Environmental Living in Cambridgeshire

Background information

Liz Roman and Brighid Simpkin were members of a Cohousing group called Amadea for some years. Amadea was nation-wide so the members found it difficult to meet to push their plans forward. Liz and Brighid, who both lived in Cambridge, decided to form their own local group. They also decided to open their new group to all ages unlike Amadea which was for retired people. The first meeting was on the 14th May 2000 and 22 people gathered at Hartington Grove, Cambridge to hear what Liz and Brighid had to say. Most people came from the Cambridge LETS group with others from the Quakers and Circle Dance group. Enthusiasm at the first meeting was high and most of the original 22 people are still members of Enlinca although a lot do not attend meetings any more.

As the group matured we decided to give ourselves a name. We chose Green Ginger but we were later advised that it might put some potential business partners off so in August 2003 we changed it to Enlinca. This web page is designed to attract new members to Enlinca and hopefully serve as a point of contact for potential business partners.

Our plan is to buy a large property or a building plot where we can establish a community. We will probably establish at least 2 communities because some members want to live in town and others in the country. All members surveyed want to build very environmentally friendly dwellings and where possible install things such as wind turbines, solar cells, compost toilets or reed beds, organic market gardens using permaculture principles and to initiate car pools. Many members also see community building as an opportunity for spiritual development.

Now that we are officially registered as a company we are concentrating on looking for suitable properties and we are developing a business plan to use to raise sufficient funds for the property we find. Most members own their own houses but we will need some sort of loan to cover the time between buying our community property and it being ready for moving into. Some of us are in social housing so for them, and to comply with the local plan, we are also looking to partner with a registered social landlord (RSL).

In 2005 the Lancaster Cohousing group organised a very successful conference. Two things became very clear. Firstly, Cohousing is enormously attractive and beneficial to many people, and secondly, the British house building system makes it very difficult for forming groups to make significant progress. Because of this a national Cohousing Network was formed and this has been successful in spreading the news about how many advantages we offer to the housing sector. Lords, MPs and others are learning why Cohousing is so important and action is slowly happening. Groups in other countries have also been active educating anyone who will listen and the evidence is getting stronger that we have a human-centred way of living that can bring immense social and ecological advantages to an increasingly crowded world. Enlinca is therefore optimistic that with this increased support we can finally get our first community built and bring the advantages of intentional communities to our local area.

Page last updated 29/09/2011.