In 2012 our friends at Wild Peak (a Radical Routes housing co-op) bought Lawn Cottage on the outskirts of Belper, Derbyshire. The house comes with management of 39 acres of meadow, is adjacent to a Derbyshire Wildlife trust wetland reserve and is two fields away from the Derwent River. The site has lots of sky, wetland birds and views of woods and hills.

They Write:

We’ve got two more spaces available at Wild Peak Housing Co-op…

If anyone’s up for it we’re in the on-going process of building a Housing Co-op. We have a house and out buildings in a beautiful spot at the end of a 2 mile lane, just outside Belper, on the edge of the Peak District, in Derbyshire.

The Co-op owns 69 acres of land running alongside the river Derwent. 39 acres of this is leased to the Wildlife Trust and managed as a wetlands bird reserve, and the other 30 acres is ex-landfill, now grassland, that we’re attempting to manage for conservation, and coppice for our wood fired boiler. This mainly consists of cutting hay, planting trees, and grazing some rescued horses. Our days are touched upon by flights of jackdaws, skeins of geese, the bubbling of curlew, and the passing of badgers. The summer has the added bonus of swimming in the river.

We’re quite unique for a rural co-op in that we have a feeling of rural isolation but with a small town, with hourly train connections to nearby cities, just an easy 10 minute cycle ride away.

The co-op was set up to provide a home for those working, volunteering, or “active” within the environmental “movement”. Wild Peak is a member of the Radical Routes network.

Our current residents include 8 adults and 3 children. We’re also, among other things, a base for Wild Things ecological education collective.

We eat communally every evening. Diet wise we’re a mix of vegans, vegetarians and omnivores, but all communal space is vegan, so you’d have to be happy with that.

By the end of the Summer 2016, we hope to have finished the new extension, which will free up two upstairs rooms in the main house.

As we are a fairly new housing co-op with a lot of land to manage you’d have to be up for having a go at on-going DIY and land management. We’re all learning on the job so an enthusiastic attitude is more important than an existing skill set.

If you fancy finding out more get in touch Wild Peak Housing Co-operative, Lawn Cottage, Wyver Lane, Belper, DE56 2EF.

Tel: 01773 850493. Email:

Follow Wild Peak news at

See also Ecology Building Society: Wild Peak’s story: co-operative living

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