ERASMUS+ Youth Leader Mobility Scheme by Deborah Benham

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Newbold believes in a life sustaining society where we can thrive personally, co-exist in harmony, feel interconnected with the living system of the planet and therefore protect and conserve this for future generations. We believe in empowerment and positive leadership. Newbold believes that to build a more positive society we must empower leaders to face the challenges of today.

Reports from a wide range of Youth charities show that young people face unprecedented challenges in the modern world. Finding meaningful employment is increasingly difficult, and with record levels of unemployment and decreasing job security, many feel a sense of anxiety about the future. Collectively, young people will be the most affected by alarming global trends like climate change, environmental degradation, and social tensions based on culture, religion, or class. At the same time, it is our young people who have the most potential and often the most drive to contribute to a sustainable future.

We aim to harness and empower that potential through recently awarded ERASMUS+ funding. Newbold have been awarded 50,000 Euros by the ERASMUS+ Youth Leader Mobility scheme to run two fantastic 8 day trainings for Youth Leaders in August and September.

In the training participants will learn how to empower young people to identify and use their unique strengths and qualities, in service to themselves and their communities. This will enable them to develop more rewarding careers and take an active and positive role in their local communities.

deb_poppyBy Deborah Benhan

A PhD Marine biologist and animal behavior expert, Deborah is an environmental educator and sustainability designer working to support the emergence of regenerative culture and the recovery of healthy ecosystems through innovative design, stakeholder engagement, multidisciplinary education and deep nature connection.

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‘The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future’ by Allan Gray

‘The Heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future’
Wendell Philips

This week we were privileged to have the company of Harley & Cally as our guests at Newbold. Co-founding members of Newbold.

 

IMG_5540_nHarley and Cally spoke about being drawn to Newbold and the determination to create a life at the Victorian House. On 17th November 1980 they officially formed their own community and charitable trust (still renting the house from the landlords) The trust succesfully operated workshops regularly which lead to the Newbold Trust community purchasing the property for £85,000 in May 1983.

The House began to run its economy according to a system of donations, which proved highly successful and offered a persuasive alternative to accepted business practices. Buoyed up by the generosity of its guests, Newbold was paid off within ten years and has been self-managed since under the guardianship of a group of Trustees, plus the management and operations skills of a resident team of core members.

IMG_5531Harley and Cally shared stories through the evening with current volunteers and staff members sharing photographs and experiences of life in community. They told stories of the garden, stories of music, stories of laughter, stories of challenges and stories of change. I felt warmed by their open and loving nature; I felt honoured to be part of the Newbold Story.

Harley and Cally are a couple with strong values IMG_5520who had the drive to create a community that is still vibrant and upholding the same values 36 years later. The determination, love and resilience of Harley and Cally  and the people that joined them are what made everything at Newbold possible and created a future for which the present and future Newbold residents will be forever grateful.

 

XjnMopamBy Allan S Gray

Allan, local to the area of Moray and a graduate of the University of Highlands and Islands, Allan has a key interest in environmental protection, adventure and for the community of Moray.

Celebrating the Celtic Festivals – Imbolc by Heather Walley

At Newbold one of our traditions is to celebrate the ancient Celtic festivals throughout the year in order to honour our essential connection to the land and the rhythm of the seasons. We feel it is important to acknowledge the cycles of nature and how they are connected to the growing of our food and to give gratitude to the earth for the abundance we enjoy. This helps us to feel connected to the rhythms of life, each other and the importance of keeping in balance with the natural world that sustains us.

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Lighting our Imbolc candle and blessing our seeds.

The first of these festivals is Imbolc, traditionally celebrated around the 1st February, it literally means “in the belly” and marks the end of winter’s reign and the first stirrings in the belly of the earth of the energy of new growth. It is about celebrating the light returning, which we symbolise by lighting our white Imbolc candle,  and the first stirrings of new life in the soil and in the plants. We use this time to plant our first seeds and bless their growth for the coming season.

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Planting the first spinach seeds of the season in the greenhouse.

Imbolc is traditionally the great festival and honouring of Brigid (Brighid, Bride, Brigit), so loved as a pagan Goddess that her worship was woven into the Christian church as St Bridget, and the festival is also known as Candlemas. She is a Goddess of healing, poetry and smith craft; also of fire, the sun and the hearth. She brings fertility to the land and its people. One of her symbols is the snowdrop, the first flowers of Spring offering hope and new life after the harshness of winter, which have here found their way inside to bless one of our polytunnels!

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Snowdrops in the polytunnel.

Imbolc is a Fire Festival, so we gather round the fire after our seed planting to ask for a blessing on our land and on each other, and to share poems, stories and music. This is usually followed by a delicious meal in the dining room in honour of our wonderful volunteers!

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Playing music round the fire.

Brigid’s Cross. This is a traditional fire wheel symbol – used to decorate the hearth as a symbol of protection, here being blessed along with our seeds.

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Brigid’s cross and seeds.

More pictures of our celebration can be found on our Facebook Page.

heather_rockHeather Walley has been a resident member of the Newbold Community for over 5 years and before that, lived on the Isle of Erraid as a member of the Findhorn Foundation community there. As well as being an artist, she is a certified Esalen Massage practitioner, teacher and enthusiastic horsewoman!

Toward a Permanent Culture

I’ve arrived as a new volunteer at Newbold after attending the Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) Course at Findhorn this past autumn. Since 2013, I’ve been volunteering at a number of similar projects — retreat centres, educational institutes, and spiritual communities — each with its own strengths and challenges, each aiming to achieve sustainability, each taking active steps to improve their infrastructures, foodways, social networks, and habits. I’m delighted with how Newbold compares to the others, and how folks here are engaged with the challenges of making Newbold more sustainable.

The EDE Course divided sustainability into four aspects: spiritual,economic, ecological, and social. Something Newbold does particularly well is the social aspects. I like how we Newbolders incorporate spirituality throughout our daily life, from the morning meditations & Taize singing, to casual conversations at tea break or mealtimes. No one insists that we all follow one particular path, yet I get the sense that we all hold some things sacred, which makes me feel welcomed among warmhearted folk.

An exciting area with which I’m involved is the development of in-house educational programmes at Newbold. One of Newbold’s strengths is on the social side, for instance, a new monthly-meeting Permaculture Design Course (PDC) will be offered at Newbold soon (permaculture.com.au/what-is permaculture).  Permaculture espouses a more ‘permanent’ ‘culture’  including pattern thinking, sustainable design, re-imagining human settlements and resource management and also include personal and social permaculture aspects, which is why it seems like such a natural fit here at Newbold. Many of the places I visited were using permaculture, especially the ones concerned about local food.

 

Permaculture applies the same principles used in ecological systems to social systems (loobymacnamara.mouseman.info/people-and-permaculture), encapsulated in the phrase: “planet-care, fair-share, and people-care.” If we are to become a truly sustainable culture we’ll need to communicate, make decisions, negotiate conflicts, and gather for celebrations and ceremonies. People-care is what Newbold does particularly well. The culture here includes a balance of work time, informal group time, and personal time; meetings happen regularly both for personal sharing and to take care of business. There’s an emphasis on non- violent, or “compassionate communication,” (compassionatecommunications.us) so that when difficult conversations need to happen relationships can stay intact, or even be strengthened. Sociocracy structures (sociocracy.info) help discussion of changes in policy, and ensure that most of us are well-informed when decisions are taken. I’ve been introduced to the 8-Shields work of Jon Young (8shields.com), with specific practices to create a more regenerative culture. We who work and reside here feel valued, nurtured and supported so that we can ably convey our sense of well-being to guests and visitors. It’s striking to me, and I haven’t found anything like it in all my travels. At Newbold, I have I found a culture which cares about people *and* the planet. So I’m hopeful, and encouraged, and plan to stay a while to learn what I can, and teach what I’ve learned.

 

root2

Root Cuthbertson is an environmental educator, local food gastronomist, honey collector, dance teacher, story-teller, singer-songwriter, blog-writer (that’s a new one!), and is working on a sci-fi action adventure novel.

Community at Christmas

Candlelit Carols, mulled wine and more,

Good fortune and joy, this year had in store,

Storytelling, sharing, solstice and song,

Quiet time, reflection in this place we belong,

 

Welcomed by winter: the festivities bring laughter,

I gaze at the beauty of creatives and crafters,

 

Woodland walks, a time for reflection,

Sharing this winter, a loving connection,

 

For all that we share: food, wine and song,

Gratitude, appreciation, for this place we belong,

 

Let us be thankful for all that we share,

and pray for those less fortunate with true love and care,

Volunteers e-card

Wishing family, community and friends the most wonderful Xmas

From all at Newbold Trust Community xxx

How community can save our planet

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At the Newbold Trust ‘We envision a world where people live in a life sustaining culture which supports the interconnected wellbeing of individuals, community and the Earth‘

Therefore our interest in the protection of our planet from the devastation caused by climate change is vital. COP21 saw Political Leaders, Climate scientists and Energy ministers negotiate on carbon accountability, carbon footprint reduction and importantly national targets to reduce carbon emissions and form a global treaty on climate change (now know as the Paris Agreement). 196 countries have committed to freeing up funding for action on climate change, starting a transition away from fossil fuels and prevent temperatures rising above 1.5oC (compared to pre-industrial levels)

It is vital that we remember our work is not done (nor has it just began). We alongside many others have been working towards a greener and most sustainable future for decades but now the political leaders are on board so the opportunity for a revolution comes now. The opportunity to work with one another and build a greener and more sustainable future is here.

Communities are at the forefront of change.                                                                         Environmentalists and activists will now take center stage as governments and communities align to start to build a low carbon future. The agreement is simply a framework for change but the agreement does not guarantee staying within 2oC of change (or more importantly 1.5oC). It is therefor imperative that we pave the way for a greener and sustainable future and hold government accountable to their pledges. Its important that we set an example by living low carbon lives and together we can create an example of how living in harmony with the planet is better for our economy and our community.

How we can collaborate and work together to create real change                                  The headlines speak of political victory but its people power that is impactful when it comes accountability for lowering emissions. There are many incredible organisations that work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally that bring together communities to offer low carbon solutions paving the way for a more environmentally friendly planet whilst empowering the communities that support them. Here is how you can get involved:

http://www.treehugger.com

https://avaaz.org/en/

http://www.edie.net/news/

http://www.theecologist.org

There are organisations who hold governments accountable for actions and are the collective voice of our communities and there are individuals who write, act, sing and create in raising awareness of the problems, solutions and opportunities in our transition to a greener and more sustainable planet.

http://www.foe.co.uk

http://350.org

http://www.stopclimatechaos.org

http://www.theclimatecoalition.org

http://www.campaigncc.org

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk


To find out about how we implement sustainable values at Newbold Click here – http://newboldtrust.org/sustainability-commitment/

To find out how you can help with our community and have hands on experience with sustainable living check out our volunteer and community guest programmes – Click Here http://newboldtrust.org/community-guest/ http://newboldtrust.org/volunteer-programmes/

 

Garden Blog: All about Apples

Mid August in the walled garden, the first variety of apple ripen and fall. The snow in early December has ensured the remainder of any hanging fruit has fallen, the blackbirds feasting on the frozen Bramley’s Seedling variety plump on the ground, creating apple carcasses on the frozen earth.

apple_juiceThe last trees baring fruit were the six Bramley’s Seedling and the first in September where the Beauty of Bath. In between this seasonal parade of
70 apple trees in leaf, in bloom, with apples, without apples, without leaves, dormant, we create and celebrate the bounty of these beautiful trees.

There are around 35 different variety of apple some of them Heritage varieties. Some planted 100 years ago, they have experienced much more than any of the human beings living here now. They are home to many lichens, mosses, birds, insects and help create the atmosphere of the walled garden that grows a majority of the food for the community of Newbold House.

IMG_5833This year Newbold Trust with the help of the Voluntary Action Fund created a Volunteer Coordinator post that enabled the coordination of preserving of many garden harvests including apples. Thanks to all the volunteers who come to our preserving days and to work in the garden.

We made apple – compote, butter, curd, chutney, rings, cake,
tarts and all those things forgotten. We also, together with the garden volunteers, picked up windfalls, picked from the tree, processed apples into apple juice, sorted apples for storage, and spat a pip on Apple Day.
It will soon be time for pruning the trees. Each is very unique and with loving human attention and a positive outcome at the COP21 talks (see http://www.transitionnetwork.org) will again bear fruit for many years to come.

For more photographs of Apple Day and Food Preservation follow us on Facebook or click here.