River Avon Bioregion

River Avon Bioregion

This initiative, just emerging, is focused on communities along the length of the River Avon from its source in Wiltshire, through to where it meets the sea at Bristol.

It starts with a question: what kind of economy do we need to face our future? Can it be more local, more circular, more interconnected, interdependent and more Nature based? What kind of technology and innovation does this call for?

This is not just any place. It is uniquely shaped by its geology, its ecology and by millennia of human habitation which has worked, mined and moulded the landscape. What is there to learn from this rich history about the potential of this land we may have forgotten, that may be exactly what our future is calling for? How does each of us connect to this particular and special place?

And what then is the role of each constituent community, each village, town and city in this beautiful watershed in bringing this potential to life in a way that we can make a just transition to a post fossil fuel economy.

A movement to develop bioregions is at an early stage in the UK. Furthest along the road is South Devon. The work there is coordinated by the Bioregional Learning Centre, with whom we are collaborating.

Wilderness Centre

Wilderness Centre

The Centre would like to be a ‘home from home’ to visitors and ‘help to create flourishing lives’. The outdoor learning sector has been hard hit by the pandemic.

We are working together to better understand what effect does visiting the Centre have on visitors’ lives? What does visiting connect them to that feels important, that they’d like to bring to their families, their workplaces, their communities? But also what value-adding role does the Centre have within its own local community.

Many local people have cherished childhood memories of their first school trips there. How might it serve the local community to flourish?

a ‘dougnut’ for devon

A Doughnut for Devon

We have been supporting a cross sector group in Devon passionate to introduce Kate Raworth’s pioneering work on Doughnut Economics into Devon.

It’s a way to galvanise joined up action on climate change as well as social and ecological restoration. The group has representatives from community wealth building teams, business groups, local council sustainability officers, academics, the Bioregional Learning Centre, Transition groups, and community members themselves.

Our role has been to introduce regenerative thinking into this process so that we don’t get lost in the metrics as the only goal for this project – which might miss the wider opportunities for the community to discern and bring to life the unique potential of this region. We are doing pioneering work to discover regenerative metrics that shift us from ‘doing less harm’ to society and the biosphere, towards measures that if improved could grow and renew stocks and flows of unrealised social, natural capital and therefore financial capital.