'We now run over 300 courses with over 4000 visitors every year, we have thriving sharing and circular economies and more eco houses being built as you read. Throughout this evolution our founding principles and the magic of this place has stayed strong and true and transformed thousands of lives.'
The Findhorn Foundation is both the original impulse and now charity from which the Ecovillage has grown up around. Starting with a caravan with 3 adults and 3 children on a barren sand dune, to what is now a thriving ecovillage with lush gardens and mature trees. In the 60s we were famous for our ability to grow 40 Pound cabbages in sand, through the 70s we attracted huge numbers of people, skills and funds to manifest beautiful buildings; in the 80s we grew our learning centre, and eco houses were built all around that. The 90s saw 60+ businesses shoot up in the local area and the last 20 years has seen the Community surrounding the original charity find its own purpose and identity.
We now run over 300 courses with over 4000 visitors every year, we have thriving sharing and circular economies and more eco houses being built as you read. Throughout this evolution our founding principles and the magic of this place has stayed strong and true and transformed thousands of lives.
For nearly 6 decades now people have been mainly coming here on a spiritual path or one of self discovery, often searching for the meaning and belonging that Community can bring. We are very strong in the spiritual/cultural and social dimensions of sustainability. This is expressed through our community attunements and meditations and also in our welcoming of diversity and willingness to come together to consciously work on personal and community issues, and to celebrate life in all its forms.
In terms of economic and ecological sustainability we have our own local currency (the EKO which is the only local currency in Scotland) and many systems in place for sharing and reusing materials and services. We also have our three community wind turbines, biomass boilers, solar panels, heat exchangers and a natural waste water treatment system. In 2015 we started measuring our Carbon Footprint as a whole community and the Park Ecovillage Trust set up a Gold Standard Carbon Offsetting scheme to encourage local people and visitors to take responsibility for their travel and whole lifestyle carbon emissions.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report from 2018 concluded that as a species we have 12 years to drastically reduce our carbon emissions in order to prevent runaway climate change. Scotland declared an Environment and Climate Emergency in April 2019 and the Moray Council have set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The Findhorn Ecovillage is working on reducing its carbon emissions wherever possible and businesses and individuals are choosing to offset their carbon through tree planting and forest protection projects. The Findhorn Hinterland Trust which manages the woodland shelter belt to the North of the Ecovillage have planted over 3000 trees and do a lot of work to encourage biodiversity.
The Findhorn Foundation (FF), a charitable trust at the heart of the Findhorn Ecovillage, aims to inspire people to take concrete steps to heal and care for the planet. How can we as an organism, as a part of our global ecosystem support the regeneration of our natural environment? How can we minimise our ecological impact while maximising human well being, happiness and positive transformation for ourselves and our visitors? Since 1962 we have been exploring what it means to co-create with nature through loving action and deep inner listening, and we have many expressions of this around the Community. Last year we had our UN Habitat Best Practice designation reaffirmed 20 years on, concluding that as a whole ecovillage we remain a stimulating trailblazer in the area of sustainability.
We believe that the Findhorn Foundation continues to have a pioneering role in catalysing personal and societal transformation. We will continue to serve as a beacon of hope for a better world and help develop the capacity to respond to the spiritual and environmental needs of our time.
Written by Gabrielle Buist, on the Steward Circle of the Findhorn Foundation, July 2019
Other inspiring initiatives in the Ecovillage include:
The FF Planet Care Projects
Cullerne Gardens food growing; Two Permaculture demonstration sites:
1. Barrel House
rowing on Food Waste - a Community Composting project
Building Bridges - encourages greater diversity of people to Findhorn such as:
Findhorn Bay Care Farm - for local adults with learning disabilities
The Findhorn Hive - social enterprise hub
Roots, Fruits & Leaves - brings local produce to local people.
Courses @ Findhorn in 2020:
Wilderness Retreat - 30th May 2020
Ecovillage Design Education - June 2020
Permaculture Design Certificate course - end August 2020