The Gathering Fields

This week and next, I am on a self-imposed retreat from normal life (and the internet) in order to get on with my much neglected writing projects. The view and the sounds from my temporary desk at the Gathering Fields are very relaxing and so snoozes are obligatory… IMG_3284

but what’s more, I am in good company, courtesy of the Northern School, and the very first residential internationally certificated Permaculture Course (IPC) course that has been run in this inspiring place.


Despite the very comfortable training facilities, we are on a working livestock farm and for me, it has been interesting to revisit a way of life that I enjoyed in my teens and to observe the interaction of the course participants with the farming way of life.

Orientation on day one was as much about the ‘camp rules’ i.e. not getting in the way of day-to-day farm life and respecting the private lives of the people who live here, as it was about anchoring ourselves in the upland environment of the Trough of Bowland.


But there are some local residents that just cannot be avoided… Rosie and Posie for instance…IMG_3365

These two friendly saddlebacks are family pets, not designed for the dinner table and when out and about on their daily walk are quite happy to stop and socialise with visitors.



I have been observing some other interesting sights during the day… working dogs that happily surf a quad bike into the fields for example…


The views…IMG_3432.JPG







especially from the fire pit gathering place from where we had all hoped to see the Northern Lights this last week…


Unfortunately, although the evenings started off rather promisingly with clear skies behind the pines, the inclement weather let us down outside and the distant lights of ‘Frackpool’ (formerly known as Blackpool) were the best on offer.










Inside, it was a different story, with the course going swimmingly and the participants soon getting to grips with the rudiments of permaculture design, yesterday sharing their thoughts with me, in a ‘resilience session’ – i.e. the guest course leader for the day got held up and so I held the fort with a ‘on the hoof’ creative engagement session until she arrived… IMG_3385.JPG

Then, as things got back to the plan for the day…IMG_3375.JPG







on my way back to my hidey hole, I was gifted a little treat from Mother Nature…


Can’t wait to see what the next week brings, hopefully a little more sunshine and a little less rain!



About starspeakman

Poet, Writer, healer, nature photographer
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