A week of panic & uncertainty

We have known for years that our complex interconnected global community, with just in time delivery and lean stocking is vulnerable to significant disruption. As we continue to witness climate breakdown it has felt important for us to focus on developing a stronger local-food economy with more diversity and shorter supply lines. The Covid virus is a symptom of our imbalance with the natural world and as we continue to destroy the more remote and wilder areas remaining on the globe we come into contact with more unknown and unanticipated sources of disease. This is articulated very well below, its an excellent video. It is a crisis of disease which exposes a crisis of society that is framed by the crisis of the environment.

A health service needs to address ALL people, not just those who can afford it for it to be effective. We are reminded that especially in a crisis or challenge of this scale we are all in it together. Community responses are really important and at least we all need something positive to channel our energy and creativity into.

We will be continuing to cultivate the soil and using this as a way to build our community and extend what it has to offer to all of us. The area in front of the institute is planned for redevelopment into a garden, a softer much greener area. We will be in the institute from 12 – 4 on Sunday ready to ideas, functions, inputs and design ideas about how we can make this a more functional, welcoming space.

For now we remain open for business, if you can bring your own tools and gloves and make every effort to minimize the potential spread of the virus that is appreciated.

Llanfyllin institute garden wins national gardens scheme award

Its an underused space behind the institute building that previously they paid to have strimmed and trimmed year to keep it tidy. Now it is on its way to being a focal point for community growing for the Tanat & Cain valley community and is paying its own rent back to the institute instead of being a cost. Permaculture teaches us how to build mutually beneficial relationships, which are the building blocks of community.

confirmation letter that the Community Horticulture Project application for a National Gardens Scheme Award was successful
Award letterhttp://www.brace.cymru/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ngs2.jpg
institute llanfyllin 2020
Early conversations about the garden design
llanfyllin 2020
Its beginning to take shape

Share energy

Community owned and run energy schemes offer huge advantages, not least a chance for communities to invest in energy schemes that will enable sustainable ethical investment into infrastructure that we will all benefit from. It also decentralizes the planning a implementation of energy schemes, all good in terms of increasing resilience.

Visit Share Energy website to find our more
Share Energy are based in Shrewsbury and work with communities to develop energy schemes which benefit those same communities

Horticulture project

The intention is to create a headquarters for community growing in Llanfyllin, sharing ideas, inspiration, skills and tips, seeds, plants, compost ad most of all enthusiasm. Growing food, building soil and protecting biodiversity are central actions to community led climate responses. Yes we aim to grow herbs, veg, fruits and berries here

We have applied for a grant from National Gardens Scheme, not heard yet meanwhile Sector39 donated £400 for timber for the raised beds so that work can continue. Other members are donating donating time, energy, plants and more to keep momentum going. Thanks to Jones builders who have also helped with some sand and aggregates. The almost none stop rain has soaked the soils deeply and we are improving access and drainage as a priority at present .

The horticulture project is also working towards an open day in the build up to Easter, most likely on the Thursday to co-inside with the farmers market. Any help putting this together much appreciated, contact us please.

We are still working on the Cae Bodfach orchard across the road, but this space is about creating a hub for horticulture, growing, plant multiplication and more. We hope to create a much more abundant, diverse, wildlife friendly and productive spaces in and around our community.

Repair Cafe – help required

The next Llanfyllin Repair Cafe is on 1st Feb and after the huge success of the previous event we would appreciate more help in the Cafe part and also some homemade cakes or savoury snacks for visitors and helpers. We start setting up at 10 am, doors open at 12, clearing away is from 3-4pm. Lunch is provided for helpers.

Please email osbordersrepaircafe@gmail.com if you are able to help in any way so we can plan the day and send you a volunteer form. Thank you

Agenda item for next meeting

Constitution: We hope the group is ready to agree on our constitution. This will help define the group, allow us to move forward and to apply for funding. The garden group met with PAVO officer George Stroud today who can advise us on how to develop our constitution as we evolve and to help us find support, funding etc to further our ambitions.

George has advised us that a good start would be to appoint a management committee of min 6 and max 12 people, which will be quorate with a minimum of 3 people in attendance at a meeting. This should allow for streamlined decision making whilst ensuring we have an active core team to allow us to move forward. He also suggested we encourage all others keen to be involved to become members and to hold a register of members.

It was suggested we should appoint the roles of chair, secretary and treasurer and perhaps a representative from each key project area, e.g. garden/ compost/ repair cafe/ etc. to enure good communications.

If we start with a simple yet clear structure then that will allow us to progress having built a foundation which can evolve in future as required.

We are not obliged to do any of this, but the garden team would like to propose this as a next step. it would be great if we can consider this at the coming meeting, perhaps as the opening agenda item as this will allow us to pursue an Awards for All lottery application, which again we were advised would be a good next step.

What next for BRACE?

BRACE has been active for one year already, what have we achieved?

———- this is still being compiled please to send in suggestions for anything omitted that needs to be included

  • Held two meetings each month at the Cross Keys community space over the last 1 year
  • Built an active group with over 60 different people attending during the year
  • Played an active role in the One School One Planet project
  • Shared information on climate crisis, community growing and more, launching a community website and contributing to local publications
  • Hosted talks from RENEW Wales, Pont Bren, Montgomery Wildlife Trust and others
  • Launched community compost initiative at the Llanfyllin allotments
  • Worked on a community a transport plan and hosted a talk on electric vehicles
  • Set up Oswestry and Borders Repair Cafe with members of Oswestry XR . 5 successful events so far with over 200 items through the door and an amazing team of volunteers.
  • Began the process of engaging with the farming community and considering strategies for regenerative farming.
  • Began Llanfyllin Horticulture project at the public institute, designing, fundraising and planting a community growing hub
  • Provided information stall at Llanfyllin Show
  • Contributed to the Llanfyllin Christmas fair
This certainly sets the context for BRACE

Every action we do at this moment in time matters. The natural world is under threat from every direction, development, farming, climate change, pollution be it chemical, noise, hormonal, electro-magnetic you name it, we are disrupting nature in every way possible. Our responses cannot just be about personally withdrawing from this destruction but stopping it, reversing the process whilst creating spaces for nature to survive, provide corridors for birds, insects and fungi to move around undisturbed, we all have a stake this in terms of our own survival too.

Have we saved the planet yet?

2020, our first meeting is a chance to review our goals, do we still need regular meetings? Should we be more structured, or perhaps spend more time in topic groups. How about recruiting more members, seeking funding, developing closer ties with Newtown and other cliaimte response groups? Much to think think about

End of empire

What’s going on? Much of what we thought was the bedrock of our society is dissolving before our eyes, the rule of reason and logic is breaking down as nation states fall away and corporate power and oligopoly takes over. A symptom of the rise of the corporate state is that climate denial is rising, social division is expanding, we are being confronted with all the shortcomings and denial from our own history; there is nothing sustainable about this, as the elites retreat into a fantasy world of their own making we must realise this is the end of empire. All our first world privileges are going to be revoked, education, health care, food security, public transport, libraries, they are all up for sale, we have to figure out what comes next.

Our ability to endure will be measured by our capacity to sustain our neighbour

Chris Hedges

This earth-shaking lecture is from 2017 and its message is amplified by the prescience of Hedges’ vision, this really makes you pay attention. What Pulitzer prize winning journalist and public intellectual Chris Hedges outlines here is the wider political reality we are being confronted with and sets a really sharp context for what we should be thinking about within BRACE going forward.

Take notes people we need to talk about this. In this awesome, angry speech Hedges reveals the naked truth of our times, challenging the rise of corporate power and the decline of democracy. Communities will have to stand together as the rich elites retreat into their gated communities as the great western economies unwind and inevitably collapse.

Invest an hour of your life into this lecture, especially the fist 25 minutes if time is short, he is talking about the US mainly, but here in the UK we are umbilically linked to the decay, corruption and hubris of the American empire.

Here is the way forward

Permaculture is the methodology we can use to address these huge and terrifying problems. Resilience from the bottom up, building on the lessons of nature. These are the ideas that have driven me forward for 30 years, permaculture has allowed the creation of so many ideas that are turning into action, all around the globe, these have become the seeds of what comes next.

Happy New Year, lets make 2020 the year for positive social and ecological change!

Guardians not gardeners!

the biggest little farm – 31st jan

On 31st Jan the Llanfyllin Film Club are screening the very recent film–


Rated as a soul feeding environmental documentary, a testament to the immense complexity of nature, this film follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. When the barking of their beloved dog Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny LA apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres in the foothills of Ventura County, naively endeavouring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature. The film chronicles eight years of daunting work and outsize idealism as they attempt to create the utopia they seek, planting 10,000 orchard trees and over 200 different crops, and bringing in animals of every kind.

PG (some dead/injured animals),
1hr 31 min +int

Held in the Old New Inn, Llanfyllin. Doors open at 7.30pm, finishes at 9.45pm (includes a short interval). £5 entry

Horticulture project latest


We will formally reconvene at 10.00 am on Tuesday Feb 4th at the Institute.

Ongoing jobs over the Xmas period

Topics for discussion:
Compost plan
Set up systems for managing tools etc
Meet with PAVO for further funding advice

Moving wood chip from the gate by the housing association to the orchard area.
Adding to compost heaps (leaf mold is the woven one, also woody waste pile)

Llanfyllin permaculture garden map
Garden design as of Dec 17th

Garden design plan Dec 17th update

We have submitted a bid to the Community Garden Fund for tools, a shed, timber for raised beds etc. total value £3,800 we will need to raise £600 or more as a match, I suggest this will come form donated plants from us, in kind and a £1 donation each week from those participating.

here is the bid we submitted, we will be able to commence on this end of MArch assuming it is successful.

this is a Radnor Raised bed, made by Sector39
Example of the style of raised beds we are planning to install, made form Welsh larch