Ecovillage Spotlight: Findhorn Ecovillage, Scotland

Ecovillages are great habitats and support systems for people who want to live environmentally friendlier, happier, healthier lives. One of the most famous modern ecovillages, Findhorn Ecovillage, starts this ecovillage spotlight series.

Ecovillages often combine ecological planning and design with innovative social, political and/or economic systems. Additionally, they often include certain cultural or spiritual goals.


The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) states, “Ecovillages are urban or rural communities of people, who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life. To achieve this, they integrate various aspects of ecological design, permaculture, ecological building, green production, alternative energy, community building practices, and much more.”

Due to their great features but still rather obscure existence, I decided to do this “Ecovillage Spotlight” series to highlight some of the great ecovillages that exist around the world.

The ecovillages that follow show some of the great possibilities that are out there for ecologically friendly, community living.

GEN says that ecovillages are generally based on some combination of three dimensions — Social/Community, Ecological, Cultural/Spiritual.

Findhorn Ecovillage contains aspects of all three dimensions.

Findhorn Ecovillage (aka Findhorn Community) was started in 1962. It is situated in the Findhorn Bay of Moray in Scotland. Its ecological footprint is half the UK’s national average and a 2007 study found that it had the lowest recorded ecological footprint of any community in the industrialised world.

Findhorn includes 61 ecological buildings (including its unique whisky barrel houses — see the two pictures below), 4 wind turbines, a biological Living Machine ® sewage treatment system, the UK’s oldest and largest Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) system, its own bank and community currency, over 60 community businesses, and much more.

The community uses a democratic process of government and involves “diverse organisations and people associated with the community within a 50 mile radius” in its New Findhorn Association. The community has an elected voluntary Council, but, in the end, the community’s affairs really lie within the control of its 360 individual and 32 organisation members.

Findhorn also holds trainings for green buildings, ecovillage design and living, and other sustainability issues. It is used as an education center by universities, schools and professional organisations and hosts over 14,000 visitors a year from 50 different countries (picture of the Findhorn Foundation’s Cluny Hill College campus below).

Additionally, the ecovillage includes a spiritual component as it “grew out of the spiritual practice of the 3 founders, particularly the co-creation with nature work of Dorothy Maclean,” Carin Bolles of the Communications Department says. The inhabitants there often describe the community as a ‘spiritual community’, ‘education centre’, or ecovillage. Carin and others also descirbe the community as an ‘experiential learning center’ because it not only hosts ecovillage trainings but also practical spirituality, dance, and many other types of trainings, workshops and programs.

The various workshops and events the community offers are decribed on its Essential Findhorn page and its very full workshops and events calendar.

A great model of ecological living, community governance and business, and social and environmental education, Findhorn is a world leading community or ecovillage.

For more information on the community, visit the Findhorn Foundation website or visit the community during Experience Week — “it’s seven days that can change your life and your world.”

All images via Findhorn Foundation (special thanks to Carin Bolles).

  • SomeGuy

    You and the rest of the writers for this website are either misinformed do-gooders or paid liars! CO2is absorbed by plants and in turn the plant makes oxygen. Don’t just believe everything you hear. What all of this is about is control, money, and depopulation. If they can control CO2, they can control every aspect of your life. Now, these liars are trying to convince us that babies are harmful to the environment. What kind of sick, sociopath bastards are putting out this propaganda to villainize babies? I’m curious to see how long the moderators of this website let this comment remain on their site. Think for yourself people. Remember, Al Gore already has his hands in all of the so-called green technologies and if we let the lousy politicians pass all of their “green” legislation, the American taxpayers will pay for the corporations to change their ways and Al Gore will be richer than Bill Gates!!! Control, money, and depopualtion.

  • Uncle B

    The Corporatists are not going to like this! A realistic healthy way of life they don’t own a piece of! What is more, it threatens all they stand foir! Hummers in every driveway, grid hook-ups galore, great wasteful hot water tanks, home heating plants spewing out hot air, Fanciful kitchens filled with power wasting appliances, great walls-full of TV advertising! How is a salesperson to make a commission? How can vulture ROI plans strangle this economy?What ever happened to the “American Dream” lifestyle? No soldiers to morne no “bastard-children” to raise! What romance can their be in this? We must eradicate all traces of this abomination before anybody catches on! How else can we sustain our warring ways? our pilfering exploitations? Corporate existence itself? Eradicate these ‘intellectuals” from the face of the earth, poste haste, for our very corporate survival! Next they will want the blue-prints for the EV-1. No way they can stay! Call in the propagandists! Call in the troups! burn them to the ground! Erase their writings, tapes, movies, souls if necessary! Stop this anti-corporatist cancer before it infests America!, Canada, Europe and beyond, even China! Oh no! not China, our most recent convert, not them!

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