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Join Our New Mentor for Compost-Based Conversation


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January 30, 2023

January's SusSH Group Leaders' Meeting offered all the usual chances for conversation and cake, but was also be a chance to meet our new compost mentor, Ben Bryant. Below, read Ben's introduction to community composting and his own work:

We’d really appreciate as much feedback as possible from community groups and individuals about how we can co-create and support more community composting across the South Hams.  

Let’s talk progress, updates, aspirations, barriers, ideas,and benefits. How we can enlist community support and partnerships. What are the main obstacles face by local groups and parishes?  How exactly does community composting link to the climate & ecological emergency?

How can SusSH best support the emergence of new projects and connect up those existing composting projects to get would be initiatives off the ground.  How can we work with SHDC to leverage the considerable funding available? How can we encourage the mind set of “where there is a will there is away”.

Let’s help keep the fertility in local soils and address depletion of the Earth’s natural resources.

My name is Ben Bryant and I have just joined SuSSH as a mentor bringing my expertise in resource efficiency – the sustainable use of earth resources.  I am actively involved in the new Community Composting project in Marldon, where we are making good progress.

I have plenty of experience in community work which I’d like to share and be of service to other grass roots projects.  

I am involved with the Devon Community Composting Network, learning so much from Devon’s own Nicky Scott (Dr Compost).  I am former Coordinator of Devon Community Recycling Network and was employed for Resource Futures on the ‘CAG Devon’ Project.

I was also Recycling Officer for Teignbridge District Council for many years promoting ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’.  I began my career as an environmental business advisor running government funded ‘resource efficiency clubs’ for both Groundwork west London and Global Action Plan.

I am now a self-employed gardener specialising in wild gardening, my main interests being compost and soil rebuilding. I am excited by regenerative farming practices, permaculture and Biochar.  Above all I absolutely love being outdoors, physically active and in community, feeling connected.

I understand that soil regeneration is a major priority for the world to address right now, being central to solving so many environmental issues. The appreciation of living soils and supporting thriving microbiomes is essential for regenerating ecosystems and providing us nutritious food, better gut health and stronger immune systems..

Putting organic content back into our soil is something we can all do readily to increase soil fertility. The compost heap is an incredible source of life, a real cornucopia. I believe raising awareness of the benefits of local composting is important to help support food production on all scales and to encourage sustainable and regenerative lifestyles.

Nature recycles everything, may we learn from nature and play our part. Let’s put an end to the careless mentality of ‘waste’.