Communal Felting

Last week I collected three bags of wool from a hill farm in Buxworth, Derbyshire to prevent it from being burnt.

Throughout the winter months we will be putting it to use in a range of workshops & woolly items.

A sharp fall in the value of wool has resulted in farmers burning it because the price no longer covers the cost of shearing.

Wool now generates as little as 20-30p per kilo, which has led to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of UK wool being wasted.

For our first event, we are running a Communal Felting workshop. The sheep’s wool will be wet felted, one of the oldest known textiles, into sheets for community garden @_thelanding_

The sheets will protect growth from frost or heavy snow by covering beds.

The Shepherd’s Residency

Updates from The Shepherd’s Residency: 

The environmental and conservational advantages of this residency.

There are very few meadows in the Curonian Spit, which makes them especially valuable. Floodplain meadows are important in order to preserve the uniqueness of the spit - the diversity of sand habitats.

Grobštas forest meadow is particularly special. This small meadow, nestled between the forest, has a large variety of protected flowers, grasses and rare plant species. The flower meadows are also home to butterflies and a wide variety of insects. If these areas weren’t taken care of, they would soon overgrow with bushes and trees. 

Lithuania is located in a mixed forest zone, where trees have the most favourable conditions for growing, so open habitats would become forests over time. Meadows will only remain meadows if there are permanent factors in these areas of land that prevent woody plants from taking root. 

Permanent pasture is the oldest and most natural way to preserve meadows and woodlands. During grazing, the animals do not allow them to overgrow. The Curonian Spit National Park seeks to revitalise grazing in order to preserve and restore open habitats.

Considering holistic grazing in relation to UK farming, if farmers mimicked the natural behaviour of herds and wildlife and the way they graze land, it could help them increase their grass productivity by up to 300% without expensive inputs and reverse climate change.

In holistic grazing within a farm environment, animals move from paddock to paddock mirroring the natural herding behaviour of animals. Grazing involves longer rotations of ideally 30+ days, gives the grass time to fully recover before being re-grazed.

During holistic grazing, the grass is grazed for short periods and longer grass is trampled, incorporating organic matter into the ground. The manure is also spread more evenly.

Leaving the grass to rest for longer periods builds resilience in the soil. More energy is harnessed from photosynthesis, creating a stronger and deeper root system. This improves water infiltration and storage capacity, reducing flooding as well as making the grass more drought-tolerant. 

Well-managed livestock are earth’s natural regenerators. When you regenerate soil, the entire ecosystem works more effectively.

Nida Art Colony, The Shepherd’s Residency

The Shepherds’ Residency, a part of the Neringa Forest Architecture programme. 
The Shepherd’s Residency of the Neringa Forest Architecture programme is developed in collaboration with Verpejos, the Curonian Spit National Park and consulted by Inland, co-funded and organised as part of NERINGA - Lithuanian Capital of Culture 2021.

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