Solas Ecovillage Project

The Solas Project aims to start a forest eco-village:

Currently we number about 25 individuals comprised of 15 households. Households are either individuals, co-habitants (house sharers) or families. Our aim is to raise £100,000 for the purchase of at least 70 acres of land. This will be raised through donations of £5000 per household, so ideally we are looking for 20 households in total. We will happily increase the budget (and land size) to fit more households.

Member donations are beginning to come in and we have amassed a total of £27,000 into the Land Purchase Fund. Our policy is that donations are returnable at any time up until a piece of land has been decided upon and bought. This allows anyone objecting in any way to withdraw before a piece of land is bought without loosing money.

We have spent one year and a bit holding monthly meetings to discuss how we intend to operate, build and work with the eco-village. Full details of what we have discussed can be found here.

Our intent is to follow a so called “no-planning” approach. Part of our aim is to confront land access restrictions by challenging the authority of the planning system to dictate land use. We aim to hold land in trust as a means to befound and confront planning jurisdiction.

We are setting up two workers co-ops at the minute as a means to provide sustainable, land based livelihoods for Solas inhabitants. One is mobile, chip-fat powered, wood milling and timber building service aimed at community woodlands. We will fund this ourselves or perhaps we will be lucky with one of the grants that have been applied for. The other is a yurt builders co-op for which comprehensive training is available. With such projects, we aim to make living in the woods possible by generating a small income for individual members through co-operation and skill sharing.

Currently, there is one strong contender for mixed forested land in Galloway.

We are looking for people who want to learn more. We are looking also for new members interested in pitching in their input to the project and working towards these aims. We hope to attract members with new insights and experience. Anyone looking for a sane, sustainable, local, land-based livelihood in the woods should make themselves known on the forum. You can register to the forum (to be able to post messages on it) at this address. New enquiries should be posted in the Scotland section of the forum (hit ‘NEWTOPIC’ once registered:).

What becoming a member entails:

Potential new members will be expected to attend our meetings. This allows potential members to meet who they will be living with and get to know them. It also allows potential members to assess whether this is the right project for them and begin contributing to the consensus decision making process. These meetings take place the first weekend of each month. Please contact us for details.

If you become interested in joining Solas after attending meetings, we ask that you make a deposit of £100 towards your £5000 donation to the Land Purchase Fund.

We are also looking for candidates for land purchase. This must be wooded, ideally south facing and be in Scotland. Again, please register on the forum. You need to register to the forum to be able to post messages on it. This can be done at this address. New enquiries should be posted in the Scotland section of the forum (hit ‘NEWTOPIC’ once registered:).

If you would like someone to get in touch with more information, please email: land@hartwoodcommunity.coop

http://www.hartwoodcommunity.coop/forum/index.php

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One Response to Solas Ecovillage Project

  1. Chris says:

    How does Solas fit in with the Crofting Reform Act? It seems that this new legislation supports woodland crofts for the first time and groups of people are able to purchase land under new community right to buy legislation.

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