Site Community

CAT includes a residential community with a capacity for 16 people. Staff members and long term volunteers live on site, with their families in a collection of four timber self build dwellings and five slate cottages. The residents here live according to CAT’s principles of preserving biodiversity, combating climate change and promoting global equity. Here is a brief insight into CAT’s onsite community…

Architecture Students find inspiration in WISE at this years professional diploma summer school.

This week the new WISE building at CAT has been buzzing with architecture students, all working on their final projects.  We took the opportunity to go and quiz them about what they are doing and how their course is going.

The WISE was alive with creative energy, paper covering the studio floors, cardboard models and sketchbooks spread out across the tables, the huge windows were filling the airy rooms with light, connecting and framing the woods and mountains around CAT.

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Continue reading “Architecture Students find inspiration in WISE at this years professional diploma summer school.”

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Suspendisse dapibus eleifend velit, sit amet lacinia est tincidunt ut. Duis velit ante, faucibus a sollicitudin quis, porta non libero. Vivamus eros diam, aliquam in mattis nec, commodo at tortor. Duis diam turpis, volutpat eget faucibus id, gravida vitae purus. Phasellus in metus libero, dictum cursus dui. Maecenas sed lectus est, in commodo diam. Aliquam diam diam, lobortis et rhoncus ut, sagittis a metus. Ut varius leo at erat sollicitudin a posuere turpis mollis.

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CAT’s Rennie Telford takes a look at Life in the Slow Lane

glasssnail21After a spell of rain or a summer shower, snails appear from out of their nooks and crannies in search of food -much to the annoyance of gardeners as they make a bee line (or should that be a snail line) for all your carefully tended young plants – but don’t dismiss the humble snail as just an uninteresting pest – if you take a closer look they are quite fascinating creatures.

There are several species of snail apart from the familiar Garden or Common snail. Look out for the Glossy Glass snail with a thin translucent shell and deep blue colouring on its body. Then there are the two ‘punk’ species, whose shells are covered with patches of ‘ hairs ‘ – the Hairy snail and the Silky snail.

Continue reading “CAT’s Rennie Telford takes a look at Life in the Slow Lane”

The Cereal Blog

By Julie Bromilow – CAT Education

midwales_mapcardIf you read my ‘Get your Oats’ blog in a fever of excitement, you will be wondering how we got on with our cereal tour of mid Wales….

Myself, CAT biology wizard Grace Crabb, and student placement volunteer Wendy Williams who has been researching low carbon food solutions for CAT, joined forces with Jane Powell from Organic Centre Wales, who had planned the itinerary, which we discussed over coffee and flapjack at the Treehouse, the famed Aberystwyth organic café.

We began with some winter wheat trials in the university fields. There were several types of wheat and barley, and many Turkish varieties. High protein wheat, favoured by modern, industrial scale bread makers, grows best in hot dry climates. High protein bread making flour began to be imported to Wales from Canada in the 19th century.

june_2008_028We then continued to Felin Ganol at Llanrhystud for a jaw dropping experience. Anne and Andy Parry bought this old derelict mill a few years ago, on account of the nice garden and granny annexe. Having discovered that they had inherited a water mill with all the parts still on site, they set to restoring it. It is now a working water powered organic registered flour mill, and they would like nothing more than to mill locally grown grains. At present, they are mostly using Doves Farm grains, currently imported from Kazakhstan due to a shortage of British supply.

And then on to another inspirational couple – Mike and Maggie of Mairs Bakehouse, in Carmarthenshire. By now it was bleak weather, and the bakehouse was high in the remote and drizzly beautiful moors so walking into the kitchen was a warm and cosy delight. Completely off the grid, their electricity is provided by wind, and the very efficient purpose build oven is fuelled by wood. The bakery specialises in sourdough and old yeast sponge variety breads, and Mike and Maggie run their business from a health perspective – they want to provide tasty bread that everyone can eat, no matter what their dietary requirements. The oven and large batches of loaves require round the clock commitment – fortunately, passion and commitment are not in short supply.

s5001132smallIn terms of our project mission perhaps the most positive news was to discover that these traditionally baked loaves made at a cottage industry scale, do not require high protein imported flour. Mike and Maggie buy most of their flour from Lincolnshire, some from Anne and Andy at Llanrhystud, and are hopeful, as are we all, that there will be an opportunity to use locally grown grains in the future.

CAT Education Get Their Oats!

By Julie Bromilow – CAT Education Department

oats2I and a colleague Jo Gwillim represented CAT at the Big Tent festival last July by giving a Zero Carbon Britain talk. At the festival I was impressed by the focus on food, and enjoyed sampling the array of tasty local produce – I just couldn’t get those oatcakes out of my head.

The germ of an idea kept coming back to niggle me – how can we regenerate an interest in growing grains for human consumption?

The chapter on land use in Zero Carbon Britain 2030 clearly details the challenges and some solutions we are faced with – a scenario for how we can manage our land to produce all the food, resources, and energy that we need, conserve our biodiversity, and all importantly sequester excess emissions produced by other sectors. As part of this scenario, we would expect a significant reduction of our current meat and dairy production and intake, with a focus on quality not quantity. This means that we will need to shift the current agricultural model from its current high density of livestock to one that is lower in livestock but richer in fruit, vegetables, legume and grain production.

Continue reading “CAT Education Get Their Oats!”

Join CAT Tonight on BBC Wales for the Mid Wales Election Debate

bbc_cymru88aThis evening CAT will be part of an invited audience to put forward an environment question to the Montgomeryshire candidates in a live BBC Wales election debate. The debate will be broadcast tonight at 10.45.

The panel in the Question Time style debate will include Glyn Davies (Conservative), Nicholas Colbourne (Labour), Lembit Opik (Liberal Democrats) Heledd Fychan (Plaid Cymru) and David W. Rowlands (UKIP), who are all standing for the Montgomeryshire seat, and an invited audience of local NGO’s, youth and special interest groups.

Tonight’s Welshpool debate will be chaired by BBC Wales Political Editor Betsan Powys and is one of three events being held across Wales that will cover all party issues from the environment to economics.

You can read political summaries by party and issue with this online tool from the BBC’s Guide to Party Election Policies.