December 2016 News

Wild Things! Winter Wonderland Celebration.  This took place on the 4th December and involved about fifty local people who have been supporting the great outdoor programmes for local young people that the organisation puts on including quite a number that take place on Findhorn Hinterland Trust managed land.   It was a magical event at the Woodland Shelter with Christmas lights and lanterns, a blazing fire and plenty to nibble on and drink.  It took place at dusk time on a frosty winter’s afternoon.  Founder and director of Wild Things!, Jennie Martin, addressed those gathered and thanked all for another amazing year.  We look forward to this becoming an annual event and appreciate the collaborative working that has been possible between the organisations and look forward to more of this in the future.

More Celebrations   The FHT Christmas Tree event and Lewis’ Mendel’s green burial happened on the same day, Saturday the 10th of December.
p1040076aA steady stream of people came for their trees and were greeted by Marilyn Gamble and Judith Berry with hot mulled drink and Christmas nibbles before going off to find their tree on the land. Didier Lecuyer, Alain Barrere, Iain Davidson and Bruce Forsyth were out there to help select and cut the trees and Kajedo Wanderer did much of the initial setting up, organising and making a great fire.  Many thanks goes to these people for making it a great event.

p1040041aIt was so good to see children returning again this year and people taking time to socialise around the shelter; it is becoming part of what Christmas is all about for the young and not so young. It also fulfils all four objectives of the trust which are conservation, education, providing recreational facilities and building community – all related to this piece of land at Findhorn.

Towards the end of the Christmas Tree event over 200 people gathered on the Wilkies Wood Green Burial ground to say farewell to Lewis.  Lewis lived in Forres and had been connected with the community at The Park for over twenty years.  He had a keen interest in religion and spirituality having been brought up as a Jew, converted to Catholicism and actively involved in pursuing Buddhist teachings and practices locally.  There was a level of lightness and humour around the service held by Interfaith Minister Chloe Greenwood and his send off was a little different but very appropriate for Lewis.

Work on the Land. img_0299a There has been a flurry of activity to use the tractor and topper to mow down the gorse on the firebreaks and some of the paths on the land. This is a necessary to maintain the effectiveness of the firebreaks and has to be done at least annually.  Mowing also takes place around the Findhorn Wind Park turbines and they pay the trust an annual fee to carry out this service.  The turbine blades are fibreglass and if there were a fire with volatile gorse below they could melt and buckle fairly easily.  Areas of the old dispersal runways also need to be kept clear for access and manoeuvring in case a crane and other machinery is needed on site.

Green Burial Land Sale.  Benefits.   Should this go through; there will be benefits all round.  The Findhorn Foundation benefits as income generated from the green burial operation has to be spent on managing the site but also the rest of the land.  This improves and adds value to the Foundation’s land asset at no cost to it and the land it owns is managed to a high standard. The FHT benefit as the green burial, along with various grants, is the main income earner for the trust; it will be good to secure this income source for its work and will help to make FHT budgeting easier.  The people reserving lairs benefit in that there is far greater certainty that the site will still be in operation when they need it.  The general public benefit as there is money to maintain the paths and woods and put on events for education or fun etc.

Next steps.  The FHT Trustees still have to make a final decision to take on being the burial authority for this long time span but if/when that is done the sales document will be drawn up in the New Year by Donna Skelly, the FHT Secretary, but also a solicitor who works in this field.  There will be an option for the FF to buy back the land from the FHT for £1 in the unlikely event of the trust ever considered selling it.  Other details will include placing a real burden on the land to ensure it stays a burial site in perpetuity.  It is good to see the FF and the FHT being able to collaborate in this way for mutual benefit and the greater good.

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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB