GEN Conference, Climate Ambassador, RIP Peter Guest, Belfast Urban Ecovillage and more... | Enriched Earth Ecovillage
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GEN Conference, Climate Ambassador, RIP Peter Guest, Belfast Urban Ecovillage and more…

It’s been a while since we have managed to write up our blog, it’s been a very busy time and much has happened!

Climate Ambassador Work

IMG_2098Environment Minister affirming on-going support for Enriched Earth

On 21st April 2018 John-Paul gave a presentation on Enriched Earth at a Climate Ambassador Networking event in Sligo. The presentation was well received at an event in which ambassadors shared their projects, ideas and inspirations.

On 27th May John-Paul as a GEN and Climate Ambassador was invited to the “Housing Ourselves: A Co-operative Approach to Regenerating, Redesigning and Reimagining Housing” Conference at Cloughjordan Ecovillage. This brought together some of the key “movers and shakers” in Ireland who are leading the way in innovative approaches to housing. Enriched Earth was honoured to be invited to take part in this vital dialogue.

On 23rd June John-Paul was invited as a Climate Ambassador to be a table-host for the first ever National Dialogue on Climate Action in Athlone. This was a great event and we are delighted that Enriched Earth got to feature in the official video and brochure following the event. It was also encouraging to again meet Minister Naughton who affirmed his support for our project following an excellent meeting with him and some of his team just before Easter.

On 7th August John-Paul also conducted his first Radio Interview with Una Ruddock to be broadcast on the Eco Era program on Liffey Sound 96.4FM and on 92.5 Phoenix FM. We will let you know when the interview is broadcast.

Peter Guest RIP <3 

peter guestPeter Guest

On 9th May we said farewell to one of our most passionate and dedicated supporters, Peter Guest. It’s as hard now as it was then to post about what a loss to Enriched Earth Peter’s untimely death is. Peter had agreed to sit on our Board as Financial Director and was confident that he could help secure significant investment funding for the project. He was someone with a wealth of experience in this field.

Our professional loss aside, we are also genuinely impacted on a personal level and feel deeply for his family, especially his beautiful wife Bernadette. Peter’s funeral was a touching and uplifting celebration of a bighearted man, a man with infinite character and charisma. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. Enriched Earth will honour his memory by having a memorial feature in his honour on our pilot Ecovillage site.

While he is gone from us physically as a friend and as CEO of NI Investments, we know the legacy of his support for us will reverberate onwards; not least through the support of his colleague Tom Griffiths (Voted in top 100 UK Entrepreneurs of 2017 by Sunday Times) who is a keen supporter of Enriched Earth.

Peter will always be a part of our story and a founding pillar of our project.

GEN: Assembly and Conference

On behalf of Enriched Earth, Aoibhinn Treanor and John-Paul Patton attended the GEN Europe Conference in Lilleoru Ecovillage in Estonia between 10-14th July 2018. The conference was inspirational: 4 days, 119 workshops, with 600 participants from 46 countries. Highlights for us included getting to meet Ross Jackson (GEN Founder) and also getting to hang out with GEN luminaries Alan Bates and Jonathan Dawson.

Perhaps the best part of the conference was the “Meet the Ecovillages” event and John-Paul and Aoibhinn were given a slot to promote the work of Enriched Earth as an embryonic ecovillage and also the work of GEN Ireland which is just being set up as part of GEN WISE (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England) Network, which we are delighted to be helping to found. We had an incredible amount of international interest in GEN Ireland and also met some potential investors for Enriched Earth.

John-Paul also attended the 3 day GEN Europe General Assembly before the conference as a guest and got to get a first hand insight into the work of GEN Europe. He was very impressed and it was great to see representatives of Eco Communities from so many countries in Europe all coming together with an incredible sense of unity in purpose and determination. John-Paul was given the opportunity to present to the assembly on Enriched Earth.

editJohn-Paul, Ross and Aoibhinn

GEN Training of the Trainers

After the conference John-Paul and Aoibhinn stayed on in Estonia for 5 intense days with 35 amazing people from 17 different countries to do the first ever GEN Training of the Trainers event. We had people from USA, The Philippines, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Turkey, Jordan and South Korea, also from all over Europe including Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Austria, France, Hungary, Finland, Scotland, England and of course Ireland. What an amazing team of people, all determined to be the change-makers. This was very intense, but very educational and inspirational. The training was delivered by the wonderful Kosha Joubert (GEN CEO) and the delightful Anna Kovasna (Director of GEN Education).

Perhaps one of the most poignant parts of the programme was a presentation delivered by GEN President Daniel Greenberg in association with GEN partners the Pachamama Alliance. We watched a film that outlined with no punches pulled the reality of Climate Change and Mass Species Extinction that we face; it was heartbreaking in many ways. However the film then went on to say how we can address these problems and how the solutions are very much at hand IF we act now. It was very inspirational and motivational. This is not a game. We truly think the GEN and our partner organisations hold the keys to a genuinely regenerative future. We need to all be part of the solution.

IMG_2351GEN Trainer Pioneers

IMG_2345Our dear friend and fellow EDE graduate Philip with John-Paul and Aoibhinn

GEN Ambassador and Trainer: Aoibhinn Treanor


We are delighted to have Enriched Earth’s Aoibhinn Treanor not only complete the Training of the Trainers Course but become a GEN Ambassador for Ireland.

Aoibhinn built on last year’s Ecovillage Experience Week at Findhorn and her attendance at Damanhur’s Ecovillage Design Education with full GEN conference and training participation in Lilleoru. Her favourite themes at the Conference were the fairness of accountable organisations and the development of new green technologies.

Aoibhinn has a primary degree in Law and French, a Masters Degree in International Human Rights Law and is studying for another in Advanced Legislative Studies. She is a Legislation Clerk currently working for the Westminster House of Commons and NI Assembly Bill Offices, where she advises on the drafting and passage of legislation. She has always been passionate about the Environment.

As a long-term Belfast resident she is looking forward to work on an urban ecovillage for Enriched Earth and to helping us engage with a broad range of stakeholders and access the legislative process across the UK and Ireland.

Greater Belfast Urban Ecovillage

This is an idea that has been in the longer-term vision for Enriched Earth and we have recently been approached by a number of interested partners and investors to bring an Urban GEN project to Belfast. This is really quite an exciting development and at this stage we are just beginning to put together a team of key stakeholders. Watch this space!

European Permaculture Convergence


John-Paul has been invited to be part of a panel at the European Permaculture Convergence event in Wicklow (8-13th August) on 12th August as part of the ‘Partners in Permaculture Day.” Some day tickets are still left but get them quick if you’d like to come along.

Educators, artists, activists and representatives from related organisations, local & international networks, Transition Towns, Ecovillages and sustainable living initiatives have been invited to join the EuPC to explore with European Permaculturists how we expand the edge of Permaculture and mainstream regenerative design.

This dynamic session will blend full room conversations, small group conversations, panel discussions and online participation.

How might Permaculturists cooperate with other movements?
How could other networks benefit from adopting a Permaculture approach?
How do we maximise beneficial relationships with other organisations? 

Davie Philip, (Cultivate, Cloughjordan Ecovillage, ECOLISE) and Andy Goldring (Permaculture Association of Britain, Permaculture CoLab, ECOLISE) will host this session which will feature Iva Pocock (Cloughjordan Ecovillage, ECOLISE). Theresa O’Donohoe (Future Proof Clare, Transition Towns) Emily Archer (Artist) Joanne Butler (Community Gardens Network, GROW Observatory),  Fox Keohane (Community Living Network, European Democratic Education Community), John-Paul Patton (Global Ecovillage Network Ambassador Ireland, Enriched Earth & Climate Ambassador), Róisín Nic Cóil (Community Supported Agriculture), Bobby McCormack (Development Perspectives), Suzie Cahn (Carraig Dúlra, Project Coordinator for Recycling Ambassador Programme), Mark Boyle (Freeconomy Community) and many others.”

We are really looking forward to the conversation! John-Paul will also be offering a talk and workshop on GEN and Enriched Earth at the Convergence.

Èigse Festival of Celtic Spirituality

John-Paul has also been invited to present a talk and workshop at Eigse Festival on “The Ecovillage movement in the areas of ecological, cultural, economic and social sustainability.” It was actually during this festival four years ago that John-Paul began to develop the idea of setting up an educational ecovillage in Ireland. John-Paul is passionate about the preservation and celebration of indigenous culture including our native Irish spirituality and this is something that forms a key value and objective for Enriched Earth.

Other News

The team at Enriched Earth have also drafted a co-purchase proposal for a rural Ecovillage site in West Ireland having found a location that ticks all the boxes for our project. We invite anyone who may be interested in this to email us via and we can send more information. We also have another potential site for Enriched Earth in Wicklow and that is currently being explored as an option too.

Get Involved!

The plan is for Enriched Earth, working closely with GEN to set up a series of rural and urban Ecovillage examples across Ireland. We will be working to network and collaborate with existing good practice and to develop local and regional networks.

If you have land, a building or a rural or urban community that you would like to see developed into an Ecovillage project, then please do get in contact!

We intend to be key delivery partners in Ireland for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and also as part of the Ireland2040 project to reduce Carbon Emissions. Cloughjordan Ecovillage has the lowest carbon footprint of any community in Ireland, as does Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland for the UK. GEN works with 10,000+ communities internationally, the approach is proven, and we just need to roll out GEN Ecovillages, urban and rural, Island wide in creating the solutions for the needs of our time.

Also please do make sure and get yourself on our email database for occasional updates, like our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter.

We have a world to win-come join our journey.




John-Paul Patton
  • Lorraine Austin
    Posted at 22:17h, 26 February Reply

    Would like to join an ecovillage

    • John-Paul Patton
      Posted at 23:35h, 26 February Reply

      Yes, we are just working to set up a series of Ecovillages in Ireland and you’d be welcome to get involved. Email us on and tell us more about you and what your looking for. You can also look at database of international Ecovillages on GEN website if your looking outside Ireland. Good luck!

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