used to create a resilient, vibrant community hub in Yorkley:
– Coppiced firewood and craft wood (for basket weaving and carving)
– Producing nuts, fruit and vegetables
– Helping young farmers gain access to land
– Research into agro-ecology and farming/land use practices that are genuinely sustainable and regenerating
– Education space for young people, and local farmers and growers
– Community composting (as the council now charges for this service)
– Practical workshops, skill shares and classes
– Beautiful walks and trails to ride horses and walk dogs along.
These, and the many more raised, are fantastic ideas and we look forward to exploring them with you. We invite everyone to come and visit us, just follow the track from the gate, past the yurt, to the old army sheds to find us. We will be hosting a film and discussion night at 7pm on July 15th at the Bailey Inn. We plan to have a Community Day in August full of workshops, skill shares and tasty food. Please subscribe to this website to stay informed.