It’s all go in site community this Summer… for the last few weekends the cottage area of site has been opened up for visitors to come by and take a look at what is going on. The community at CAT started in 1975 when a group of people disillusioned by modern day living and concerned by what they saw as a looming environmental crisis moved to the abandoned slate quarry that is now known as CAT. Over the years, the hard work and enthusiasm of 1000’s of people has meant that the quarry has transformed into a fertile oasis with abundant flowers, fruits, vegetables and tree’s. Although CAT has expanded and grown there is still a living community here at CAT. It is home to 16 people including three children and three cats ( of the feline variety) who live in a variety of different houses, from renovated old slate cottages to eco-buildings, tried and tested at CAT.
The site community residents aim to put into practice the ethos of CAT through sustainable low impact living. All the houses are very well insulated, water is heated through a combination of wood burners and solar water heaters. Wood also provides heating for the houses. The community aims to reduce it’s carbon footprint by sharing resources such as washing machines etc buying food together and putting into practice sustainable low impact living. As well environmental sustainability the community is also concerned with sustaining ourselves as a community. All the decisions about the community are made through consensus decision making process in which all residents are involved. Regular meals together and work days are also important elements of community life.
As well as the weekend tours this summer, residents of site community are also working on their amazing new kitchen. The building dubbed ‘mini WISE’ as it is in the shadow of the Wales Institute for Sustainable Education is a timber frame, straw bale building with a hemp and lime render on the outside and clay inside. The kitchen is going to provide much needed cooking and eating space for the site community and long and short term volunteers who come and stay at CAT.