Castle Combe Village, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom
5 years ago we moved into the countryside which to some of our friends seemed a controversial thing to do, based on the fact that everything you could possibly want could be found in a town environment. In many ways that was true, and in other ways we missed a major component - a sense of belonging as although the town had everything you could possibly want, the element that was missing to us was human contact.
When you go shopping in a supermarket, how often do you engage with that experience? How often do you have a conversation? How often do you have eye contact?
The principles of downshifting and reducing our ecological footprint were based on a desire to do a variety of things in one place without the use of a car if possible.
In buying the village shop we are :
- living in the centre of the village
- we work from home in the centre of the village
- we shop in the centre of the village
- our children go to the village school or use school transport to get to larger schools
- we gather as a community in the village and take part, promote and encourage local events.
At the same time, we have learnt that if we reduce our needs to a local level and reduce our desire to buy what we want instead of what we need, we can source many items locally.
Our aim over the next few months will be to gently promote locally produced food ( bread, vegetables and meat) and ask people if they are willing to shop here instead of doing a 3 mile journey in their car, park in a difficult place and queue for their food. The price will be the same but instead of many cars going on the village roads, they could walk, they could buy it here, have a chat and catch up with others. There is no way of knowing what people will do, but in offering the options we will monitor what happens.
The first thing will be to put a notice up , engage and have a conversation with people.