Tass Bell - Living on the land with permaculture, willow work, and natural horsemanship, celebrating mother earth's boundless beauty and abundance. Painting the world of spirit, creating magical U.V. environments for trance dance, festivals and celebrations (and the occasional mad fashion show!).
Since my teens, I have had the dream to live in a different way from the accepted society that we are brought up in, and have longed for a greater sense of community
I could never understand our separation from each other into dysfunctional nuclear families. Nor did I understand people working for the same company for 50 years, only to receive a pat on the back, and a clock at the end of it, too old and tired to explore other experiences in life.
Reading William Morris’ utopian visionary book, ‘News from Nowhere’ when I was 17, showed me a wonderfully, plausible alternative. I suppose I have been searching for a way to create a similar vision all my life.
In the 1990’s I became fascinated by the growth of the Global Ecovillage Network and even spent two years with my x husband searching for land in Spain, hoping to set up an ecovillage. The emphasis was to be on permaculture, working horses, healing, art, seasonal celebrations and family camping.
Now, back in England, the desire for change is equally strong, though the authorities make it almost impossible to start a land based community project in this country.
I have, however, bought a hectare of equestrian land on the edge of the vibrant town of Frome in Somerset.
Whilst biding my time on this small piece of land, I have had the opportunity to look at the skills and activities I would like to be involved with. I have observed which species of plants and trees thrive in this ecosystem and which ones struggle. I have been able to learn by ‘doing’ and by personal research on a small scale. I have made my mistakes without too disastrous results, and now know how I would do things differently.
Whether this is by not planting things too close together, by always channelling water run off along the contours of the land, and not down the slopes or one of our many other discoveries and realisations, I will not be making the same mistakes again. It will be enormously helpful to share the diverse skills I have acquired over the years, when I get the chance to expand the vision on a larger piece of land with like-minded friends.