Inspiring Ecovillage Adventures for Highland and Moray Schools: A Journey into Sustainability and Action!

The Park Ecovillage, Findhorn visit

Growing2gether recently hosted four school who came to visit the Park Ecovillage, Findhorn. Pupils came from our local schools Forres and Elgin Academy as well as from the Highlands, Alness Academy and Tain Royal Academy.

During the tours, the young people explored the inspiring and innovative Park Ecovillage, discovering fascinating places like Cullerne Garden. Here, they discussed growing food for entire communities, achieving food self-sufficiency, beekeeping, and composting.

woodland shelter

The schools also walked out to the wind turbines and discussed sustainable energy. Other parts of the tours included visiting a permaculture garden and the Hinterland Shelter to learn about fire keeping.

Interactive education sessions, led by Tessa Brooke and Carolin Waldmann, centred around the Global Ecovillage Network’s (GEN) Dimensions of Sustainability: culture, social, economic, and ecology, all supported by an integral design.

Using mats and cards on the floor, the young people got to walk around the dimensions, picking up cards that represented examples seen in their local communities. This initiated group discussions about how these global issues affect us personally and the ways we can make positive changes in our own lives and communities, empowering them into action rather than overwhelming them.

Many of the young people shared local examples and began to see their communities differently. Some discovered issues they were passionate about and identified ways they could be part of the change.

The days also included quiet time in nature and personal sharing, which everyone enjoyed.
One young lady said, “I really enjoyed the day because it took off the pressure from being in a large and busy school with all the demands from peers and teachers. Being in a smaller group, touring and doing fun things, I noticed my social anxiety significantly decreased and felt like I could contribute more because fun and less pressure were involved.”

Another young person loved learning about bees, while some discovered that the Hinterland Trust offers excellent camping and outdoor courses aligned with their interests.
We hope these days have inspired the young people to take local action and be part of the change they want to see in the world.

Universal Hall

We would like to thank all the facilitators, the schools, staff and especially the pupils themselves, for making this a wonderful experience . A special thank you to all the volunteers from the Park Ecovillage whose help and support were integral to the experience, thank you, everyone.

These visits are funded by our Investing in Communities grant from the Scottish government and we are grateful for all their support.