Runnymede Eco-Village is situated in the woodland of the disused former Brunel university Runnymede Campus. For a map & directions to the site, please click here.
We are open to visitors everyday between 11 a.m and 5 p.m. You are also welcome to stay with us, but please look at the Map page first.
We: a group of 15 people, have been living on the Runnymede Campus since June 15th. From 2007 The 65 acre campus has lain largely unused since being sold to a private property developer by Brunel University. The developer has been granted planning permission to build ‘luxury homes’, elderly care units and student accommodation on the site ,but the development appears to have stalled. The plan has attracted concern and criticism from local residents (see this local news article from last year).
The area of woodland where we are living has no management plan and is heavily populated by Sycamore and Ash trees. In places it has been fly-tipped with fridges and other items.
Since our arrival we have established the Runnymede Eco-Village community here. We’ve built a long house kitchen, geodesic dome communal space and other low impact structures made from the renewable timbers and recycled materials. We’ve also dug a well (where we draw water from), setup solar panels for producing electricity. Our food growing is in the early stages but our plan is to become as self sufficient as we can.
We have been evicted from the Runnymede Campus (by the developers) three times . The last eviction took place on July 12th (watch a video of the eviction here). Each time we have been evicted we have been forcibly displaced along with our belongings onto National Trust land at Cooper’s Hill Woods (next to the Runnymede Campus). After each eviction, we have returned back onto the Runnymede Campus.
Whilst the site remains in a state of disuse, we intend to carry on living here as a community in a way that can be sustained indefinitely within the ecological capacity of this beautiful woodland environment. You can read our ‘Declaration from the Dispossessed’ here which spells out what we seek:
Declaration from the Dispossessed.
We: peaceful people, declare our intention to go and cultivate the disused land of this island; to build dwellings and live together in common by the sweat of our brows.
We have one call: every person in this country and the world should be free to live on the disused land, to grow food and to build a shelter and live together in community. This should be the case whether you have money or not. We say that no country can be considered free, until people are free to live on the disused land.
With our current system in crisis we need a radically different way of growing our communities. We call on the government and all landowners to let those who are willing, make good use of the disused land. Land that is currently held from us by force. By our actions, we seek to show how we can live without destroying the planet or ourselves. Free from the yoke of debt and rent, our labors can be directed to the benefit of all.
Though we may be oppressed for our actions, we will strive to remain peaceful. But we are committed to our cause and will not cease from our efforts until we have achieved our goal.
20th May 2012.