Seasons Greetings and General Update | Enriched Earth Ecovillage
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Seasons Greetings and General Update

Seasons Greetings! 

We would firstly like to wish all our friends and supporters every good wish for the Mid-Winter Seasonal Celebrations and the upcoming new year. A time for deep reflection on all that has gone before, a time to come together in warmth through the longest night and to set our intentions for what we aspire to in the growing light of the New Year. We wish everyone of you health and happiness!

We of the Enriched Earth clann have been gathered around the hearth-fire of our dream to create an inspirational Ecovillage project and through all the ups and downs and a few false dawns, we remain steadfast in our commitment and determination. We seek to rise directly to the challenges we face of taking action on Climate Change and the Mass Extinction event we are presently in, through providing an educational hub and living exemplar of regenerative living. Read below for details of all the many developments since last blog! 🙂

All, of good will, are invited, in whatever capacity your heart calls, to be part of this project.

We have great faith in humanity and we believe that while a recent report confirms that 71% of global carbon emissions are the result of only 100 companies (mainly big oil and coal corporations). While we have Sir David Attenborough state clearly from ‘The People’s Seat’ at COP24 : “Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” We believe that Enriched Earth and GEN are part of a global and sweeping ground up movement that will bring a new dawn to humanity in how we live our lives in a more evolved way.


Winter Solstice Sunrise at Newgrange ©


Ecovillage in North Roscommon

We have identified for a while now the perfect site to meet our needs, but we have struggled to secure the funding to purchase it but are very close. We just need one or two more key investors to help us purchase. We are offering Ecovillage resident investment packages from as little as €25k for a co-housing or time-share unit (based on three sharing). We have completed an investor proposal document, a general brochure and a promo video of the target site. These can be sent privately to interested parties via emailing us at We currently have pledges of over €300k and have numerous other potential investors who are interested and are arranging to view site and in discussions. So its been a long road to date for those who have followed this project for the 4 years since inception, but it is moving ever closer to actualisation, with a little luck and your support, we can make the final push to success.

The site itself is beautiful with native woodland and direct lakeside access and housing and event development capacity.

If you wish to invest, get in touch, or if not, please do share our page and blog across any relevant groups or privately among anyone you know who may wish to be part of a pioneering Ecovillage project.

Sunrise over the Hidden Heartlands of Roscommon


Ecovillage Project in Co. Down, Northern Ireland

Change-Makers: Heiko, Steve and JP plan the North’s first Ecovillage

Following a meeting on 8th Septermber 2018 with two key supporters in Northern Ireland we are delighted to be in the process of progressing an Educational Ecovillage project in the North. This is a really exciting development. Basically following GEN Training in Estonia we had the idea of exploring a cluster approach to developing Ecovillages in Ireland. John-Paul and Heiko of Portaferry Permaculture chatted about this as the European Permaculture Convergence event in Wicklow and agreed to have a follow-up meeting with Steve of the inspirational and pioneering Lackan Cottage of Co. Down (who have just been awarded Ireland’s first prestigious Green Key Award). At this meeting Steve and Heiko agreed to sit on the board of Enriched Earth (as CIC in North) and to develop an Ecovillage cluster in Co. Down as pioneering the first Ecovillage project in the north. Steve and Heiko have a great network already of local people who work with an eco ethos e.g. a local beekeeping enterprise. This project will be developed further over the coming year with an event at Lackan Cottage in June 2019 and also via the Northern Permaculture Gathering in summer of 2019. We also have Varin of Azora Food Cooperative in Hillsborough interested in being part of this project. Onwards!

Portaferry Permaculture Project

Ecovillage Project in County Wicklow

We are also in an ongoing process to set up an Educational Ecovillage Hub in Co. Wicklow. Again given our current, very small volunteer staff, and the amount of interest we are receiving, will just take time but all is moving in the right direction. At present we have a great offer to partner with a 9 acre Eco Farm with large shared house, cottage and hostel near Glendalough and to have this as a hub for a wider Ecovillage cluster. Anyone in Wicklow who is interested in being part of this, please contact us via our email.

Other Ecovillage Projects in Ireland

Cloughjordan: Ireland’s Ecovillage Flagship

As well as the lowest carbon emitting community and national flagship of ecovillages in Ireland: Cloughjordan. There are a number of other smaller eco communities and projects around Ireland who have expressed interest in being part of what Enriched Earth is doing, in close partnership with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). We plan over the next year to follow up with these. There are also eco projects that we wish to contact directly in due time to offer them to come under the Enriched Earth and or GEN banner. If you want an Ecovillage project in your area-get in touch, get your team together and make it happen.

Global Ecovillage Network: Power of Community Summit

10,000+ GEN Projects Globally

Enriched Earth is delighted to be taking part in a free online summit hosted by GEN from 1-10th February 2019. We are convinced that GEN is one of the most transformative and potent organisations we have for ecological, social, cultural and economic regeneration. We would encourage all community groups in Ireland, all SEC’s and ecological organisations and public servants to engage with this summit and be part of the solution to the challenge of our times. 

Follow the link above for more information. An amazing list of internationally acclaimed speakers are already confirmed.

GENWISE Regional Network: Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England

Enriched Earth is delighted to be one of the 12 founding members of GENWISE the new national network we are in the process of setting up as part of GEN Europe. We are having a web conference in January 2019.

Climate Ambassador Climate Hero Awards

An Taisce Education Director Michael John O’Mahony with JP

On Thursday 29th November, John-Paul was invited to attend the An Taisce Education Climate Ambassador Climate Hero Awards ceremony. This marked the completion of the first year of the programme and John-Paul was delighted to receive a framed certificate for his work. It was an inspirational day and its Hero’s achievements were showcased. We also enjoyed a beautiful celebratory lunch! John-Paul plans to carry on his work as an Ambassador for another year with Enriched Earth as his key project.

Civic Ecology Certificate 


John-Paul also got to hang up his cloak and mortar-board for a change and go back to school as a student. He completed a very intense course in Civic Ecology with Cornell University. It was a brilliant course and highly recommended for those interested in the field. John-Paul applied all the modules taught in a final thesis on the plans for Enriched Earth. His favourite units were on Topophilia and Biophilia in which the love of place and the love of life were taught as key aspects of Civic Ecology. JP was also inspired further through studying examples of best practice e.g. the reintroduction of Oysters in New York Harbour. The importance of social-ecological memories was also taught and how we can learn from the past how to renew our future. A brilliant course and timely for our needs as a species.

Enriched Earth and Eco-Schools Partnership 

John-Paul presents Eco-Schools Green Flag

One of the most rewarding parts of the journey for Enriched Earth is being an Eco-Schools Green Flag assessor program as part of our partnership with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. JP this week got to award his 49th Green Flag to a really special, special school. The work children and staff are doing to promote biodiversity is highly commendable. Bird feeders, bird boxes, bug hotel, hedgehog box-all hand made by pupils. Great recycling and healthy eating programme involving pupils growing their own food. The personal enrichment of pupils finding a love of nature and being inspired to learn by it never fails to inspire. The dedication of teaching staff never ceases to build on our own experience of how noble and vital the profession is.

JP has also been in contact with FEE CEO Daniel Shaffer and FEE director of Education about Ireland piloting a partnership with GEN to develop an Ecovillage Green Community Award to build on Eco-Schools work. Many of John-Paul’s past Eco-Schools pupils are now parents and even teachers! We need to bring eco schools work into a continuum with adult life via eco communities. Onwards!  ✨?✨

Other News, Actions and Events

On 7th August 2018 (broadcast in two parts, in Oct 2018). John-Paul did radio interview with Una Ruddock for Eco Era program on Liffy Sound 96.4FM. In this interview he outlines his personal background as a teacher and how his work with Eco-Schools inspired him to become a GEN Ambassador and Trainer and work to develop Ecovillages in Ireland.

11h August  JP Presented on Ecovillages at the European Permaculture Gathering in Wicklow. JP did a workshop focused on using the GEN cards to give an interactive experience, his presentation was described by one participant as “inspirational.” He also spoke as part of a panel on the Sunday on how Ecovillages are a solution for our time.

GEN Cards and Mandella

12th August  JP Presented on Ecovillages to Eigse Celtic Spirituality Festival in Offally.

13th Sept  Enriched Earth facilitated Ecolise GEN Ireland Big Ecovillage Shout Out

6th October JP Attended Climate Conversation event in Carrick on Shannon and spoke with various folks about Ecovillage project.

11-12th October JP Attended Ulster Bank Accelerator programme and pitched on Ecovillage project to panel (inc head of Ulster Bank) and with audience. JP is undergoing a 6 month guided programme on entrepreneurship with the Ulster Bank and has found it very educational and motivating to date.

2oth October JP attended Roscommon Environmental Network meeting and visit to Mount Allen Eco Farm.

27th Oct JP Presented on Ecovillages to Northern Permaculture gathering planning meeting.

29th Oct Aoibhinn presented on GEN and Enriched Earth at Common Ground NI who are interested in becoming an Eco-Community Hub.

Common Ground NI Community Gathering

17th November Enriched Earth took part in Rebellion Day in Belfast as part of the Extinction Rebellion.

14th December Article on Enriched Earth published in GEN Europe Circular.

15th December meeting of core Enriched Earth team to plan way ahead.

and Finally

On 22nd December GEN Ambassador Aoibhinn gave a presentation in Belfast to a local co-operative Christmas fair, in association with LoveWorks Co-Op, regenerating in social cultural economic and ecological ways with support for artists, fixing bikes, training kids to bake, make and garden, and all with coffee, cake and a sociable community buzz! Good reception for GEN and Enriched Earth Ecovillage Supporters too.


So, phew! There you go, really need to update blog more regularly so its less like a bi-annual report 🙂

Happy Solstice, Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays to you all!

With Light and Love from all the Enriched Earth Team <3

John-Paul Patton
  • Marion Hanke
    Posted at 07:36h, 24 December Reply

    Hello Sean, thanks for the news. I hope I find the time now to follow up and read everything you’ve already sent me. Seasonal Greetings, Marion

  • Rosie Burrows
    Posted at 12:32h, 05 January Reply

    Congratulations JP? Inspiring and vital. I’m interested in exploring the feasibility of creating an eco community hub off the Ormeau road, transforming what is currently my home/garden to a shared co housing and eco community hub that offers various practices and possibilities to the community. .

    • John-Paul Patton
      Posted at 13:21h, 05 January Reply

      Rosie,this sounds fabulous and yes Belfast is crying out for this and what you propose may be the start of a domino effect for Belfast Urban Ecovillage. Email us on and let’s arrange a meeting soon to progress this. You also may wish to link in with our colleagues in Co-Housing NI, who have a team of lovely people dedicated to developing a Belfast Co-Housing project. Looking forward to seeing you soon! John-Paul ⚡

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