River Avon Bioregion

River Avon Bioregion

This initiative, just emerging, is focused on communities along the length of the River Avon, the Avon that meets the sea at Bristol.

It starts with a question: why have I chosen this place to live? What are the qualities that being around this river (and its associated rivers) make this place meaningful to me? Can we celebrate these qualities?

But this is only a beginning. We are also interested in the potential that lies within these qualities. What becomes possible for our local economy, for society, for our resilience in the face of shocks to come if these qualities could fully unfold? Then, what can we do collectively to bring this potential into being?

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 I’m collaborating. A Thames Headwaters Bioregion is also gathering momentum….

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

I have been supporting a cross sector group in Devon passionate to introduce Kate Raworth’s pioneering work on Doughnut Economics, as a way of galvanising 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.

My 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 more of the unique potential of this particular 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 release the potential of unrealised social, natural capital and therefore financial capital.