The days are drawing in, the trees are losing their golden leaves and there is snow on the Scottish hills but the Field of Dreams has a spring-like air of new life and growth as construction activity accelerates with the approach of the community’s 40th birthday, affirming the old saying, “Life begins at 40″.
There is something new each day as foundations are dug, walls go up, roofs go on and families move in. We watch our ecovillage grow with joy and excitement as a practical demonstration of how we can live in a harmonious, sustainable way, respectful of all and mindful of how we play our part in the life of this planet.
The Ecovillage Project began in the early 80s as a collaboration between the Findhorn Foundation and other major landowners in The Park and since then the construction of 29 ecobuildings, a 75kW wind generator, an ecological sewage treatment plant and the writing of a manual on ecological building have grounded the vision of a new model for human living that thinks globally and acts locally.
The adventure entered a new phase when six acres adjacent to The Park, called the Field of Dreams, was purchased in 1995 by Ecovillage Ltd and consent was obtained in 1998 to build 44 houses on 33 plots.
The dream is now a wondrous reality with 12 lived-in ecohouses of all shapes, sizes, materials and colours and all adhering to strict ecological and energy efficiency standards. Two more houses are nearing completion and two are just beginning. Both new houses are planning to use recycled stone, one from a demolished steading in nearby Kinloss to create a round house, and one using stone from an old barn near Aberdeen.
In the middle of The Field the first phase of Centini Studios also nears completion. These are two two-bedroom and five one-bedroom apartments that have already been sold, as they provide much needed simple and affordable housing for the community.
A second phase of seven more studios will be birthed in November, the month we will celebrate our first 40 years of community. It is hard to believe that this thriving ecovillage began on a bleak, windswept, sandy peninsula covered in couch grass and gorse. If life begins at 40, then here’s to at least another 40 years of transforming both the environment and human consciousness.