FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers On The Project, The Community & More

Got questions? We’ve got answers whether its about the project or pets it's here.
Learn all about our project, to figure out if we're what you've been looking for.
We have collected some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive below. We’ve tried to provide the best answers, but if there is something that we missed, and it can't be found anywhere else please feel free to reach out and we will get in touch with you as soon as we can... we live off-grid and signal is scarce, so if we take a while please forgive us :)

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST FINANCIALLY TO JOIN/ STAY AT PARADISE VALLEY?

The short answer is there is no expected financial contribution to stay or join the project and/or community, so no ‘buy-ins’, large financial contributions, or ‘rent’! 

The longer more detailed answer:

  • As we are at the beginning with no funding, we are buying tools, materials, etc with our own money for the time being. So a contribution of around £20 per week to a community fund to spend on necessary and communally agreed upon things is desired. However if that’s unaffordable an equivalent non-financial exchange can be discussed and arranged.

  • You will be expected to financially support yourself whilst at Paradise Valley, including additional food, personal bills, etc.

  • The project will eventually be self-sufficient and be able to support the long-term, full-time project workers, however we are a good few years from that point.

  • Financial contributions are absolutely welcome, however we prioritise the right kind of people, so how much money you have will not influence your application process.

  • Planning permission is expensive, so a willingness to still deal with the financial system for some more years is a necessity. 

  • We reject the process of requiring some kind of rent, or significant financial contribution. Your willingness, and decency should be the deciding factors in living a low impact, high benefit life, not how much money you have.

DO YOU HAVE PETS AND RESCUE ANIMALS ON SITE?

In general no we do not. Paradise Valley is a conservation site, and is choosing to prioritise the wildlife that is already here. Even though rescuing animals is a nice idea, in reality bringing non-native, domesticated, predatory or rescued farm animals is the opposite of conserving the natural and native wildlife on the land. Humans are native animals to this land and we have the awareness and decision making skills to ensure we are creating a benefit to the land and other natural species present.  We understand many vegans are huge animal lovers, and so are we, we are just prioritising those already present here. 


*All decisions like this one can always be discussed and no thing is fixed.. All decisions are made unanimously and communally so if you were to join, and make a good case for why you believe this should be changed it is always a possibility that it could.


**It is important to state an exception to the ‘no pet rule’ has been made for Jenny’s vegan dog Frankie. Jenny has been an essential part of the project, in keeping it in existence up until this point, Jenny is not a full time participant so for now until Frankie is no longer with us, he will be the only non-human animal brought onto the site when Jenny comes to visit.

CAN I JOIN THE PROJECT IN EXCHANGE FOR ACCOMMODATION & FOOD?

Unfortunately no, we do not support people in this way. The people currently working on the project are participating because they see value in it, have provided their own accommodation and are growing and paying for their own food. Anyone who wishes to join should have the same outlook and is expected to do the same as they are. 
We are always willing to share what we have fairly so if you volunteer short term with us, we will normally provide you with one or two meals a day from our garden and offer very basic accommodation. 
We have limited facilities and accommodations so if we have something to offer we will when we can, however the expectation is for everyone to be self-reliant, supporting themselves and are participating because they want to work hard and give back to the planet. If you are looking for somewhere to stay because you have nowhere else to go, don't want to pay for your own place to live or food to eat, then we are definitely not the project for you.

DO I HAVE TO BE VEGAN AND SUBSTANCE-FREE TO JOIN/ VOLUNTEER ON THE PROJECT?

The land is entirely vegan, substance-free and addiction free. This also means anyone who smokes, takes drugs or drinks cannot do this on the land, or go off the land to do so and return whilst visiting. Non-vegans and those whose lifestyles include substances and/or addictions are welcome to visit but must respect these core principles of the land whilst staying here.

If you are wanting to join the community full time then choosing veganism, a substance and addiction free lifestyle for yourself is essential. We do not wish or want to enforce our way of life or choices onto anyone. So yes, in order to join the project long term and/or full time you would need to be joyfully and willingly vegan and substance free. Please see Our Core Principles for more information.

DO YOU HAVE PLANNING PERMISSION?

No not yet, however we are in the process of obtaining temporary residential planning permission. This means, once approved, we will have 3-5 years to prove that our project is sustainable and that we have a need to reside permanently on the land. This will allow us to live on the land in temporary wheeled accommodation, such as shepherds huts, caravans etc. After this 3-5 years we will then proceed to apply for permanent planning permission which will mean we can then build permanent eco-structures such as roundhouse cob buildings and log cabins etc.

In England there is no standard process like “One Planet Living” currently in operation in Wales, so the planning application is complicated. We have employed the leading planning consultant to help us and so far it's looking pretty promising.


For the meantime, we do have Permitted Planning Development for a functional barn and the lawful right to stay overnight in temporary accommodation on the land whilst undertaking forestry work and labour in relation to the permitted development.

WHAT ARE THE FACILITIES LIKE?

In a word… BASIC.
We have two compost toilets, a few gazebos, a shed or two, a spare wagon and that’s it. For water we have natural springs dotted all over the land, as well as a brook which runs along the bottom of the valley and we each have our solar panels for electricity.

DO YOU HAVE WIFI AND GOOD PHONE SIGNAL?

No. There are a few areas at the top of the valley where you can get a bar or two of signal and 4g. This is highly affected by the weather as signal seems to disappear when there is heavy cloud, wind and/or rain. We currently have no WiFi however we are looking into how we can create one area on the land with a sufficient signal, for business and leisure purposes.

HOW DO YOU MAKE DECISIONS, DEAL WITH CONFLICT AND FIND RESOLUTIONS?

All important decisions are made communally and unanimously between the members of the community. Those who are in the probationary period of joining will have their opinions, ideas and suggestions seriously considered, however whilst their agreement is ideal it is not essential for a decision to be made.
Conflict is inevitable when you are working and living with other individuals. We go about this mindfully and use community building, non-violent communication and other processes to ensure issues are dealt with and resolved. We try to take responsibility for ourselves, our emotions and our needs. We all have baggage and that's okay, what’s important is that we are aware of how that could affect others and do our best to find resolutions for ourselves. Any unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated and could result in someone being asked to leave the project for good.