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Bioregionalism in these islands

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Workshop slides from 2018 National Permaculture Convergence in Manchester. What is bioregionalism? Why is it relevant now? What does it look like in the context of these islands?

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Bioregionalism in these islands

  1. 1. Bioregionalism in these islands National Permaculture Convergence 2018
  2. 2. Changing Our Perspective On the land Map by Helen Mcdonald From Robert Mcfarlane’s The Wild Places
  3. 3. A bioregion is defined in terms of the unique overall pattern of natural characteristics that are found in a specific place. The main features are generally found throughout a continuous geographic terrain and include a particular climate, local aspects of seasons, landforms, watersheds, soils, and native plants and animals. People are also counted as an integral aspect of a place’s life, as can be seen in the ecologically adaptive cultures of early inhabitants, and in the activities of present day re-inhabitants who attempt to harmonize in a sustainable way with the place where they live. Peter Berg, ‘Bioregionalism An Introduction’ (2002) A bioregion can be determined initially by use of climatology, physiography, animal and plant geography, natural history and other descriptive natural sciences. The final boundaries of a bioregion, however, are best described by the people who have lived within it, through human recognition of the realities of living-in-place. Peter Berg & Raymond Dasmann, ‘Re-inhabiting California’, The Ecologist (1977) What is a Bioregion?
  4. 4. ‘Permaculture Zones and Sectors’ Zones of influence & direct power start with the personal & extend to the global. The zones, like the Permaculture site design zones, are partly physical & geographic & partly conceptual. They work from a core of integration & strength to a wider domain of uncertainty & flexibility. The particular strategies & methods that work in one zone will not necessarily be effective in another. David Holmgren, Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability,
  5. 5. Principle s Design Strategies Techniques • Work with Nature • Apply self-regulation & accept feedback • Design from patterns to details • Creatively use and respond to change Bioregionalism • 100 mile diet • Parish mapping • REconomy • Local currencies • Wildlife corridors • Habitat restoration • Emergency Preparedness plans • Community fridges • ‘Preston Model’ Ethics Patterns • Independent Regions • Mosaic of subcultures • Identifiable neighbourhood
  6. 6. Bioregion One Planet Living Topophilia #TakeBack Control Energy Descent One Planet Living
  7. 7. British Isles ‘These Islands’ WI(I)SE Isles The Atlantic Archipelago –
  8. 8. Watershed as bioregional unit
  9. 9. Jay Springett & Andrew Brown, Bart Anderson, ‘Zones and Sectors in the City’, Permaculture Activist John Barrell, The Idea of Landscape and the Sense of Place 1730–1840, (1972)
  10. 10. Mapping your Life-Place
  11. 11. 1 2 3 4
  12. 12. Kintyre Dengie
  13. 13. The Place that sustains me ●Bioregioning – process involving all our senses ●Intuitive as well as rational ●Nature connection. Re-connection ●Regenerative: clean unpolluted water, ecosystem restoration (inc. beaver), biodiversity, observe adaptive behaviour ●Water as defining fractal/nested pattern: water catchments - tributaries, firths (estuaries) - lochs, water surrounding islands & peninsulas, water cycle, source to
  14. 14. McCloskey map of Cascadia (2015)
  15. 15. Kenneth White and Scottish Centre for Geopoetics ● “World” for geopoetics is open world. Open world begins with place, not with simple piety of place (from homely couthiness to spooky animism via racial rootedness), but with knowledge (informed, sentient, intelligent) of place. From the smallest rivulet, via a network of rivers, one arrives at the ocean. A little geology allows one to know that not all the stones on the local beach are necessarily of local origin, that glaciers may have brought them in from elsewhere. Likewise, from a layer of local rock one can move across nations and continents. An informed look at the sky will see not only wind-driven cloud, but the tracks of migratory birds. To all of which must be added the movements of population and language. ● Kenneth White: The Re-mapping of Scotland, 2001
  16. 16. Center for the Force Majeure. “On the Deep Wealth of this Nation” - Newton Harrison
  17. 17. Historic Counties
  18. 18. Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) ‘The environment acts, through function, upon the organism and conversely the organism acts, through function upon the environment’ Cities in Evolution (1915)
  19. 19. 'The counties being thus too numerous, while the three ancient political divisions (England, Wales, Scotland) are too few and unequal for the objects of this work, an intermediate set of sections became necessary, — larger than counties, smaller than kingdoms. In fixing upon such intermediate sections, it has appeared most convenient to make them in conformity with the old established divisions into kingdoms and counties; as much regard being still given to the physical geography of Britain, as is consistent with the prescribed rule. In forming these sections, a mesial line was first traced from the south coast of England, northwards into the Highlands of Scotland; the line corresponding with the boundaries of counties, and being traced in that course which would best divide the counties whose rivers flow to the east coast, from those whose waters are emptied into the western ocean.’ Hewett Cottrell Watson, Cybele Britannica: or British Plants and their geographical relations (1847)
  20. 20. 'Suggestions for Dividing England and Wales into Watershed Distri Frederick Toplis Journal for the Society of the Arts, No. 1369, Vol. XXVII (July 4 187
  21. 21. C. B. Fawcett, 'Natural Divisions of England' in The Geographical Journal, Vol. 49, No. 2. New Heptarchy
  22. 22. Freddy Heineken, The United States of Europe, A Eurotopia? (1992) A Europe of the Regions
  23. 23. 'The political map of Britain and Ireland needs to be redrawn at various provincial and regional levels in order to establish bioregions and biolocalities based on communities that understand humanity's organic dependency on the land, water and resources of those regions.’ George Williamson, Britain and Ireland Constitutional Change and Bioregionalism, The Campaign for Political Ecology, (1996)
  24. 24. Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language (1977)
  25. 25. Environment EconomyPolitics Culture EconomyPolitics SOCIETY BIOREGION Conventional planning transforms nature Bioregional planning transforms society Adapted from Janis Birkeland & Cam Walker, ‘Bioregional Planning’ (2002)
  26. 26. facebook group: Confederation of Soviets of the Atlantic Archipelago (CSAA)
  27. 27. James Taylor @LondonPrmcultr https://dengiebioregion.wordpress.c om FB: Confederation of Soviets of the Atlantic Archipelago Ed Tyler • CTRLshift – Join Slack channel – (bio)region theme • Help Permaculture Association structure around bioregions (designated staff member? working group? task-&-finish group?) • Help create Bioregional atlas for Archipelago using GIS – email Ed • Join Community of Practice coordinated by Bioregional Learning Centre (Dart valley) – email Ed Get Involved!