Earthworm is a fully mutual housing cooperative in Northwest Herefordshire. It has existed since 1989. We have a 6-bedroom shared house, a static caravan, a 3-bedroom house and 3 small flats, on 7 acres of land. We currently have 12 adult members with 4 children.
Members renovate our 3 buildings and share the management of our 7 acres. Some areas of land are quite unmanaged, but could in the future provide part of land-based livelihoods in orchards, veg’ growing and willow coppice. Hosting events/ small courses could be another future possibility. There is good shared workshop space, currently used for our renovation.
We have at least 1 meeting a month which all members attend. Members work between 4 and 20 hours a week on the renovation and administration of the co-op. In addition we all help with processing firewood and managing our log-fired central heating system. All members pay rent and bills. Investment of time, energy, imagination and patience are all required. Finding paid work round here requires similar qualities.
The shared house members live as a single household, buying and cooking food together. Members in flats choose various amounts of involvement in shared meals. Our members include vegans and meat-eaters, teachers, parents, growers, and people who work full-time and part-time. We also have dogs and chickens.
When we are recruiting, we look for people who can commit some time to renovation and maintenance work. Our membership process usually takes 3-6 months from when you first get in touch to when you move in, and a further 6 months before you become a full member.
For more information about applying and many more aspects of our co-op, please read widely at www.earthwormhousingcooperative.org.uk.