Earthworm is a fully mutual housing Co-op in north west Herefordshire. We are a member of Radical Routes, and have existed since 1989 – that’s as long as Diggers and Dreamers!
We have a 6 bedroom shared house, a static caravan, a 3-bedroom house and 3 small flats, on 7 acres of land. More details on our website.
By 2025 we hope to have 14 adult members and as many kids as come with those. We currently have 12 adults (with 3 infants). Members renovate our 3 buildings and some also share the management of 7 acres of land. Some areas of land are still quite unmanaged, but could, in the future, provide part of land-based livelihoods in orchards, veg gardens and willow coppice. Hosting events and small courses here could be another future possibility. There is also good shared workshop space, currently dominated by the renovation.
We have at least one meeting a month which all members attend. Investment of time and energy, imagination and patience are all required (members work between 4 and 20 hours a week on the renovation and the administration of the co-op). Finding paid work round here requires similar qualities.
All members pay rent and bills, and for our renovation to be finished sooner, we look to recruit people who can all commit significant time to the renovation work. (1-3 days a week would be ideal). The shared house members buy and cook food together. The current flat inhabitants have chosen various amounts of involvement in shared meals. We also share the land and wider co-op with dogs, chickens, 3 small children and maybe a few events each year such as camps, courses and gatherings.
Our members range between vegans and meat-eaters, teachers, parents, growers and brewers, people who work full time and people who are concentrating on parenthood. When we’re recruiting 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 this and many more aspects of our co-op, please read our website and enjoy our photos on flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatworm