Since December 2016, I, Ludwig Appeltans am the proud owner and custodian of the most beautiful peninsula in Scotland.
Rubha Phoil is the perfect location to create what I have been dreaming of and working towards for ten years: A small permaculture community that can function as a bright example of permaculture to inspire others.
The community would embody:
- A secure safe place to live, for people of all ages, history and skills
- Educational aspects in all things permaculture: food growing, natural building, resilience, nature connection, mindfulness, workshops, nature connection holidays for families and small groups and more
- A well protected and managed natural haven for the wild things
- A community way of living inspired by the way native people live and work together
- A clever designed way for us all to earn a living from the land by reducing living costs, working together, sharing resources and creating an income from the land.
Part of the cultural design has already been made. It will be a permaculture community, with clear permaculture ethics. We will all have our own private space. It will be a nature-based culture in the community, inspired by native cultures through the work of 8 Shields. We will design the rest of the community together.
You can see and follow and partake in the development of the culture design on the website here.
You can see more photos on Flickr here.
How you can get involved
- Apply to join the community as a permanent or temporary resident: Apply here
- If you want to come for a visit to check out possibilities to join, please contact us for a discount on our rented accommodation. (Discount calculated by ability to pay; you don’t need to pay if you want to volunteer)
- Come to help as a volunteer
- Give us a loan for one year: The previous owner has been really generous in passing the land and the full control over the land to the next generation. And also by allowing me an extra year to pay the remaining purchase fee of £80.000. The plan is to find people who are able and willing to invest their capital in buying land to build a home. Finding buyers is not a problem. Finding the right people can take some time. Designing a community so people know what they are joining takes even more time. So I’m looking for a crowd loan to buy more time.
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's
1John Harrison October 1st, 2017
It looks absolutely wonderful – reading this gives me hope for the human race.
2Peter Green October 1st, 2017
Please tell me this land is high enough above sea level not to be effected by rising sea levels.
What a beautiful idea and yes, I agree with your conclusion that this is the best way to live. In harmony with the planet and the people around you.
I wish you all the luck in the world with this!
3Ludwig Appeltans October 1st, 2017
Of course, this danger is something I took into account. The current rate of sea level rise is still quite small 1-2mm per year. Even if it does speed up according to the worst case scenario, it will be 1000 years before the community is affected. If that is what is going to happen, the community and the human race is quite likely to be extinct for other reasons. The community is -amongst other things- an attempt to show people how we can live a lifestyle that is designed to regenerate our ecosystem and hopefully will contribute to slowing down or even reversing climate change. If that is possible. Sea level rise is not listed amongst our short term concerns in our permaculture design.
4Danielle Stern October 1st, 2017
hello Ludwig what you are wanting to do is what i dream to be part of. I am a 62yrs young woman born in Namibia southern africa and lived in the netherlands for 25 yrs 6yrs in France and am not without a home of my own, living on a campsite trying to find the place I should be. I wonder if have the Physical strength to build and dig, but there is so much to do in a community and i love working in the soil.
The piece of earth you are becoming a custodian of is beautiful …as i believe Scotland is.
Perhaps it would be an idea to come and visit and feel whats its like
I have one problem I am a custodian of a hunting dog. She came my way and she is my best friend.
Every time I think of wanting to live on a farm ,
oh boy…how am i going to do this with her comes to mind.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful plans.
5Laurie. October 1st, 2017
How wonderful, i would have been interested in joining you a few years back, but have found my own slice of heaven in rural SW Scotland. Creating something similar, with yoga retreat. Finally enjoying some fruits of all the last 2 years gardening labour. Worth every bit of blood, sweat and tears. Wish you all the very best, especially in finding the right people. ?
6Angela Matthews October 1st, 2017
Resonates completely with me Would love it but sadly am now 66yrs old and been type 1 diabetic for 51yrs, so probably something I should not even consider I’ll dream on! But just in case, I have a horticultural worklife, own land and a home Four ponies, a terrier and chickens and still grow some of my own food whilst caring for my animals/birds Busy retirement! Good luck and good health to you and your chosen peoples
7Jane October 1st, 2017
Me too ,but settled in central Portugal going for it at 60 .much warmer here for me and abundance of food ready to be picked .wishing you all you desire to complete this project , I am gaining knowledge on worm toilet systems grey water solar cobing dry stone walling ,as well as how to pick olives quick etc would love to visit one day .
8jo lowimpact October 1st, 2017
If only I lived on that side of the world! Best of luck to you.
9Ludwig Appeltans October 2nd, 2017
Hi Danielle, you are welcome to apply to join us. You can do that here https://www.earth-ways.co.uk/new-members/
Dogs (and cats) are a problem though. After observing the land and the life on it, it became clear that dogs and cats have a huge impact on the wild life. I wouldn’t be fair to the wild life to have them on the land. Sorry.
10The Big Garden and Croft October 2nd, 2017
J > Have you discussed your proposals with Highland Council? Everything you do – other than growing what the land grows naturally – will require planning consent (and building warrants). We certainly wish you well, as Skye is rapidly becoming just like anywhere else in this crazy world, and needs re-balancing. In Uist we’re a long way from any such worry, with population falling again.
11Ludwig Appeltans October 2nd, 2017
I have indeed invited planning to come for a visit. They are very supportive. There already is planning consent for two houses (one is build already) and one flat. We have asked for consent for another residential home and to extend our ‘caravan park’ to have more huts. And there already is a lot of infrastructure. The place is perfect ?
12satkartar kennedy October 12th, 2017
A fabulous opportunity, i lived on a hebridean island called Erraid in 2010 as part of small community….[ findhorn foundation] loved it! Its always the people that make the community 100%…dosent matter where you are in the world. there were problems mainly with two people not pulling their wieght, usually is, ive stayed in a few also lived in Damanhur Italy which was intreasting….chance to get away from the not so real and scarey world!!! Its hard work though so those who think theyl be having easier time re work think again….Plus`s….many…..working together, supporting and really getting to know people, cultivating compassion, acceptence, non judgement…Loved eating together especially!