Dartington Hall and Totnes are two sustainable villages that we recently visited England. These villages really set the standard when it comes to sustainable living! Located on the natural hills of Devon, these villages are an entire eco-system that provides food, fuel and timber to its inhabitants.
Darlington Hall was the vision of Dorothy and Leonard Elmhurst back in 1925. Dorothy was an American Heiress and Leonard her english husband. They set out to create a home and also a unique experiment in rural regeneration, education and the arts. They reconstructed old buildings, built new properties and did a big overhaul on the landscaping of the area.
Their larger vision was to create an exemplary village, where people could live in a true community model based on collaboration and working in harmony with the land. This new model would deliver modern and low-cost housing that would be highly energy efficient. These villages are some of the best low-impact models we’ve seen. We highly recommend that you visit them. It goes without saying that the food in both villages is completely local, organic, and divine!
They are also a great resource for learning. The villages are the home of Schumacher College and the Agroforestry Research Trust. Both offer interesting courses related to holistic and sustainable living.