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What is an EcoVillage?

Paul Wimbush from Lammas EcoVillage gives his definition



Listen to the full interview with Paul Wimbush

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~ EcoVillage ~

Now our journey brings us out of our homes and into our communities. The EcoVillage is a prototype of future sustainable living communities with a goal of implementing alternative social and ecological standards. In 1991, Robert Gilman set out a definition of an ecovillage that was to become a standard. Gilman defined an ecovillage as a human-scale full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.

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What is an EcoVillage? Gilman's definition gives a basic idea - yet what does one look like and how do the people in the community live and interact with the world around them? In order to answer these questions we need to look at a little history...Before our modern societies were fashioned in the way they were people lived in small village type communities. It took centuries to bring about the huge cities and neighborhoods that we are familiar with. During the late 60's and 70's there was a "back to the land" or "commune" movement that had varying degrees of success and significant failures that contributed to the collective data base we can now tap into when asking the above questions. Many of those communities had a magnetic leader that promised to lead the way to utopia. Due to the well publicized accounts of the failures of these communes many people in our society have developed what can be called a "3C" association - Community=Commune=Cult equation when they hear about intentional communities. What we hope to bring forward is more information that will hopefully help dispel of this negative image/stereotypes and bring us all up to speed about the actual evolution that has occurred from learning from past mistakes.

Humans have had to grow up as a species and each generation learns and grows from the mistakes of their elders despite what some people may believe. People who have been involved in pioneering alternative ways of living have led the way in developmental tasks involving social experiments. People have always come together under common ideals and because of the unhealthy isolation factors of the nuclear family there has been a natural impulse to expand and move beyond "separation" barriers in our culture.

When asked what is most important to people these days you will often get "family" and "community" on the top of the list. But what kind of community and how is family even defined? This has been the area of exploration many have embarked upon and it is on this branch of the Tree of Sustainability that we will sit and ponder together the informationabout communities and families in the 21st century.


Lammas EcoVillage goals:

  1. Establishing a blueprint low-impact ecovillage in Pembrokeshire.
  2. Initiating and setting up additional low-impact projects across the UK.
  3. Campaigning for low impact development across the UK.

So to answer the question: What is an EcoVillage?
We can only say that there is no existing "prototype" yet that has set a standard that can be applied to the term - but there are many developing and existing communities that use the term to describe themselves.

There is ONE community though that is pioneering a "Low Impact Development" in Pembrokeshire Wales - United Kingdom - who is setting the precedent and standard for the term:

The LAMMAS EcoVillage

Lammas recently attained planning permission to build an EcoVillage in Wales which combines the traditional smallholding model with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture.

The proposal is for a new settlement of 9 eco-smallholdings, a campsite and a community hub building. It is sited on 76 acres of mixed pasture and woodland next to the village of Glandwr, Pembrokeshire.
Construction began in the autumn of 2009. 

You can contribute to the success of Lammas EcoVillage in many ways - please visit their website to learn more and join Lammas in sustainable solidarity and interdependence to help build the first EcoVillage to go through the UK's planning process!

Do you live in an EcoVillage or Sustainable Community?

If so contact us about the private
EcoVillage & Community Sphere!

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