One of the great and continuing mysteries at The Park is why the plot of land, owned and managed by Dunelands Ltd and earmarked for development, is called the Magic Triangle. Looked at on the map, this 15 acre plot behind the Universal Hall and adjacent to both Pineridge and Cullerne Gardens, east and west, is more or less rectangular, but the name has stuck. Perhaps that’s the sign of its magic nature!
By one of those interesting Findhorn synchronicities, two workshops were arranged to look at the development of the plot at almost the same time as the granting of outline planning permission for up to 70 buildings; next phase of our growing ecovillage. Margaret Colquhoun from the Life Sciences Trust led the first two-and-a-half day workshop. Called Listening to the Land, its aim was to develop a consensus about what the land is calling for, and what opportunities this land offers to the wider community.
This was immediately followed by a 12 day full Permaculture Design Course facilitated by Wayne Weiseman and with participants from, amongst others, the Foundation’s garden departments and the Ecovillage Training Programme. (For the uninitiated – permaculture introduces design into the land in order to create permanent ecosystems – in other words, to keep the balance of nature intact). The participants used the Magic Triangle as the basis for their permaculture designs and produced a theoretical plan of how the area might look if developed to permaculture principles.
The energy put into both these workshops has given the development project a strong start and a first blueprint. Although none of the plans produced are in any way meant to be the working ones, it seems clear that the momentum has started and the ecovillage is getting ready to change in size and shape.
I spoke to Dürten Lau, Cullerne Garden Focaliser, who attended both workshops. She explained that both groups were exploring, “…the highest ideals of living lightly on the Earth. The future will be measured by the designs we make – by our best insights about living consciously with nature.”
Living consciously with nature has long been a central principle of the Findhorn Foundation and community and clearly will be at the forefront when it comes to the new plot. In fact the strong, practical permaculture design techniques represent a new synthesis when combined with the more esoteric work of, say, Dorothy Maclean, which is also part of the fabric of the place. We all look forward to seeing just how the plot will shape-up (and whether the inner Magic Triangle will ever emerge from the outer rectangle!)