Most of our environment is man made as we are behind the sea wall and our land was originally part of the salt marsh. Never-the-less we try to encourage a wide variety of wildlife. We are next door to a site of special scientific interest due to the migrating birds in the Spring and Autumn and the unique environment which includes a shell beach.
We are corporate members of the Essex Widlife Trust which has a number of sites in the area. They also run some of our Spring and Winter watch weeks where the wide variety of birds can be appreciated.
Our beach does have a small sandy section which is used extensively during the summer. We sometimes move the meal time when the high tide clashes!!
The Chapel connects us to the Celtic Christian past. This means honouring nature and all of the cosmos, which is written into Othona's DNA.
Within our programme you'll find activities that reflect the insights of creation spirituality. By walking the countryside, paying close attention to birds or plants or rocks you may connect our own story with that of the universe in all its complexity and wonder.
We are not connected to the mains for electricity, gas or sewage. We therefore have to generate all of our own power. We do this by
- Wind turbine - historically this has supplied approximately 50% of our power
- Photo-voltaic cells - historically this has supplied approximately 20% of our power
- Gas generator - historically this has supplied approximately 30% of our power
- Hot water tubes - used to pre-heat the water for our showers and hot water taps
Our sewage is initially pumped to our septic tank where the solids and liquids are separated. The liquid is then pumped to our reed bed system of ponds. Once the water has moved to the final lower pond it is bacteriologically clean and we then pump some of this water back to our poly tunnel.
You can see our renewable energy production and usage at Sunny Portal.