Willows Lakeside Retreat, West Sussex, UK

Developing low cost appropriate technologies for this tranquil retreat space

SAWA has been working with Nicola Peel of The Willows Lakeside Retreat to support them in setting up their permaculture glamping space in the beautiful South Downs National Park.

Such a joy and honour to collaborate with such an experienced and knowledgeable women in environmental issues. From the Amazon to Sussex, there are huge issues at stake. See Nicola’s website for more info. We need, and can do so much, such as: putting our money in ecological banks, emailing our MPs, make sure we are hitting climate change targets, shopping consciously, working on our own self care and well being, de carbonising, plastic, petrol etc.

The retreat has been established by Nicola, where retreats can be held, groups and individuals wishing to connect to the natural world can visit. This supports her environmental activism which she pours the majority of time into without pay. Please support her !

Crucial to any burgeoning permaculture project is the setting up of water and sanitation. SAWA co designed and led a team of volunteers to erect a compost loo, complete with a urine separator, camp wash basin, urinal, and solar shower.

A key design feature implemented in this project was the grease trap installed into the washing up area and sink drainage system, offering grey water filtration through the power of nature!

This kind of permaculture grease trap uses a combination of gravel, sand, compost, worms and other living organisms. Each play a part in removing large and small particles of food and detergents from the grey water. This then waters the cultivated plants adjacent to the swale before it returns back into the ground water system.

Small technologies like these can transform our impact on the environment around us so we may live more harmoniously with nature.

Build Cost


Build Area



May 2021 - June 2021


Architect, Designer, Self Builder, Community Organiser