How Earth Connections started
Bob and Norah met whilst studying Human Ecology in Edinburgh in 2000. We wanted to put into practise what we had learned, and so started a 2 year search, whilst living on our boat, for a place to create a Sustainability Centre. On Eigg, the old Lodge, was lying empty and in disrepair. So we put forward a business proposal to the Isle of Eigg Trust and community, to turn it into an Eco centre, which would help us to live on the island and benefit the wider community too.
The last few years have been spent renovating the building ourselves and with the help of volunteers - all done on a low budget, using recyled, local and environmentally friendly materials. It has been a real labour of love, but it is finally coming together and we can begin to see the fruits of our labour! During this time, we have also raised a family of 3 young boys, and got involved with various community projects on Eigg e.g. the Big Green Challenge, Forest School, Eigg Electric, to name but a few.
We are passionate about the environment and nature and try to live sustainably. We have both been involved in voluntary peace and environmental campaigns; conservation and education work, all our lives. So we have a wealth of experience and skills that we want to share with others! Our vision for the Centre is as a vibrant meeting place where people from all walks of life can get together and share ideas and skills related to sustainability, in order to improve our collective health and happiness.
- Holds B.Sc degree in Environmental Science from Stirling University, and an M.Sc in Human Ecology from Centre for Human Ecology in Edinburgh.
- Study/Work programme for a year with the Earth Education Institute in America and Australia at residential nature centres. Conservation volunteering in Kenya (rhino reserve), Belize (coral reef surveys), UK (tree planting, path and woodland management)
- Undertook personal study of eco-building techniques and eco communities in SW America, culminating in the building of an Earthship in Arizona
- Worked as a countryside ranger in Pollok Park, Glasgow; Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park; and Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.
- Project Officer and teacher with Shetland Field Studies Trust. Founder member of Venture Scotland, an outdoor education charity for disadvantaged youngsters.
- Part time consultancy work for Learning for Sustainability Scotland, an open network that promotes LfS practice and policy in Scotland.
- other qualifications - basic swimming Instructor, Lifesaving, BSAC scuba diving and BSAC snorkelling instructor, BELA (Basic Expedition Leadership Award).
- 2018, seasonal Isle of Eigg Ranger
- Bob has two degrees in Human Ecology and an active ecologist and environmental campaigner with Greenpeace and CND.
- Qualified marine engineer and has been chief engineer on the Greenpeace boats for decades. More recently has been helping Medicin san Frontiers and Seawatch charities helping refugees in the Mediterranean.
- Head of the Eigg Electric maintenance team
- Qualified Iyengar yoga teacher
- Organic gardener at residential communities - Salisbury Centre, Edinburgh, and Sunseed Centre, Spain
- Keen birdwatcher, sailor, and loves anything to do with the sea.