Summer excursion Cloughjordan Ecovillage (Ireland) & Bristol (UK) 4 – 12 July

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From 4th – 12th July RUW Foundation organises it’s yearly summer study trip . This year we will go to Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Ireland and Bristol (UK) which was the Green Capital of Europe in 2015. Join us on a Quest for Autonomy!

  • When: 4th – 12th July 2016
  • Where: Cloughjordan ecovillage (Ireland) & Bristol (UK)
  • Costs: €275 including transport, accommodation, excursions and most meals
  • Deadline for subscription: 8th of May 2016 (check the last paragraph to see how)

What are we going to do?

Each year RUW Foundation organises a summer excursion related to our year theme. This year we have chosen ‘Shades of Green’ as our year theme. With this theme we like to elaborate on the different strands on sustainability. Rather than one environmental movement, there is a broad spectrum of people and organisations that consider themselves to be ‘green’. We seek to deepen the debate by differentiating between the many distinct colours of environmentalism. Colour is a particularly suitable metaphor as it is also used in literature on sustainability. ‘Light-green’ refers to technology oriented solutions, in favour of gradual change and considered to be optimistic. ‘Dark-green’ on the other hand is described as socially oriented, in favour of radical change and pessimistic. Between these extremes a palette of different opinions exists.

Goal of the excursion is to bring you, students of Wageningen University, to interesting places and let you experience and learn more about different forms of sustainability. Of course it is also very important that we have fun while doing this. This year we go on a quest for sustainability. There are many views about sustainability, to understand how different views on sustainability play out in practice we will compare the rural green community in an eco-village in Ireland and the urban green community in Bristol. What do they consider to be sustainable? What answers do they have towards some of the environmental and social problems we are facing? How do they struggle for autonomy? How do they try to be self-sufficient?

The draft programme looks as follows:

Cloughjordan Ecovillage (3 days)

Our journey will first lead us to the Ecovillage Cloughjordan in Ireland. There we will spend three days. We have made arrangements with the Education, Research and Training Group of the village and besides a general introduction to the project and a tour through and around the village. The draft program at the ecovillage looks as follows:

1) Meeting some members of the ecovillage board of directors to discuss the project and its future

2) Visiting Cloughjordan community farm and experience working on a community farm

3) Visiting the Green Enterprise Centre and its community fablab

4) Seeing the energy barn and getting a briefing on our renewable district heating system

5) Visiting the award-winning bakery and getting a briefing from the baker

6) Getting a briefing on plans to develop a co-operative ‘farm-to-fork’ restaurant

7) Getting a briefing on plans for a co-housing project of low-cost housing

8) Visting the Red gardens and getting a briefing on the Research Education and Development (RED) gardens.

9) Discussing about economics and sustainability with people from the Irish think-tank Feasta, The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability

Currently we are finalizing the details and working on incorporating interactive learning methods.


To shed light on the stances towards sustainability of the urban green community the journey will take us by boat to Bristol, which is widely celebrated for its community spirit, creativity and freethinking attitude and was elected as Green Capital of Europe in 2015. In Bristol we want to visit different local initiatives that are launched aimed at becoming more self-sustainable. One of them is the Bristol Pound which is a local and community currency created to improve Bristol’s local economy but also aimed at creating stronger bonds within the community by increasing social capital. Moreover, buying locally decreases emissions and reduces the impact of national economic crises and dependency on international trade (e.g. fossil fuels, food, etc.) by enhancing self-sufficiency. The Bristol Pound contributed to Bristol being awarded the title of European Green Capital 2015. For the remaining days in Bristol we have not yet completed the program but we have reached out to the University of Bristol and various other organisations such as Bristol Green Capital, The New Economics Foundation, Filwood Green Business Park, Bristol Green Society (which is a green student organisation of the University of Bristol) of which we are discussing the possibility to organize a workshop together or an exchange with students.

Keep an eye on the website for updates on the program in Bristol.


During the excursion we will use different means of transportation! We will fly from Amsterdam to Dublin and use public transport to go to Cloughjordan. We go to the UK by boat and back to the Netherlands by bus. All the transport cost are included in the price except for getting to the airport and the public transport from (probably Utrecht) back to Wageningen. We will however do our best to arrange group tickets for this.

 VISA information

During the study trip we will visit 2 countries, Ireland and England (UK). If you join you are responsible yourself for arranging the right visa if necessary. Please check if you need to arrange a visa here:



Ireland belongs to the EU so you probably do not need a visa for this country.


You are responsible to organise your own travel and health insurance.

How to subscribe & disclaimer

You can subscribe for this trip by sending the subscription + disclaimer (print, sign, scan) to Click here for the subscription form and Disclaimer. To finalize your subscription you need to transfer the participant fee of €275 to the account of RUW:  NL 87 RABO 0397 0991 26 under the name of STICHTING RURAAL WAGENINGEN with your name in the notes/comments section on or before the 8th of May!

If you have any questions please send an email to!


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