First of all - thank you so much for taking the time to see if this campaign is something you'd like to be involved with. We appreciate your engagement with our project and hope you would like to participate in helping us achieve our goals, so we can spread Love and the experience of a conscious way of being from our small community, to the wider community and spread and connect with like minded people across the globe!
Here are our goals:
- One goal is to create a safe and secure space for abandoned or abused animals to live & have a home, safe from being killed, eaten or mistreated. There are a lot of animals in shelters here in Portugal that have to be put down, many living on the streets - we would like to take some of these little guys in and give them a loving home.
- Bohemia will be a creative hub, a place for artists and musicians to come and write, collaborate with other artists, record an album or EP, host a radio show or take part in our live music events/parties, that will be held regularly. (10% of all the money made from these events will be donated to other charities, chosen by the people involved/playing/whatever is current at the time) We also want to give creatives a space to hold exhibitions or events themselves. we already have a date for our first big gathering in June 2020 and a couple of retreats being planned for this year.
- Another key aspect of the Bohemia ethos is for people to just come and enjoy the wonderful experience of being in our space in the heart of nature. Connecting with others or simply disconnecting from it all.
- Within our worldwide friends of Bohemia community, are people that will come and run retreats/courses here - yoga, plant medicine, meditation, Reiki, healthy eating, Eco - building and Permaculture to name a few. A place to skill swap & learn new skills.
- We also aim to help regenerate the land with a fruit forest and replanting other native flora that has been taken over/wiped out, we want to encourage natural wildlife to come back to the valley. We also want to use our community to reach out to the local community - help out the lovely elderly locals in nearby villages and also give them the chance to take part in our events - perhaps cooking local cuisine or just coming and enjoying a glass of port while experiencing some new music. Learning from the elders and showing gratitude for allowing us to be there is very important to us.
All these goals are very achievable with a little belief and a lot of hard work and persistence. We have a very dedicated team on board who feel like this is a life calling.
Who are we?
So for the last year and a half, a small group of us have been quietly working away at a dream that is now coming to fruition - procuring some land on which to build an off grid animal sanctuary/ event space for musicians and artists to collaborate and raise their voice in spreading a conscious message through music, also to hold plant medicine/yoga/inspirational talks/seminars/workshops - while stewarding our beautiful planet and also having a good time in raw nature! building a like minded community of people who are always welcome, needing some time out of the city to regenerate or just want to come and camp for a week.
We have spent a lot of time travelling and gaining inspiration to create this wonderful community space. years of travelling the world and gathering inspiration is paying off.
In October 2017 after viewing many places we found the land that felt more than right & bought outright, the beautiful rural land on the edge of a national park, in Central Portugal . We are allowed to build eco - style on it, paddocks for animals, staging and platforms for bell tents/ yurts etc. along with shower, kitchen and toilet facilities so our guests are comfortable.
Bohemia is a beautiful raw 5 hectare plot, in rural Portugal, 2.5 km away from the nearest village. It is simply a gorgeous place, very peaceful, lots of tress, a river running through the property, a large Eucalyptus grove, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, sounds of insects and smells of a multitude of flowers and plants all year round, lots of places to walk and explore, a few lakes within a km, a small river beach 200 metres away - it really is a healing space and a little slice of paradise.
The size of the property and its layout means that there will be a hill, river and valley separating the events space from the animal sanctuary. It's important that the animals feel safe and at peace, and this combats that potential issue very well.
There is no infrastructure yet - Bohemia, used to be part of a working valley hundreds of years ago, but now it is for the most part left alone, apart from some local farmers growing olives nearby. there is some wildlife - boars, hares, terrapins, birds, snakes, otters but sadly a lot of hunting in the area. (we are getting an anti hunting license for our space in due time) it really is a gorgeous and isolated space. no light or sound pollution at night, which makes for gorgeous starscapes at night time.
We will use as many local and recycled materials as possible in our building plans - which is in keeping with our ethos of loving the planet and leaving as small an impact on the environment as possible - while making a big impact on society and offering a cool place for others to come be in nature with animals, eat healthy vegan and vegetarian food and generally recharge and be inspired! It costs the same amount of money to get to Bohemia from London Luton, as it does to get an Uber from South East to North West London in rush hour traffic - the flight takes about the same time too (2.5 hours).
Jack, Eloise (always working ;)) & Holly
at a nearby lake.
Who will benefit from visiting Bohemia? Who does it appeal to?
Bohemia in its very nature has a lot of facets to it, which in turn means it will appeal to a wide range of people.
Animal lovers & nature enthusiasts can come help out at the animal sanctuary, feeding, maintenance, finding other animals to join our family.
Musicians can come stay and record, perform at one of our events or parties, write an album or EP or meet other visiting musicians to play with in our jam space, they can host events also.
Tradesmen/city dwellers many want to come and get involved in building, making use of the outdoor gym, being in nature and maybe discovering a new alternative lifestyle that may suit them, maybe incorporating yoga and veggie food into their lifestyle. Inspiration for new ideas and pathways for our life are often found in places of nature and a simpler way of being. A place to find a new direction.
Bohemia will be a wonderful place for families to come and camp. There are a lot of walks and hikes around, there will be places to relax, sit in a hammock, play games and swim. also it will be an educational experience for the young ones as well as some older ones! Getting back to basics, learning how to grow veg/make a fire/even put up a tent! We will also hold workshops for people to learn more about their surroundings and how they can take this knowledge back to the cities and be more green at home.
People who are on a soul searching journey can come and take part in plant medicine ceremonies, yoga retreats, meditation sessions, get a massage or some Reiki, they can come and stay and write a book or simply take time to be in a place of nature and tranquillity.
Artists wishing to host seminars/workshops/retreats can also bring their flare here, we are open to all positive and conscious initiatives and really want to collaborate with different types of people, so we can also expand our knowledge and experiences.
Yoga instructors & holistic medicine practitioners will be encouraged to hold retreats here, people who enjoy these kinds of balancing and grounding practises are will also benefit from the space.
Bohemia will for the most part, be accessible by wheelchair also, so it will be an all inclusive space, which is very important to us.
Volunteers, WOOFers or people on their gap year will find a place to be at home here also, we will always need people to come and help out with buildings, maintenance, gardening, growing plants, cooking, cleaning, and any other ideas are welcome!
some of our eucalyptus grove.
What Makes Us Different?
We are different because we want to combine music and animals and the wider bohemian community, turning our love for the planet and music into a movement that inspires people to find their own potential and greatness,
We offer people a space to find themselves.
There are a lot of community projects starting and already in full flow. The intention of Bohemia is to have a lot of transitory guests as well as people who will stay longer term. we also want to connect with other community groups also. Lets make a worldwide family connection.
We want to give artists a place to be free and create, time and space to do so it always readily available - as well as offering Holistic therapies, peace and quiet in nature, an interaction with wonderful animals & also holding events that will allow people a platform to share their message/music/art/ideas... we want collaboration!
Everyone has something to say, a gift to offer the world, they maybe don't know what it is yet. With the variety of things we have happening here, we hope to inspire people to their own greatness and help them in any way we can. We also have many inspiring people that are on board with this project and we need to hear their messages and stories too.
Upwards of £25000 has been invested into the project so far, and there is a lot more to go to ensure the place is safe and ready to host guests that require more than a hole in the ground or a wash in the river.
This has ensured we have the land, legalities and also some recon trips to see what can be done and how and where, also on buying a generator, power tools, other tools and storage etc, also planning on where things should go and by trial and error discovering a conclusive answer to that.
Financially, and in terms of volunteering time - things will move much more quickly if other people (you) get involved. Doing it alone means everything is taking a lot more time to finish/get progressing in, this in turn means animals are left in bad situations for longer and also there isn't this wonderful place of tranquillity available for people to come and have a time out and meet new awesome people.
It is a tough world we live in for many people, money restraints, work restraints, governmental restraints, negativity, depression, oppression, deforestation, destruction of our planet, back leg hacking is rife in our society, In my own personal life i have had a handful of friends who have sadly taken their own life, I can't help but wonder if they'd had a place in the middle of nature, surrounded by animals and other cool people, with creative projects happening to get stuck into or just chill out - would things have been different for some of them at least. We will never know but we should try!
even people not being able to eat is a very real problem, in the UK and we are at the top of the food chain in comparison with may others.. also and animal cruelty is very much alive everywhere. To offer a place of sanctuary and hope is something we'd love to provide.
conquering the mountain
We want to change these things, make a difference and steward the beautiful land we have, look after each other and the wider community - while having a really good time and spreading a conscious message of love and togetherness through our music, love for nature and general lifestyle.
cooking at night time on our second trip.
Time for some testimonials from people in the community and relevant fields, about Bohemia, its concept and future:
Jack Harris - Managing Director, Bohemia Industries.
Having touched down on this blessed land initially back in May 2018, it took me a day or so to realise just how special the plot is. It's untouched, like a nature reserve. Isolated, utterly wild and located right in the heart of the country, I was taken aback at the sheer grit and intensity of the habitat there, home to so many loud and proud flora and fauna and scope in terrain and natural features. My concern about accessibility was quickly replaced by a gratitude that the unbeaten track has likely been of benefit for it's preservation & beauty, additionally my reservations about upsetting existing creatures and ecosystems just with our presence alone was substituted by a feeling of welcome and playfulness from the surroundings. As if it wants the company, respect and attention. Coining this 5 hectare paradise Bohemia (having been enjoying the Portuguese brew of the same name) it has now become my higher calling.
It would be easy to say I feel like I don't fit in with the corporate world but who does, my desire and life force is that the work I do benefits my community directly in everyday life, where tasks are not just a means to an end for an employer but a god given right to pursue autonomy and self sufficiency in unity with the environment. This is an age where modern technology and time proven methods enable us to move back to the land and declare ourselves truly free, responsible and accountable.
To reconnect with our basic purpose and partnership with nature and to rekindle lost or neglected hands on skills which have been phased out with the advancement of machines. The biggest obstacle for me and many others to make the transition to an off grid existence is the purchase of land. Having such a close friend offering me the chance to make a go of it on hers is literally a dream come true..
Anuar Abdullah - Founder/Head of Ocean Quest & Sea Shepherd Dive conservation organisations.
Having mentored and taught Eloise during her time in Thailand as part of Ocean Quest & Sea Shepherd Dive campaigns - which are my conservation organisations, I am confident that her team will make this into a great success and it will become a necessary project, one that will help the environment & raise awareness of its plight. I have no doubt a lot of fun and creativity will be involved and the calibre of artists and people involved will be to a high standard. Here's to a bright future for Bohemia & its family.
Kathryn Bownes - Facilitator of Self Help courses & Arts Projects for people with disabilities
The vision of Bohemia is a community that provides a safe but inspiring place for people create their own pieces of art, whether that be visual art, music or drama. At the of heart Bohemia there be an animal sanctuary. It will be a loving community that has laughter and fun. The most important thing about this community is that everyone will be welcome.
Holly Willison Co Founder of Willka Hampi - Center of Mystic Arts & Sciences
Having co-founded an established medicine community and NGO in Peru, I back the project of Bohemia with full confidence in it's leader Eloise, her team and the vision which has been inspired through years of collective experience in the arts, environmentalism, travelling to meet and learn from indigenous cultures, gathering skills and wisdom. The incredibly beautiful spirit of the land invites us to seek refuge from the dis-eases of modern life, en-kindling in us the spirit of nature and community.
Therefore, I cannot think of a more perfect place to make ritual and offerings to honour, give thanks, pay homage, and nourish all that is sacred in this world, so that it may flourish and bring healing to all which is covering the true relation with life. With its raw, outstanding natural beauty and planned innovative, ecological infrastructure, Bohemia is a perfect place to hold retreats and workshops where we may purify the mind, discover true wisdom, open the heart, heal the body and manifest our highest potentialities. Bohemia is destined to become a shining example of a community project where one can learn how to take care of Pachamama and all sentient beings and work together to manifest a new era of humanity prophesied by ancestral traditions.
Rebecca Knight - Events Executive Producer
Bohemia is needed! It as a place to go and unwind and reconnect with the world around us. To allow ourselves to breathe and regain perspective. A place where different cultures and backgrounds can come together to enjoy and explore the beautiful Portuguese countryside, relax and eat from the land. There is plenty to keep everyone occupied from working on the land, to making music, cooking, walking and making new friends. It will be a true retreat away from the bustle of everyday life without the pretentiousness of other retreats with spas and the latest new fad. This will be a life changing experience and truly enriching.
Will Cohen - CEO & Co-Founder - Milk Productions
The concept and experience that Bohemia offers is simple, current and needed. An all-inclusive and beautiful place that combines spirituality, art and animal welfare. A truly inspirational retreat and community. I have every faith in the passion, energy and commitment that Eloise and her colleagues bring with them to this project. I highly recommend getting behind the Bohemia team financially and by visiting to help them fully realise their vision and take it to the next level. It will create joy!
Gem Auston - Singer/Artist
This is an absolutely, positively beautiful, refreshingly integral idea. I love how much Eloise genuinely loves and cares for this planet with her truly egalitarian soul counting nature and animals in on all of her love and nurturing. The positive vibes at this place are going to be absolutely buzzing as I know with all her passion and love this couldn’t be anything but a purely golden experience for anybody. This is exactly what we all need, a sense of community, care and consciousness for the space we inhabit. Go! Go! Go! lets support Bohemia.
first group recon and base camp set up May 2018 we hope to have bell tents in place around this area
Here is a link to some videos of the land:
first, very successful attempt at a bridge to cross the river - we will need to build one that is higher and stronger for winter and spring time.
So What Next?
The next stage is putting infrastructure in place so we can start the goals moving forward. Once we have basic infrastructure in place, we can start hosting retreats/camps and being our journey of being fully self sufficient.
Here is a list of what we need to do to get the place operating in the near future (aim is to have all of this installed by the end of this summer - absolutely achievable with a good team and financial backing.) also how much it will cost to achieve (money is in pounds). As we have a group of skilled volunteers and also using a lot of natural and local materials we have been able to keep costs down. We also have some recycled materials which again helps keep costs down.
Financial allocation for our goals - (campaign to be completed by 1st April 2019):
To be achieved in UK before Exodus for the building team:
£5500 - solar power, panels, BATTERIES, inverter, controller, energy!
£1000 - 2 x 5 metre bell tent with flooring for ceremonies/yoga/workshops
£1000 1 x 8 metre bell tent - chill and jam space
£4000 10 x 4 metre bell tents/beds/decoration/log burners for guests comfort
£500 - a trailer
£500 - lighting
£800 - 3way refrideration unit
£1000 - to feed the team of amazing volunteers that are coming out in April for 3 months.
£300 - ferry to take caravan to Portugal (we have our 4x4 already booked and ready to go)
total for stage 1: £14600
Stage two: To be achieved by end of May 2019:
£500 - compost toilets
£800 - bore hole
£300 - water pump
£2500 - water tanks - 1000l, 50l, 30l, 2000l for water holding for watering plants and animals
£800 - kitchen space - work top, sink, taps, tanks, lights, pots and pans
£300 - water filter - to ensure clean drinking water
£500 - showers - 2 solar showers, sink, bamboo fencing, corrugated iron roof, wood frame
£3000 - a cabin/woodstore/workshop/lean to for workshop.
£1000 - wood saw mill - to mill our own wood for construction and firewood
£1200 - platforms for cabin/bell tents - to ensure warmth and solid floor
£1000 - paddock fencing - for our animal friends
£500 - housing for animals - digs for kids (baby goats)
£500 - boundary fencing - to keep our site secure, especially if there's kids running round (human kids)
£200 - animal food store - mmm, dry food.
total for stage 2: £ 134 00
Stage 3: building and construction hoping To be completed by end of September 2019:
£1000 - vegetable beds/patches installation/seeds/plants for growing/compost
£1000 - 1 stage for performing/outdoor yoga classes in Moss Hill
£900 - we want to register as a charity to, in the future, allow grants and donations from businesses who support our animal sanctuary - this will help make us even more self sustaining
£1000 - dig reservoir for water holding year round.
£500 - natural pool to encourage wildlife and for swimming on those hot days
£1000 - begin planting our fruit forest/preparing land for forest regeneration
Total for stage 3: £5400
Total for the first 3 stages of the project is (just over): £33333
this message is for all of us!!
Goal End Date
- We are taking a team of volunteers out to Bohemia at the beginning of April to get building and the land prepared along with a couple of builders to head things up. To reach our funding goals by end of march, would be amazing.
Gaining support from friends and family and people interested in animals/music/mental health awareness/conservation would mean everything to us! the sooner we can get the balls firmly rolling the sooner we can start helping those in need and also start creating a wonderful movement of like minded people - we would be so grateful and also for anyone who wants to come volunteer time.
This is an absolutely achievable goal. A lot of planning has gone into orchestrating a team of dedicated volunteers to come out between April -June/July. Now we step out in faith to see if the Universe will provide us with the finances to get this place running and off the ground.
Thank you in advance of your help towards this dream coming true - we hope you find something you like in the rewards section. We'd love to see you at one of our events. We encourage you to share this with your friends and family - you never know who may be interested to come get involved - financially or physically.
If you have any questions or suggestions - do not hesitate to get in touch.
Have a wonderful day!
A beautiful evening in November
into: The planet needs a Bohemia, for animals to have a safe home and for people to be free to create and express themselves and share love to the planet and her inhabitants. background of music/conservation/care/scuba/martial arts/love/travelling/dreaming
JACK: DM: into: salvage/electronics/logistics/multimedia - he is the man who can!!!
MOOI: Creative Director: into: with a background in event production and experience design and a passion for saving the planet and living an authentic lifestyle, I'm looking forward to helping create a safe haven for creative compassionate living.
Andreas: Horticulturist/Baker: into: building/travelling/growing plants/making parties/cooking/having adventures/planning and executing tasks
Thor: Video/tech/communications: into:
I am Thor! Innovator, Filmmaker and content creator on YouTube. Passionate about sustainable and healthy living which is why I think Boho2020 is an excellent project.