13 Dec Support from Local Council, Fermanagh Herald, Friends of the Earth, Bryson Energy and the Big Soup!
Support from FODC: “The principle of what Mr. Patton is proposing here makes infinite sense.”
It’s just over a fortnight since last blog and things continue to move apace. A big thank you to everyone who helped us in the planning survey for FODC. We have been in contact with the Chief Executive of the council and we were on the council agenda for consideration this month on 6th December meeting. We are delighted to let you all know that the council voted unanimously to invite Enriched Earth Ecovillage to present our proposal to the council directly. One of the councillors said “The Principle of what Mr. Patton is proposing here makes infinite sense.” Fantastic!
Full Page Spread in Fermanagh Herald: “Could this be the shape of the Future?”
We are delighted to have been given this month a full page spread in the Fermanagh Herald in support of our project. Really it was directly due to the Herald reporting on us, as the article states, that we found our 111 acre site! It’s great to see journalism (which sometimes gets a bad press-pun intended!) being such a positive force in helping Northern Ireland to pioneer its first educational ecovillage.
The online version of the article is here:
Friends of the Earth Formal Affiliation
We are also really delighted to have formalised on 30/12/16 our affiliation with the iconic ‘Friends of the Earth,’ they had this to say about us: “Innovation and education are essential elements of moving our society and economy towards a sustainable and equitable future. Friends of the Earth wishes Enriched Earth Ecovillage success as it experiments with a model of development that incorporates both the new and the old. We look forward to seeing what lessons can be learnt from their attempt at creating a better way of living in harmony with each other and the planet.” We look forward to working closely with Friends of the Earth going forward to ensure the success of our project and our shared aspirations for a better world.
Support from Bryson Energy: “Bryson Energy believe this is one of the most innovative and exciting environmental projects we have been involved in.”
We are also delighted following a meeting on 29/11/16 to have won the support of another icon of environmental action ‘Bryson Energy.’ Bryson Energy, part of the Bryson Charitable Group, plays a central role in changing attitudes and behaviours on energy efficiency, renewable energy, low carbon transport, water and waste. Bryson Energy Director, Nigel Brady, had this to say about us:
“Bryson Energy, part of Bryson Charitable Group, are delighted to be supporting Enriched Earth in their efforts to establish an Ecovillage in County Fermanagh. We applaud their pioneering effort to changing attitudes and behaviours and being an exemplar of sustainable living. We are looking forward to working with Enriched Earth, visiting their proposed Ecovillage site and surveying its potential for a range of renewable energy options. We are also very interested in exploring and developing the energy efficiency capacity of the low-impact homes they seek to build and their desire to develop optimum processes for water, waste and low carbon transport in the Ecovillage. Bryson Energy believe this is one of the most innovative and exciting environmental projects we have been involved in.”
It is our intention to set up a broad range of affiliations with other Environmental Stakeholders moving forward, we are all in this together and Enriched Earth Ecovillage is a team game.
Ecovillage in Programme for Government
We are also asking supporters to voice advocacy for an Ecovillage in NI via ‘One Planet Development Policy’ in the Programme for Government. We attended two consultation meetings on this process both with NIEL and with Social Enterprise NI and are broadly in support of this pioneering outcomes based approach as creating potentially a new climate for a more person and community centred politics in Northern Ireland. The deadline is very soon 23/12/16. We can be most usefully referenced in the outcome on “We live and work sustainably-protecting the environment” but are happy to be plugged in all sections as we work across nearly all the outcomes.
Help from Coventry University
We are also pleased that Professor Tom Woolley has brought clay samples from our site to be analysed by a phd student under the guidance of research Professor Jean-Claude at Coventry University. The research will consider its composition and use as an eco building material for a cob type approach and also for use in brick-making as it was used for such for centuries in the area. We are also very intrigued by local reports that workers of the clay with dermatitis and eczema found that it cleared up the condition. This may be of use ref therapeutic mud-baths as part of our Eco-Spa area!
On 24/11/16 we attended the AGM for Cohousing NI and remain committed to pioneering the first rural co-housing initiative in Northern Ireland. John-Paul was elected to the governing committee of Co-Housing NI.
On 7/12/16 we also were honoured to attend the AGM for NIEL and it was a pleasure to see so many people, from a broad range of Eco organisations, coming together with a genuine passion for the environment.
Enriched Earth Win Big Soup Scoop
Victory for Enriched Earth Ecovillage was also the order of the day at The Big Soup NI! On 30th November our Director John-Paul pitched against significant competition to win the public vote on the night for the Ecovillage and a welcome £240 towards the project. This money will go in the piggy-bank for a planned trip to Findhorn Ecovillage as a primary case-study.
Admin Team Meeting
Enriched Earth also held a productive Admin Team meeting on 1/12/16 which involved among other things beginning to plot out our vision unto the 111 acre site… exciting stuff!
Measuring Social Impact Workshop
On 5/12/16 John-Paul attended a fantastic whole day workshop organised by Social Enterprise NI on ‘Measuring Social Impact’ this is a critical area for us, not just in terms of our own self evaluation and effectiveness going forward but also to meet and match the criteria required by funders and government, especially in terms of the new outcomes based programme for government. The course was delivered by the very knowledgeable, experienced and engaging Nancy Brown of Gauge NI. This has added a very valuable skill-set and series of resources to the EE Team.
We wish everyone an enjoyable festive season and all good things for the coming new year <3