Earth First! Summer Gathering 2017

Summer Gathering 2017

Weds 9th - Mon 14th Aug

Hertfordshire

Five days of skill-sharing for grassroots ecological direct action - make links, share ideas, and get involved in the struggles against fracking, new roads and more

EF! Log

EF! Summer Gathering: Practical Information

Hertfordshire

Getting There

This year the Summer Gathering will be held at a rural site in Hertfordshire from the 9-14th August 2017. The address is: Colesdale Farm, Northaw Road West, Cuffley, Hertfordshire EN6 4QZ (OS Grid Reference for the gate: TL 294027). Coming by public transport or cycling is very strongly encouraged. We hope that group transport will also be arranged (please get in touch if you can organised transport from your area). The site is within easy walking distance of Cuffley Railway Station or the 242 bus route between Potters Bar and Waltham Cross. See Reaching The Site for full details.

When To Come

The workshop programme will run from Wednesday morning through to the evening meal on Sunday - it's looking pretty exciting already, so we would love you to come for as much of the gathering as you are able! Wednesday morning's workshops are hands-on ones to learn all about the practicalities of setting up a protest site or gathering - so if you have not there already helping set-up, come Tuesday night or first thing Wednesday to gain valuable skills. Check the workshops page for programme updates and the full timetable when it is ready. You are encouraged to stay for Monday to help pack down and tidy up the site.

Trains & Coaches

If you are coming by train book your tickets to Cuffley. The train station is about 25 mins walk from the site. There are three trains an hour from Moorgate in central London, or Cuffley can be reached from Kings Cross by changing at Alexandra Palace. From the north east, travel to Stevenage, and change there for a service to Cuffley. Alternatively, you can travel to Potters Bar, and catch a bus from there (info below).

Reaching The Site

Site Location

Unless you are arriving by motor vehicle or bus the easiest way to access the site is via the footpath from The Ridgeway (B157) in Cuffley. Turn right out of the station onto Station Rd and right again at the T-junction onto Plough Hill. Continue on the main road past The Plough pub and several bends and until the road becomes straight and there are no houses on your left. Look out for the entance to a footpath in the hedge on the left and follow the footpath down the hill until you reach the site entrance.

The 242 bus route between Potters Bar and Waltham Cross stops at the junction of Northaw Road and Cattlegate Road, close to the road gate of the site. The road gate is on the Cuffley side of Colesdale Farm, before the Northaw Road/Cattlegate Road junction. This provides access to the Live-In Vehicle/Parking area.

Cycling

The cycle ride from London is quite nice - 25 miles from the centre of London, with a bit of a steeper bit at the end. Maybe the nicest route is through the Lee valley, then turn West in Holdbrook North. It should take you somewhere between two and three hours. We recommend coming through the main vehicle gate, rather than the pedestrian footpath.

Motor Vehicles

There will be limited parking a distance from the site so if you are thinking about driving please consider all other options first. In particular if you do need to drive then organising to bring a car/minibus full of people from your area would be the best option (see above). If you are thinking of bringing a vehicle please contact site@earthfirstgathering.org to make sure there will be space to park it. Note: The Live-In Vehicle/Parking area will be slightly less than half a mile walk down a flat track from the site.

What To Bring

The gathering will be camping at a rural site (accessible by public transport) so you will need to bring a tent, sleeping bag, torch, appropriate clothing and suchlike (also see costs below). Bring your hammock if you like to sleep or hang out in the woods! Meals are provided by the gathering's collective kitchen and there will be a snack shop. Everyone is crew, so the site, including toilets and running water, will be run by us all.

The Gathering

Set Up/Tat Down

If you can help with set-up or tat-down on site for a few days before or after the Gathering, please let us know as soon as possible. You don't need to have any particular skills for this, just willingness to do a bit of work and you'll walk away with lots of practical skills and new friends. If you've never been to the gathering and feel a bit shy, the set-up is the best place to start, as you will really get to know some really nice people. Contact: site@earthfirstgathering.org

Security/Privacy

This is an activist gathering not a press event, so if you are coming as a journalist then you are not welcome. Also please respect the aim of this gathering to be a relaxed and safe space, by not taking any photographs on site. If bringing a mobile phone, leave it in your tent.

Costs

We ask that everybody attending the gathering makes a donation between £15-50 according to what you can afford. Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for a suggested donation of £5 per day (this is what it costs to provide). No-one will be turned away for lack of funds!

Accessibility

We don't want anyone to be excluded from the gathering and will do our best with our limited resources to support everyone who wants to attend. The gathering is on a hilly, but relatively accessible field. All essential infrastructure and workshop spaces and a camping space reserved for people with accessability needs will be at the bottom of the field. Boards will be used to create more accessible walkways between the main spaces. There will also be two step-free toilets, chairs in workshop and eating areas, and priority camping (also for live-ins) near gate/toilets. The main (vehicle) gate is the most accessible entrance to the site.

Important: the nearest station (Cuffley) does not have step-free access. If you would like any support at the station, please call the site phone in advance. We will also provide transport from the nearest step-free train station, Hertford North. Please drop us an email and/or give us a call on the site phone (will be put online soon) if you would like to be picked up.

Please get in touch to discuss your requirements: summergathering@earthfirst.org.uk.

Offsite Accommodation

There is a cabin very close to the site, next to the live-in parking area (half a mile on a flat path from the main site) which sleeps up to four people (one double bed and two singles). The cabin has a wood-burning stove (logs provided), a small kitchen area including an oven/grill/hob, sink and small fridge/freezer and a long table with sturdy chairs. A shower and a compost toilet is located directly behind the cabin in a separate little hut. There is also a bell tent that could sleep 4, camp beds can be provided. Currently, there are a couple of steps up to the cabin - so it is not wheelchair accessible at the moment. However, we are currently working with the owners, trying to make it wheelchair accessible with a ramp. Please let us know if you'd like to sleep in here and whether you would like step-free access. We won't charge, but ask for donations for these two spaces for people with accessibility needs. From everyone else, we ask for £75/person for a bed in the cabin for the duration of the gathering, and £10/person for a camp bed in the bell tent to cover costs.

Safety

We believe that the gathering should be a place in which all individuals can feel safe. That does not mean that your beliefs or preconceptions might not be challenged during workshops, but we do not tolerate language or behaviour which is discriminatory. Anyone who persists in inappropriate behaviour may be asked to leave.

Kids & Young People

We welcome families with kids to the gathering. There will be a kids' space and there will be some organised activities and plenty of time for self-organised activities. We will hold daily meetings for all kids (and parents) as well. Activities planned include art, craft and music-based fun, introductions to the topics which adults will be discussing, as well as the wildlife of the area in which the camp is held. Please be aware that these activities depend on volunteers to help facilitate them. There will be a separate kids kitchen running during the gathering, and a family-camping site.

Dogs

Please contact us in advance if you want to bring a dog, as there are limited places for dogs (dogs@earthfirstgathering.org). Dogs must be on leads at all times on site and all mess cleaned up immediately.

Live-in Vehicles

There is limited space for live-in vehicles. If you need to bring yours with you, please contact us first so that we can ensure there is space for you. Note: The Live-In Vehicle/Parking area will be slightly less than half a mile walk down a flat track from the site.

Contact

For further information or to offer help please e-mail summergathering@earthfirst.org.uk.