Guardians of Wild Nature

The Findhorn Foundation is very grateful for the donation that enables us to become the guardians of Wilkies Wood and Hinterland, providing for The Park a green belt – free from development – in perpetuity.

Mari Hollander, Findhorn Foundation Trustee.

A symbolic handover, a blessing of the land and a perimeter walk allowing those present to get a sense of the land and its diversity were all part of a recent celebration to mark the Findhorn Foundation taking into custodianship 34 hectares of wild land. Located between Findhorn Dunes Trust land, the Bichan family land and Cullerne Farm and once a part of the Wilkie Estate, this parcel of land was purchased by the Foundation from Duneland Ltd and will continue to be managed by the Findhorn Hinterland Group as conservation land in perpetuity. The Findhorn Hinterland Group, a local community group begun in 2005 and now with over 100 members, has been caring for these hectares over the past nine years.

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During the celebration Jonathan Caddy, son of Eileen and Peter Caddy and founding shareholder of Duneland Ltd, recounted that at the time he was growing up here, the land adjacent to The Park was not accessible. That changed when Duneland Ltd purchased the Wilkie Estate in 1997. The old fences were removed and the woodlands area made available for use by the public. The northern half of the land was donated to the Findhorn Dunes Trust to be preserved as a nature reserve in perpetuity, and of the remaining land a small percentage was designated for development as part of the ecovillage in The Park – East and West Whins. The remainder was held as amenity land, including a Green Burial Site and buffer zone between the residential areas and the dunes. The Foundation, as the new landowner of this amenity land, is committed to maintaining open access.

Using a map showing the land at the heart of the celebration, representatives from Duneland Ltd (Eian Smith, Chair of the Board of Directors), the Findhorn Foundation (Lisette Schuitemaker, Chair of Trustees) and the Findhorn Hinterland Group (Jonathan Caddy, Convenor) symbolically transferred the land from one to another. When Lisette received the map, she honoured the devic realm, speaking of the Hinterland as a place where the devas can reside and we can be in co-creation with them.

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Jonathan Caddy and Lisette Schuitemaker with the symbolic hand-over

It is a story of co-creation between the devas and Lisette that is behind the Findhorn Foundation receiving the funds needed for the purchase of the land as it was the influence of the devas that prompted Lisette to make a donation. She wrote in one of our newsletters: “I am deeply grateful for the gentle nudging I received from my contact with the devic realm. They have shown me again how to be true to my belief that we all give what we can and that there is always more I can give … giving is itself an act of co-creation. It connects and makes us the one we have always been.”

If you live locally, or are here visiting, the Findhorn Hinterland Group extends an open invitation for anyone interested in conservation to join in with work parties which take place 9.30am-12pm on the last Saturday of the month, meeting at the Hinterland information point in Wilkies Wood. For more information you can visit their website.

Sandra Mitchell

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