Sacred Earth is an organisation with social, educational, agricultural, ecological and therapeutic aims. Just as everything in the web of life is interconnected, we see these aims as being fundamentally interconnected too. Here are some of the benefits of the work we do in these specific areas.
Our communities have become increasingly fragmented and atomised as a result of the individualising effects of our consumer culture and the secularisation of society. Communities are losing their cohesion and loneliness and social exclusion are rife. Horam is a village with only a few communal institutions, and with a potential influx of thousands of new residents in the coming years, a community-focused organisation like Sacred Earth has the potential to provide an extremely important community service, a place which is not a church or a pub where people can gather, work and socialise together, forging important community bonds.
Conventional educational tools provide us with many ways to teach our children and young people certain types of knowledge but not others. Our school system readily facilitates the development of IQ but is not so effective at nurturing other things which are important to healthy psychological development, such as EQ (emotional intelligence) and CQ (cultural intelligence). Our experiential education programmes are designed to address this disparity by nurturing these frequently under-developed areas of the psyche. Nature-based education has been proven to assist significantly in the integration of these different aspects of our personalities.
Our current food system, which often sees our food travel many thousands of miles before reaching our refrigerators and is dominated by supermarkets which put a huge amount of pressure on suppliers and farmers, is inherently unsustainable. Food security is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of a community. A more localised food network is one which is more resilient to changes in global food prices and more supportive of local businesses, keeping money in the local economy and enabling local farms to thrive as opposed to barely survive. By championing these ideas, modelling alternative approaches to agriculture and providing a secure source of local food (meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, medicinal herbs), Sacred Earth is taking practical steps to rebuild bridges between local food and local community.
At a time in history when we are facing the Sixth Mass Extinction, providing secure habitats for plant and animal life needs to be a priority for all responsible land owners and land stewards. Through the careful application of sensitive land management and sustainable agricultural techniques, we are working to regenerate what was once a polluted industrial site in order to create a flourishing and balanced ecosystem providing a home for countless plants, insects and animals.
The World Health Organisation is predicting that depression will be the biggest cause of death globally by 2030. This alarming rise can be attributed variously to the impacts of globalisation, the communications revolution, consumerism, increased poverty, work-related stress, social exclusion and alienation from nature. With our focus on building strong community connections and the health benefits of developing a deeper relationship with the natural world through a variety of ecotherapeutic techniques (including simply providing a quiet space for people to sit and observe nature or working in our garden), Sacred Earth is working to address a number of these important issues.