Rubha Phoil from Armadale hill, Isle of Skye

Would you like to join Rubha Phoil?

Admin Update:
If you are here because you heard of the rumours of the pure awesome village builders program we had, at the moment we are not yet ready to plan the start of a new one. We’re not sure yet when the next one will be. Subscribe to our email list for updates should places become available. (see side bar on homepage)
 If you can’t wait, you can study permaculture for free here:

If you want to apply to join the community as a member, for a job or be a long term volunteer, fill in the form at the bottom of the page.

Rubha Phoil is a real paradise on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
It is a haven for wildlife and people, with an abundance of opportunities to live a nature-connected permaculture life. Our goal is to build resilience and create a thriving site to show and teach permaculture. We want to share this with other people. Maybe with you?
The intention is to create a warm community where people live, thrive and create together. With an overall motivation to embark on a journey to create a safe container in which we can grow a new culture and in which we, our children and our children’s children can grow to fully embody the 8 attributes of connection*:
The 8 attributes of connection
*based on the work of Jon Young and the 8-Shiels institute, based on lessons learned from Indigenous cultures from around the world.

 

Join Rubha Phoil!

We are looking for new members to join our community!

We’re looking for people who want to go on a village builders learners journey (testimonies of the first one at the bottom of the page). At the moment there are no plans for an organised course, but everyone can go on their own journey on their own pace, with mentoring by current residents. If the journey goes well for both sides, those who want to, can apply to become a long-term or permanent member of our community.

What we offer – a Community Building Journey.

You will have the chance to experience living with nature and create a community in the widest sense. The people living here have a lot to offer and are willing to find fair exchanges of knowledge and experience.
The journey will be a toolkit to:

Redesign your life
  • Learn to grow food, composting, polytunnel growing, aquaponics,…
  • Landmanagement, firewood preparation, reading the landscape, soil identification and remediaton,…
  • Good health, herbalism, healthy food, personal and spiritual growth with expert support if desired,…
  • Nature connection routines such as bird language, sitspots, tracking, inner tracking, nature observation, plant-, tree- and animal ID,…
  • Community living, designing a healthy regenerative nature culture using the 8-shields model,…
  • Survival skills, firemaking, carving, foraging, …
  • Permaculture, forest gardening, theory, observation, mapping, site visits, …. (a certificate for permaculture design can possibly be obtained with a little more guidance and support after this 4 month program. )
  • Self study, with support, alone or in group, access to the library of 600+ books and 2TB of video’s and learning resources,…
  • Overall you will have a chance to practise working with the nature connection routines and the permaculture ethics and principles so you can design abundance, health and happiness into your every day life.

Who we’re looking for:

We’re looking for curious, open minded, self-reflecting, nature loving, flexible people who are willing to learn and work with the land as well as with the social aspect of the community.
We want to create an open learning environment where different people with different strengths and skills can come together, teach and learn from each other to create a thriving beautiful place to live.
All of our tasks are divided up fairly and we all pitch in with different jobs, but we especially want to welcome people who have some skills or experience in:

    • Project Managing: there are two main projects happening this Winter. One is building and updating our shower blocks. The other is to upgrade our track. Click here to learn more.
    • Handiwork: to help us improve our infrastructure, maintenance of buildings, electrics, plumbing, cars, tools etc.
    • Food grower: to take on the management of our permaculture garden and grow as much food as possible, maintain existing beds and polytunnel, soil building/composting and to create new growing spaces.
    • IT/computer skills: can you build and maintain websites and look after our internet access?
    • Somebody to teach us martial arts! Tai Chi, Qigong, Hakkoryu Jujutsu or similar.
    • Logistics: taking responsibility for the renting out of our huts and campsite, looking after food supply, household, people care.
    • PR, events, and activism: we want to build more connections with the local community, organise workshops, open days, beach cleans and other fun events.
    • Arts & creativity: We’d welcome someone to do and/or facilitate music, games, dance, other embodiment practices, creativity, painting of caravans, beautify buildings and so on.

Good to know

If you are joining our community for a time to do a job, we can make different arrangements than below.

You will have a private caravan or hut to stay in and food is provided.

The basis of the exchange is moneyless. We do not charge money for the learning experience, the food or the accommodation as we value your work, time and commitment. We are all equals in this community.  Though if the work that you are doing has had many years of training and experience behind it and it is a way for you to make a living, if you are a skilled person in a trade that we need, we can arrange a different exchange and pay you.

We are unable to accept pets as part of our community. (We already have ducks and Chickens.)

Our community is drugs and alcohol free. If alcohol and drugs play an important role in your life, we are likely not the best community for you. Prescribed drugs are fine. If this might be a challenge, please discuss this with us. (Please don’t use our community to detox without telling us.)

If you join the community, we would like you to commit to staying for minimum 6 weeks and to be fully part of the Rubha Phoil team. (This means a full time commitment, including sharing work and responsibility equally for the day to day duties, chores, tasks and projects.)

More information about joining the community as a fulltime longterm member (not the same as full time participant of the team):

Once accepted as a member, you would have an equal say in the management of Rubha Phoil, become a director of the Rubha Phoil CIC (which we will create together) and have a possibility to make a humble living on or with the land. Either by getting a job on the land or by developing your own ethically sound business: Organising nature activities, selling crafts, growing and selling food, running a shop, teaching workshops, running a wild nursery or forest school,…. The possibilities here are only limited by our imagination.

Community building and getting to know each other is likely to be a slow process. If you are not ready to join right now, but might be in the future, please do still fill in the form.

We are not really ready yet for small kids or elderly people. We’re in the pioneering stage of our community. Our bathrooms are basic and our infrastructure needs work. If you are a parent and have DIY skills, you can us make the house ready quickly. We’re dreaming of having kids in the community, so don’t let it put you off from joining us at a later stage. If you think your kids or grandparent can rough it, we can talk about it. Starting a conversation and coming for a visit with the kids or parents in the warmer season is totally possible.

Do you want to apply to join?

Please fill in the form below. All information is handled with utmost respect for you and your privacy and will not be seen by anyone other than the beautiful people in the selecting team. You are also welcome to deliver the answers in a different, creative way. We commit to destroying the form if you tell us to or when this process -for whatever reason- is stopped.
If you want to share more sensitive information in person or over the phone, that is welcome too!
Please make sure to give us your name and email or phone number so that we can contact you.

You can download the form HERE.
You can email the form and a picture of yourself to us via: connectwith at rubhaphoil.org.

You can preview the questions here: (It is two pages.)
Rubhaphoil application form nov 2020


Testimonies of the previous program:

From left to right: Owl, Lynx and Heron
After the summer Lea and Cesaria have joined the Rubha Phoil community and Odilia is joining a different community closer to home.

“I’ve started writing a review for Earth Ways several times and every time, the ineffability of my gratefulness and warm feelings for this place and its people kept me from completing it.

Earth Ways/Rubha Phoil is a completely unique place – a place of beauty, freedom, nature stories, language jokes, bonfires, listening, sharing, feeling, a place also of common sense, hard work, high ideals, a sense of urgency, intensity & feeling alive more than ever!

If you really want to commit to the community and its goals, if you want to learn about nature connection & permaculture in one of the most beautiful places on earth from a great teacher (or teachers, I should probably say by now!) , if you can and want to invest a 100%, both emotionally and in terms of work… then Earth Ways may proof as inspiring a place to you as it has been for me during the five months that I had the enormous privilege to live there.

I miss you, dear people and seals and birds and trees and lichens….I miss you every day and I can’t think of any place, project or group of people that ever has “nestled” as deeply in my heart as Rubha Phoil has done. Thank you a thousand times.”
Owl, participant


Living and learning at Rubha Phoil

“My time at Rubha Phoil was an incredible expansive learning journey for me. As it wasn’t the first time I came across permaculture I was already familiar with a lot of the theory and principles of it when I arrived. What I found here to be especially enriching is to intertwine learning about permaculture, the community building/people care aspect and the goal to live off the land. This makes the learning journey a lot more vibrant and makes possible that all the information and experience passed on through either courses/ workshops/skill shares or just day to day life can sink in and become a natural part of life. I can see where the principles and ethics are applied and how, what the difficulties are and what can come out of designing a whole system in a permaculture way. May it be food growing, team building, self-care, event organisation or nature connection routines, all that comes together and gives shape to a picture in my head of how a more connected and healthy culture can be created if build up in the spirit of permaculture. This also gives me the ability to see how it’s possible to design solutions for the challenges of the climate crisis. In all these months I learned how I can design abundance in and erosion out of my life, what it means to live with and not only alongside nature in getting to know the endlessly diverse world we’re living in. I also experienced what good team work means and how a strong fabric of community can be woven.

So this place opened a new dimension in bringing things into practise and commit to a connection to land and people which wants to be explored and deepened. I’m soon becoming a permanent member of the community which I’m really excited about and I look forward to embark on another journey!
I’m truly grateful for the rich, life-embracing, challenging, fun time I’ve had and am still having at Rubha Phoil.”
Lynx, participant


The 4 months we spent diving into permaculture and community building at Rubha Phoil, have been incredible enriching and valuable to me. I got the chance to start from the very basics and then slowly get more and more into the different aspects of permaculture. We learned about various approaches to permaculture and different ways of designing. Discovering that permaculture is not just about food growing but is actually much wider and also holds a lot of potential when used with a social approach, I found very inspiring.
For me having the opportunity to put into practice what we learned every day and experience trial and error added a huge value to this learning experience. On top of that being able to take part in organising and experiencing the Permaculture Scotland Gathering at Rubha Phoil gave us the ideal space to learn and grow.
We took part in actually creating permaculture while learning the theory behind it and that made it possible to fully understand and get into it.
I am so grateful for the time I spent with all the beautiful people sharing a beautiful life! This experience has opened up a whole new inspiring world for me and and I hope to continue this learning journey together with the people and nature on Rubha Phoil for more time to come!
Heron, participant