My vision for the last couple of years has been to set up an intentional community. Like many of us we have become disillusioned with society and the way we currently live. Lockdown highlighted the need for communication and human connection. Moving forward I envisage more people living in communities offgrid, sharing resources, skills, knowledge & experience. Whilst I am not currently living in an intentional community, I have found myself living in a place where community has been created. As my good friend, Kate Brown said, community isn’t about a place, it is about the people.
Wyld Hive Community is a fairly new intentional community, settled in the South West of Scotland. Having been there for a year, they have taken their time to get to know each other and the land. Their foundations are strong, which allows visitors to come and go without shaking the very core of their existence. Shared values underpin the heart of this community. There are set meetings to discuss the practicalities of living in community, upcoming events as well as heart circles where people have a safe space in which to discuss any challenges and how they are feeling. It is very easy, when we become busy and preoccupied with the doing, to actually forget we are beings too. Alongside the set meetings, there is a communal kitchen, in which relationships are forged, friendships made, and knowledge shared. Whilst staying there I learnt about even more plants to forage for such as fireweed & St Johns wort, I discovered Lady’s Mantle as well as collecting some mugwort to dry and make tea for the community. I left with some homemade honey and some plants for my own wee herb garden.
The residents of this space have a lot in common. They are driven, passionate and resilient. Having spent one winter in a caravan, I truly admire anyone else who has chosen to pass this season in a van, yurt or outdoor space. Yurts were blown down in the storms earlier this year and as a group they fixed any damage that had been done. They are working together to become self-sustainable. Chickens are beginning to lay eggs and a polytunnel has been erected in the grounds. Brassicas and herbs have been planted and there is an abundance of wild greens that can be eaten as well as apple trees. All of the residents have a willingness to learn as they go, they aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty and are willing to pitch in with whatever needs doing. A rota ensures that the plants are watered every day and chickens let out and put away, cleaning in the communal areas is shared equally. Whilst there I learnt how to plant microgreens and how it only takes 5 to 10 days for these to grow. So, if the shit ever does hit the fan, at least I know I can grow some of these and only have a few days to wait before having nutritious greens.
Practical skills are welcomed as there is always something to do, projects to be started and finished, ideas are welcome as to what else could be created. It definitely feels like a space in flow rather than this is how we do things. They are open to suggestions and appreciate a fresh pair of eyes on the space. If you are looking to live in a community like this, there needs to be a willingness to work together and adhere to the values of the community as this is at the very core of everything they do. Having lived in a caravan for the last year, I have become accustomed to the change of pace of my life, having people pop in on a regular basis, working on and with the land, dealing with disputes and disagreements, learning to live together, setting boundaries with myself and each other, in a gentle but firm manner, showering less and having things not necessarily go the way I think they will. Adaptability and a willingness to do whatever needs to be done will help massively when visiting any type of community. Whilst there I helped clean out a horse box, washed and dried dishes, did some healing work with the land and researched some history on this magical space.
I would highly recommend for anyone thinking of living in a community to do their research first. There are, unfortunately, some unscrupulous people, who may talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. As I often say in my YouTube videos practise discernment before getting involved with anyone. If you meet someone and they ask you for money upfront, please be wary. Do your research on people and if something feels a bit dodgy, it may well be. I feel quite sad writing this as I know there are many people who want to set up intentional communities and have good intentions and a pure heart, but it wouldn’t feel right for me to write this without highlighting this issue. If someone is setting up communities then leaving them after a short period of time, it is worth asking them why. Social media allows people to portray themselves in a love and light attitude, when in reality they are far from it, yet they have this knack of casting a web and drawing in people for their own gain.
Just to clarify, it is my knowing that Wyld Hive Community has strong values, ethics and processes in place to ensure that any potential residents will fit in with the rest of the community. When communities are begun there is a steep learning curve and one which I feel Wyld Hive has gone through but overcome in a positive manner.
To find out more about Wyld Hive you can drop them an email WyldHiveVolunteers@protonmail.com or find their telegram channel https://t.me/+Vd9YEoe6lhM2Y2Zkand check out the videos of myself & Kate when this was still a dream for her too www.youtube.com/lindsaybanks