Sharing the 'Eco Good Life'
31 Oct 2007
A new mini eco-village is now up and running in Cornwall and there are still spaces for more residents.
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A new mini eco-village is now up and running in Cornwall and there are still spaces for more residents. The new Co-operative have bought Trelay, a 30-acre farm near Bude, with capital from the 11 founder members, lots of enthusiasm and a mortgage from Triodos Bank.
For Jackie Carpenter, former President of the Women’s Engineering Society, Trelay is the realisation of a long term ambition. ‘One of our aims is to live more lightly on the earth, grow a large proportion of our basic food on the farm and collect renewable energy,’ she says. ‘We’ve built a log store with a photovoltaic roof, which collects electricity from the sun. More solar and wind power are on the horizon, as well as insulation and rainwater water collection schemes.’
Everyone living at Trelay has their own private space. There are six houses, two mobile homes and a central community house with a large kitchen, where the group meets for most meals. They also share the laundry, games room, office caravan, tool-shed, bicycle store and one large storage barn.
The group began by digging vegetable plots and adding compost from the local council’s Green Waste Collection Scheme. Five Gloucester Old Spot pigs and a dozen chickens were soon welcomed to the small-holding, as well as a swarm of bees that fell out of the sky and have since been producing honey.
‘This way of life, with the contrast of a small private living space and a sociable community space is very re-warding,’ says Jackie. ‘There is always someone around whenever a member needs help. Car-sharing comes naturally and buying local food in bulk saves on the costs of transport and packaging. We also make our own entertainment.’
Asked if there were conflicts living in such close proximity with people, Jackie says: ‘Of course, being human, members do become angry and upset, but it is very hard to stay cross with someone who is always helping you!
‘The first three months had its share of problems but so far, this new way of life seems to have far more advantages than we had imagined. It is a way of life for the future ñ living within the planet’s resources, filled with the happiness that comes from being part of a supportive community.’
Contact: Jackie Carpenter,
Trelay Farm, St Gennys, Bude,
Cornwall, EX23 0NJ
Tel: +44 (0)1840 230 423
For further information on eco villages
Contact: Global EcoVillage Network
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