What is Diggers & Dreamers?
Diggers & Dreamers is a not-for-profit collective whose aims are to dispel the myth that communes came and went with the 1960's, and to bring the idea of communal living to the attention of more people. To these ends, the collective has been publishing information about communal living since 1989 - in the form of printed books and this website (which went live in 2000). Over the years, D&D has published articles as well as directories, and now the directory is well established online, it has started to publish a series of themed reviews, the first of which is on Cohousing in the UK. The last printed Diggers & Dreamers book containing a directory was published in 2007. Both can be purchased here.
Finding out about communities
This website is intended as a place where people can find out about living communally in the UK. You can search the Communities Directory by region, or alphabetically. If you are interested in living communally, then we recommend that you read all the write-ups you can and draw up a shortlist of those you'd like to find out more about. Then write or email those communities and find out whether you can visit. Some communities will reply with more information about themselves and indicate the times that they welcome visitors. Never just turn up at a community unannounced - looking after visitors takes effort and organisation, and you may not be welcome at that time. Some communities have visitor weekends or maintenance weeks which allow the community to focus on visitors and give them quality attention.Places needing Members will be particularly interested in hearing from you. Another way to visit communities is by going as a volunteer or WWOOFer - your help will always be appreciated and it is a way to visit communities who may not be recruiting members at the moment. Communities will say in their write-ups whether they host volunteers and/or WWOOFers: look at the noticeboard called Places needing Volunteers for those who are actively looking for help. Do visit several places; every one is different and has its own culture and assets. Do have a look at our FAQs on communal living - it will give you a round-up of common queries and an idea of what to look for in communities you visit.
Do we vet communities?
No, we don't vet communities. We allow groups wishing to join the directory to write their own descriptions and define themselves in their own terms. This naturally leads, very occasionally, to mis-matched expectations; we take no responsibility for these. Although we will listen to genuine concerns, we would only interfere and approach a group to change their description or leave the directory in very serious cases. We recommend clear and open communication (including a phone call) before a visit, especially if you are new to communities or at all unsure.