4 Noble Truths of Climate Change Weekend Camp 12th-14th October 2012.
The weekend was more successful than we initially expected, a dozen people attended mainly students and recent graduates from CardiffUniversity.
The forward party Bob and Jules arrived Wednesday and brought the first load of equipment and assessed and prepared the site.
We were shown the site by Rawley who had kindly put us in a corner of the wood with close access to water taps and a compost toilet. Site preparation involved digging out two tree stumps with mattocks and levelling the soil with spades and rakes. This area was chosen for the 6.2m dm Mongolian yurt. This site preparation took a further 2½hours on our estimations. After site prep we unloaded the vehicle and put up the yurt making sure we kept as much mud off it as possible. It was dark by the time we finished.
Bob left the next morning to go back to West Wales with vehicle and trailer to repack aiming to arrive back the same evening with Peter. Jules stayed to prepare the rest of the site so the kitchen shelter and Tibetan shelter for craft work could be erected. Heavy rain all day limited how much work could be done, however Jules cleared with the Irish hook and pulled out branches from the woodland floor and filled in holes. Bob and Peter arrived c. 7pm and brought dinner.
Friday morning fitted yurt insulation, unloaded Tibetan shelter and 12×15 ft military shelter, this got put up and we continued to clear and tidy the area of debris. Health and safety are an important consideration and the main risk assessment is for slipping, tripping and falling. Equipment boxes and shaving horses were temporarily put in the military shelter.
Friday evening Sam and Kelda arrived, we watched a film in the yurt, ‘Propaganda’ a North Korean critique of the west, interesting discussion after.
Saturday morning the rest of the group arrived by bus, the whole group then tackled putting up the Tibetan shelter under instruction of Bob. This became the craft area and tools and shaving horses were moved in. We lit a fire in the area between the kitchen shelter and craft area and had a tripod over it to hang a pot for cooking and heating water. We had enough folding chairs for us all to sit down around the fire. Bob began teaching risk assessment, there was a site tour and everybody dumped their rucksacks in the yurt. Tea.
Demonstrated to group how to cut a tree down with an axe and saw. Then went to different part of wood and demonstrated cutting a large tree, it got hung up and was released by cutting with chainsaw. Group used axes to sned the tree and practice cross cutting. Movable sized chunks by two people were carried back to camp. While this was happening a small group prepared food. The stew had home grown vegetables from the student allotment in Cardiff. Late afternoon the group prepared some firewood. Others went for a walk around Coed hills site, the forest garden, gardens and woodland.
The yurt by now was warm and it was dark and cold outside, we set up the projector and screen which runs off two12V gel batteries and an inverter. We watched the first 15mins of Reclaim Power the film made at the first climate camp at Drax. Also a film made about the impact of the Civilian Conservation Corps. A discussion followed, various ideas were suggested.
- Ideal home exhibition for yurts in Cardiff
- Direct actions
Sun Morning the fire was lit and tea and porridge was prepared. Bob with assistance from the group made a coppice device called a cleaving break which helps to hold the wood while riving (splitting) with a froe. The smaller pieces were then rived further with the froe. People were shown how to use the drawknife, shaving horse, stock knife and for the rest of the day got on with experimenting. Some interesting spoons, mashers and bats began to form. Around the fire mid afternoon Bob introduced a small group to hand sewing canvas. A meal was prepared on the fire using the rest of the veg, served with some couscous and bread. After eating this people cleared up and helped to dismantle the Tibetan shelter and kitchen shelter. This equipment was taken over to the land rover to be packed. The last of the group drank tea and went for the bus in the evening back to Cardiff. Sam was the last to leave on his bike.
On Monday Bob Peter and Jules packed the trailer and land rover then dismantled the Mongolian yurt and carried it over to the field ready for the next trip. This was hard because by now the area around the yurt area and the route to the vehicle was a sea of mud and we were very tired. We travelled back early evening. On Tues Bob and Jules travelled back to Coed Hills and packed up the remaining load. Rawley from Coed said in a text how pleased he was with having us and leaving the site tidy.