Applied Ecovillage Living

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For details of registration and programme start time see here.

Craig Gibsone & Vera Franco

Co-creation with Nature and the Nature of Oneself

This pioneering month was inspired during the creation of the Global Ecovillage Network and contributed greatly to the formation of Gaia Education and the curriculum of its most successful international educational programmes.

There has been so much knowledge, love and passion. This has been a wonderful step on my path to re-gain the knowledge to live with the earth and learn from it.

Chloe, 18, Scotland, AEL 2015

Experience directly the interwoven tapestry of the Findhorn Foundation community - a pioneering ecovillage dedicated to co-creation with spirit and nature. The community/ecovillage is now well integrated into the local bioregion and engages symbiotically with it in ways that foster human and ecosystemic resilience.

Meeting the increasingly urgent global need for viable, sustainable human settlements, ecovillages serve as models of environmental, social, economic and spiritual sustainability. Providing an enhanced quality of life for all species, they reharmonise our relationship with the natural world in a regenerative and empowering way.

Applied Ecovillage Living is about connecting and belonging: connecting the interdependent dots of all of life’s diversity and exploring our place within the whole. You will come away from this programme with a sense of kinship to a rich global movement and gain a greater feeling of belonging to the Earth and the Earth belonging to you.

Living Machine Universal Hall roof

Ecovillages aim to restore the balance between the four elements: earth, air, fire and water, returning humans to a sustainable relationship with all other communities of life. With practical tools and living group experience we will cultivate an embodied sense of self and place. This dynamic world work opens you to vision, inspiration and insight into your true purpose in life.

Within the held space of our vibrant community we will create our own group dynamic and support one another in integrating the rich and diverse content of this course, giving you the opportunity to move from theory to deep practice in an environment of being valued for who you are. The structure and practical work of the course will empower you with the inner and outer tools to create your own place in the world.

Ecovillage communities are cohesive social structures, united by common collective and/or spiritual values. Working with the simple principle of not taking more away from the Earth than we give back, they are consciously diminishing their ecological footprint, which can be applied equally to urban or rural settings, in developing and developed countries.

Topics covered include:

  • Comprehensive Permaculture design introduction
  • Local organic food production and right livelihood
  • Renewable energy systems and energy efficiency models
  • Cooperative social economies and complementary currencies
  • Inclusive decision-making processes and deep ecology
  • Earth restoration and biological waste water treatments
  • Ecological building and community design
  • Cultural and Spiritual diversity

Join a growing global network of hundreds of thousands individuals and a globe-spanning and expanding community of ecovillage initiatives.

Wind turbine Field of Dreams eco houses

For the first two weeks we explore a model for a more urban approach to the ecovillage concept by setting up our living classroom at Cluny Hill, an old Victorian Hotel now converted to a community house where 130 people share a common living and working space. The building contributes greatly to the reduction of the community’s carbon footprint and is also located in the town of Forres, part of the Transition Town network.

Week 1 - People Care
Building Effective Groups, Deep Ecology & Designing For Transition

Introduce ourselves and our projects to one another. Co-create together the learning environment we need. Build group respect and understanding as a basis for concerted action. Through deep ecology we place ourselves within the web of life as a creative, accountable species and examine our impact upon the earth. The embodied expertise in the community and the three permaculture ethics - people care, fair share and earth care – guide us to our next steps in living a responsible future.

Week 2 - Fair Share
Economic Sustainability, Right Livelihood & Organic Food Production

Explore how we can live well on the Earth - providing for our needs in a way that respects our community, communities on the other side of the world and the ecosystems that support and sustain us. The Findhorn Foundation community provides us with tools and examples, including a large and diverse organic food production network, a community bank and currency, and a range of other social enterprises. Visit small community farms, studying their production methods, exploring their values and digging more deeply into underlying concepts such as right livelihood and voluntary simplicity that are needed to walk more gently on the Earth. Participate in a collective shared living experience.

Group In Garden Hands in a group

For the last two weeks we move our living classroom to The Park, the original site where the Findhorn Community and Ecovillage was born. Here we broaden our enquiry in a more rural setting with smaller, dispersed dwellings, using as a case study the restorative process of transforming sand dunes on an old military base into the famous Findhorn gardens.

Week 3 - Earth Care
Human Settlements, Ecological Building & Wilderness Restoration

Explore the design and construction of settlements that fit harmlessly into the landscape and into the climatic regions of programme participants. Hands on learning of our biological waste water treatment and a diverse range of renewable energy systems you will design and build ecologically. You will explore the Scottish wilderness and support the restoration and protection of our wild frontiers.

Week 4 - Design Projects
The Principles of Permaculture & Designing for the Future

With celebration and ritual, the final week weaves together the various threads we spun during the first three weeks, grounding the experience and preparing the next steps. Working on projects in groups and drawing on the human, physical and spiritual resources of the Findhorn Ecovillage, create practical designs for new initiatives that can be implemented in your home environment. Integrating and harmonising our human footprint starts at home.

Cluny Garden Shed Cullerne Garden Compost Mounds

Tiered price (click here for more information): £2440 / £2010 / £1840

Tiered Pricing

Before you book your place, please take a moment to consider that the Findhorn Foundation is a Charitable Trust. We believe that the benefits of holistic learning should be available to everyone regardless of their financial or life situation, and that the transformational journey is enriched by a diversity of participants.

We recognise that what is affordable for some can be a financial stretch for others and offer a tiered pricing structure. When you book, please select the price that feels appropriate for you.

Pay it Forward Price covers the cost of your workshop and includes a contribution to our bursary fund. This will make participation possible for one or more people who otherwise would not be able to join our transformational work in the world."

Sustainable Price covers the cost of your workshop and helps us to sustain our learning and guest facilities.

Supported Price reflects a partial bursary toward the cost of your workshop and is intended for those with minor financial need.

Includes four weeks accommodation, full board (vegetarian meals), refreshments, the programme content and field trips.

Convert to your own currency using The Universal Currency Converter.

  • If you cannot afford the full fee, you can apply for a bursary when completing the Application Form. A limited number of bursaries, funded by trusts and the Findhorn Foundation itself, are available to suitable applicants. Applications for financial assistance should be made as soon as possible. This will enable us to assess all applicants and allocate funds in the fairest possible manner.
  • If you can afford to pay more than the full fee for this programme you can make a donation to the bursary fund when completing the Application Form. Your donation will be gratefully received and used to help those who cannot afford the whole fee.

For more information send an email to

Presented in association with

GEN Europe

Gaia Education

GEN Europe Logo Gaia Education Logo

AEL2015 groupIn February 2015, ten men and ten women from Australia, Belgium, China, Corsica, Germany, India, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Spain, Turkey, Zambia and the UK, took part in this month-long intensive exploring how to live together in community, sustainably with the Earth and all expressions of life.

Drawing from the experience of this community and sharing its tools, the 20 participants aged from 18 to 73 years old, explored and learned about permaculture and deep ecology, group dynamics and ecological building techniques, alternative currencies and waste-water systems, farming and community supported agriculture, social enterprise and ecological restoration.

Here's what they have to say about the experience:

The essence for me has been the personal enrichment coming from living in a diverse yet focused community, with an underlying spirituality centred on universe, creation, nature and the oneness of all creation.

Michael, 74, Australia, AEL 2015

This course has been inspiring, educational and grounding for me in relation to the problems and solutions facing individual and global survival.

Brian, 27, N Ireland, AEL 2015

I found it to be a very holistic way of living and relating to the entire Earth community - love in action and deep spirituality with a new world view.

Brigitha, 61, India, AEL 2015

The Findhorn Foundation and Community

An ever-evolving, living demonstration of creative solutions for the future.

  • The largest single intentional community in the UK
  • Linking spiritual, social, ecological and economic domains
  • A pioneering ecovillage since 1985, receiving Best Practice designation from the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat)
  • A major centre for holistic learning serving 9,000 visitors a year from over 50 countries
The Findhorn Foundation has one of the lowest recorded ecological footprints for any community in the industrialised world, just half the UK national average, and has birthed more than 50 businesses and social ventures in the local region.

  • Over 60 ecologically benign buildings
  • Three wind turbines with a total capacity of 675 kW
  • A biological Living Machine sewage treatment system
  • Numerous solar water heating systems
  • Biomass boiler heating system total capacity of 250 kW
  • Comprehensive recycling and composting scheme
  • Published UK’s first technical guide to ecological housing
  • Our own community currency and community investment fund
  • Is served by a car-sharing club that includes zero-emissions electric vehicles
The Applied Ecovillage Living programme has institutional endorsement from UNITAR - United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

50+ Years of Embodied Knowledge & Wisdom

The Findhorn Foundation participates in the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organisation, and is a partner of CIFAL Scotland, actively sharing our knowledge and experience of integrated and sustainable development.