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COMMUNITY GUIDELINES 

 

These are our community and land guidelines and safety notes

 

We have created these guidelines for peace of mind and the safety of everyone in line with our vision statement and core ethics, including the Laws of Nature, they also take into consideration where we are in our project evolution and will be amended and updated regularly.  We welcome feedback on these guidelines and they can be requested to be modified by community members and will continue to evolve as our project evolves deeper 

STAY ETHICS 

  • STAYS we welcome and we are happy to accept donation based stays 

  • WORK STAYS are welcomed for anyone travelling in a self contained vehicle, we welcome exchange in work for stays which are negotiable.  

  • FREELANCE private or paid work, or running a business from our site must be declared to Cara and Rui before being undertaken

  • DONATIONS are always welcome, we will offer free gifts in return for donations (see vision statement), 

  • WHERE CAN I STAY? ideally we are currently welcoming self contained campervans or tents/tipi and people who are happy to 'camp' in our farmhouse that has a basic bathroom but no indoor kitchen as of yet so please bring with you camp bed and outdoor cooking equipment (we are aiming to create an onsite kitchen very soon)  

  • FOOD POLICY we believe in freedom of personal individual dietary choice (what diet works for one will not work for another!) and are happy to hold a space for all kinds of dietary requirements including: Omnivore, Flexitarian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Keto, Carnivore etc.  The only thing we ask is that people are TOLERANT OF OTHERS FOOD CHOICES and CHOOSE FOOD CONSCIOUSLY, we do request that If animal products are used onsite (dairy, fish or meat) we kindly ask that everyone makes the world a better place and please choose 'conscious' cruelty free, wild farmed, free range, wild caught, grass fed etc products where possible and avoid all factory farmed food or animal produce.  All offerings from Gaia are treated with respect and consciously thanked at every meal.  During times of large gatherings specific dietary requirements may be decided with everyone's agreement (subject to the kind agreement of everyone)

  • SPIRITUALITY / RELIGION we are not dogmatised to any spiritual or religious belief and welcome all religions or non religions, though we are dedicated to living life knowing that everything is connected.  Cara is a practising Yoga Alliance Senior Yoga Teacher and Rui comes from a Roman Catholic background, currently non practicing. (please note for religious purposes, our centre is NOT a strict vegan or vegetarian space, we are 100% flexi and will try to accommodate all religious needs and requirements where possible and ask for tolerance of others beliefs during your stay)              

BEFORE YOUR VISIT here are the GUIDELINES FOR STAYING in a rural farming location in Portugal:

VISITORS & GUESTS  

  • must report to Cara and Rui on arrival 

  • All guests must exchange: full address, contact telephone number, email, show passport ID or equivalent ID and give emergency contact details of next of kin (name, address and telephone number), also any medical conditions or medical requirements, health conditions, medications or allergies you have etc.  This information will remain private and not be kept after your stay, in return we will give you our full contact details so you have our contact details and can be contacted between the hours of 10am-6pm daily (unless there is an emergency) 

  • We request regular communication from all visitors and guests of a minimum of once a week, we are happy to negotiate its frequency to suit your and our needs.  This will include general news updates from both parties (an informal meet in person if onsite together in an informal meet or via telephone or via zoom if we are offsite)    

FACILITIES 

we currently have the following facilities available onsite: 

  • WATER TAP access to local water supply in courtyard (untested, for washing, not recommended for drinking)

  • CLOTHING WASHING FACILITIES lines and traditional wash basin for clothes washing 

  • BROWN WASTE DISPOSAL (Please use toilet onsite, none available, nearest free camper waste facility: Tomar/Pombal) 

  • REFUSE bins and general waste disposal are a 1 minute walk

  • PARKING for 1-3 camper vans (up to 7.5t and 9 metres in length) or tent and car/van 

  • STORAGE AREA unlocked dry temporary storage area (items are stored entirely at own risk)

  • FENCED BACK YARD suitable to contain dogs

  • GARDEN GROWING AREA designated areas ready for growing

  • OUTDOOR WATER TANK suitable for plant irrigation and gardening 

  • POWER currently no electricity power, provide your own power via solar panels (electricity will be installed very soon)

  • INTERNET we currently do not have internet access available, please provide your own and turn off wifi after 12midnight 

VEHICLES TENTS STRUCTURES all structures are to be erected with permission only 

* PLEASE USE NATURAL CHEMICAL FREE (PARABEN FREE) BODY PRODUCTS AND DETERGENTS ONSITE ONLY * Thank you which includes dish washing liquid, laundry/clothing liquids/ showergel /shampoo etc.  We have a few local health food and natural chemical free shops within a short drive from our farm for you to stock up   

 

FARMHOUSE 

  • ADDRESS Please request permission to use our address as a postal address especially for official documents

  • BUILDINGS The main building is currently nearly ready for use for basic stopovers.  The outhouses are available for storage use at present, strictly no unaccompanied or unsupervised child or animal entry into the buildings  

BARN can be used for temporary storage with permission  

SMALL HOUSE currently not for use, strictly no entry  

TOILET FACILITIES toilet facilities are available inside the main farmhouse (NOT suitable for brown waste disposal)

 

WATER 

  • DRINKING WATER mains tap water is available onsite (recommended you filter before drinking), there are local fountains available nearby, you can also visit 7 fountains (10 mins by car)

  • WASHING WATER we have an outside yard tap for general washing and cleaning water 

  • SHOWER we have a basic indoor bathroom shower facility (hot water showers will be available from Feb 2023) 

  • POND there is a local pond near the chapel with undercover purgola (1 minute walk), nice to sit and meditate, Please DO NOT swim there  

  • RIVER there is a seasonal river Nov to April (2 minute walk), areas where you may be able to wild swim subject to the river running through private property  

  • NATURAL OUTDOOR WILD SWIMMING The local Agroal swimming and river beach area is an excellent wild swimming area only a 10 minute drive away and available all year, this is the safest place to wild swim as it has both a wild bank and also an all year naturally filled pool with access steps 

  • INDOOR POOL nearest indoor and outdoor 'municipal' pools are in Alvaiazere, Tomar or Ourem (all chlorine treated)  

  • BEACH nearest beach is Nazare or Figuera De Foz both 30 minute drive, Portugal 'Beach season' starts 1 June 

  • ONSITE WELL WATER is currently not clean or lab tested.  please do not open, access, walk, stand, sit or climb on top of the covered well,  thank you 

  • BOREHOLE there is a bore hole on neighbours land currently with no access

 

SURROUNDING AREA 

ACCESS 

  • General access is very good to our site for all size vehicles, caravans and trailers and LGV, HGV, articulates from the main road

  • ROADS we have a rural road running through our land for public use, please keep it clear at all times (required by local farmers and bee keepers)

  • WALKING ROUTE we are situated on the Fatima Pilgrim route and Alvaiazere Hiking Route, we are surrounded by infamous walking and cycle tracks, there will be passers by en-route on their pilgrmage or Wilderness Hike  

NEIGHBOURS

  • Our nearest neighbours have a ‘holiday home’, (a couple from the UK).  They are not part of our community project.  Be courteous at all times: respect their space and privacy, keep noise to a minimum (both human and animal noise), on communal paths and roads and near their property pick up & dispose of dog/cat poo as full guideline below

 

GENERAL 

  • CHILDREN must be supervised at all times this is a working small holding surrounded by working farms (see potential dangers outlined below) 

  • ANIMALS please supervise animals at all times, dogs must be contained or on leads with adequate shelter and water where possible and controlled at all times. Please pick up and dispose of all animal faeces on our land and surrounding shared areas immediately, dispose of animal faeces in the correct area (either in refunse bins or designated area).  Please control noise, including excessive dog barking.  Cats: clear up cat poo and provide sanitary toilet facilities, avoiding cats defecating in garden /play / communal areas.  Control all animals in nature to avoid unnecessary harm to wildlife.  We will set up a dog run, dog pooping area and dog composting poo area as soon as we can.  Please control ticks and fleas on your animals using natural methods, ticks can be a problem and will require constant grooming or application of natural tick deterrent methods to repel or remove them.  On hot days keep animals cool and in the shade, walk animals outside of peak hot times, and avoid going out at dusk dawn to reduce sandfly bites for your dog  

  • RECYCLING bins are available onsite for group stays, and a rota for communal emptying will be created.  There are no recycle bins within walking distance, the nearest recycle bins are in the local towns a short drive away

  • REFUSE household waste and refuse must not be stored outside and must be cleared off site daily, this is a rural area and refuse can attract ants, rats, mice, foxes etc if rubbish (especially food scraps) are left piling up, so please ensure you recycle, compost in designated areas or dispose of rubbish regularly and clear up food after meals immediately wiping all surfaces down with white vinegar to deter ants and mice.  Do not tip any rubbish onsite anywhere, pick up all litter and refuse.  This is a part of our protocol to avoid the need for unnecessary 'pest control' and is an essential rural life requirement  

  • DISPOSAL OF WASTE do not bury rubbish or ‘brown waste’ on our land (poo), dispose of in a correct facility, we will soon have composting toilets installed and have an indoor toilet available for use  

  • STORING FOOD It is recommended you store all food in closed airtight containers as we are rural and clean up thoroughly after you have consumed food and drink immediately after you finish your meal, both in inside and outside spaces, wipe all surfaces with white vinegar to deter ants and mice.  The ants are highly attracted to sweet food (ie: jam, honey etc) place jars inside plastic bags, and all forms of meat (ie: human/dog/cat food) so please store all meat these in a fully airtight container, ideally in a fridge and dispose of any waste immediately or you will be overrun with ants  

 

  • GREY WATER DISPOSAL (POT WASHING WATER) dispose of Pot washing grey water away from your living area, tip onto the compost bin area.  Please only use natural washing up liquid, no chemical detergents are allowed onsite.  Again, this water if it contains food scraps may attract ants so please dispose with caution onsite as any food contaminated water will immediately attract insects and small animals looking for food 

 

  • GATHERINGS, PARTIES AND VISITORS with permission

  • ALCOHOL, SMOKING & DRUGS no excessive consumption, we ask that indoor, outdoor and communal spaces are NO SMOKING, as a conscious yoga community we try to host ‘dry’ events where we are fully conscious, clean and free from drugs and alcohol intoxication and welcome conscious gatherings that are alcohol and drug free wherever possible, wherever possible replacing with positive plant medicines such as cacao, mugwort etc, we prefer to avoid intensive plant medicine ceremonies such as ayahuasca, peyote so please do not ask to perform these rituals .   

  • PLANT MEDICINE POLICY we host ‘soft’ plant medicines ceremonies such as cacao, mugwort etc.  We DO NOT host ‘hard’ plant medicine ceremonies such as ayahuasca, peyote so please do not ask to perform these rituals as the answer will be no (they can do more damage than good)  

 

  • SMOKING please smoke away from communal spaces and dispose of your cigarette ends responsibly in a bin, including offsite and in nature to reduce fire risk 

  • FIRES all fires and BBQs with permission only, Portugal has strict fire regulations, outdoor fires are banned from May 1st to End September and all fires have to be registered with the local Council, all fires to report to Rui 

  • NOISE our site is relaxed, we aim to keep the neighbourhood peaceful, regarding noise, please respect all residents & local neighbours, be polite & courteous at all times, noise must at all times be kept to a happy minimum and curfew at 11pm, it is a peaceful land

  • NUDITY no full public nudity please in line with regular rules of societal conduct  

  • STRICTLY NO loud music, large parties or gatherings, we are not that kind of space 

 

LAND GUIDELINES 

 

  • GROWING FOOD is encouraged onsite with permission in designated areas 

  • HARVESTING FRUIT harvests are TBC with Cara and Rui (please ask regarding harvesting fruit and olives from all trees onsite before you take)  

  • COMPOSTING FOOD WASTE - a composting bin is available

  • FORAGING please do not forage locally, all ground is private and owned by ‘someone’, please access land with the permission of the land-owner only (if in doubt please speak to Cara or Rui, we know local land owners), do not forage fruit or products from any land that is not yours, in Portugal this is classified as ‘theft’ from private property and will be frowned upon if you are seen doing it, if you take fruit from another land you are basically stealing it from them   

  • CHEMICALS do not use any form of chemical on or near our land including: weed killers, fertilisers, pesticides and insect repellents, water purification, household chemicals, animal or insect traps, poisons etc As well as household, cleaning chemicals.  If you are taking allopathic medication please do not use any composting toilets as drugs are chemicals that may not be broken down  

  • PEST CONTROL we prefer natural wildlife to not be called pests, and for us to take responsibility and do everything we can to ensure wild animals cannot access our food or destroy our possessions, some local animals that may have the potential to become ‘pests’ if encouraged (with food and nesting) include: ants, hornets, wasps, asian wasps, mice and rats, and may include weasels, wild cats and foxes.  To help nip things in the bud, please clear away food, seeds and nesting opportunities and keep temptation out of their way. We prefer to use natural and/or humane deterrent methods which include holistic pest repellants, but if populations do increase beyond a safe limit we will have no other option but to take action so please do your bit.  Please do not feed wild life, they have a bountiful supply of food.   

 

POTENTIAL HAZARDS

  • WILDLIFE that can cause problems especially in summer months march to July include: ants (they will bite you, your dog and may ransack your food areas including kitchen, cupboards, jars, packets, fridge, toolbox, picnics etc), Sandflies (present in rural areas), ticks (in this area they generally 'like' dogs, but rarely attach to humans, though it is wise to check yourself, children and pets daily), mosquitos (they love humans height of season is march to sept), wasps, hornets, asian hornet, snakes and scorpions and possibly fire salamanders (can be poisonous to small animals) and watch out for processionary caterpillars (nests on pine trees, though we have not seen any nests in the immediate local area), wild boars when they have babies can be dangerous to dogs and may charge, also If you have a small dog or cat, please be vigilant to overhead raptors (large birds of prey) which can lift small animals for prey that are the ‘size of a large chicken or baby goat’.  Also be aware Portuguese dogs, including hunting dogs may roam free on the rare occasion, some may or may not be friendly,  at present we have a reported 3 dogs living loose in woodland by a house near us that are reportedly not dangerous

  • WILD SWIMMING the nearest safe outdoor all year natural designated area for wild swimming is Agroal.  Other waters in this area are seasonal, these wild water areas may have dangers as they are subject to flash floods, and may have unpredictable strong currents and aquatic plants growing, wild animals may be present in water ponds such as: turtles, otters, water rodents, fish, snakes and wild animals drinking can transmit contagious diseases such as Giardia, usually common in spring in natural water sources    

  • FLORA FAUNA AND FORAGING be aware some wild plants may look like others if you are from a different country.  Also be aware of seed pods and thorns injuring dogs feet and legs, sticking into fur and feet so please check your dogs for dry sharp piercing seed pods, if you see your animal limping chances are its a seed pod or thorn in the foot   

  • WILD FIRES do and can happen, we are in a moderate fire risk zone, for fire safety: please ensure you can collect or more all of your possessions in one go from our site in case of an emergency within a 30 minute time frame for immediate evacuation.  WiseRoots.Community is not liable for any temporary accommodation if this happens as this is ‘an unseen act of nature’   

  • RURAL DANGERS please be responsible and safe (ensure children are supervised and do not trespass on private land).  Dangers especially where children are concerned, rural dangers can include uncovered wells, dangers in derelict buildings such as asbestos or loose walls and glass, animal hunter traps, hunting areas (look for designated hunting signs), unseen shafts & mines, caves (we live in a limestone area and unseen or overgrown water ponds / caves / holes can be present), hidden wells, ponds and water pits with steep sides usually hidden with foliage, dangers on rural land can also include: animal poisons and baits (these are widely used by farmers and can poison dogs and cats including if they eat poisoned animals), heavy plant machinery, forestry activity and logging, articulate vehicles using rural roads with heavy loads (usually logging trucks and tractors), cattle and animals etc 

  • FLASH FLOODS be aware of heavy torrential rain and ensure you are prepared, be aware of rivers and streams may swell and burst during heavy rains and intense electrical storms can happen here also due to the mountain range clashing air  

  • HUNTING LAWS there is a long tradition in portugal for hunting and our property is in a local area designated hunting area.  Hunters are required to stay a minimum of 50 metres away from residential dwellings and only hunt on private land with the owners permission.  Currently no hunters have permission to hunt on our land.  Hunting season runs from September to March.  All hunters must have a licence to hunt and pass strict tests, though there have been rare gunshot incidents, so, as a safety precaution if walking in hunting areas in season ensure you wear bright colours (hi-viz) on both you and your dog and always keep your dog in a lead and do not wander off of designated walking areas into forests or bush.  We have at least 3 active hunting lodges near us and a hunting club in the next valley so hunting is very active in this area, thought we have not found any discarded bullet casings immediately on or surrounding our land.  

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL 

  • SINGLE USE PLASTICS we ask these are avoided where possible, or reused  

  • REDUCE REUSE our pledge is to live as ethically and sustainably as possible  

  • RECYCLE we aim to recycle all unwanted or unusable textiles, glass, plastics and paper/card at designated recycle centres

  • ENERGY where possible we will choose off grid energy, though our project may not be entirely 100% off grid   

  • WATER we will conserve water and where possible we will source natural water collected water

 

DISCLAIMER  

  • PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY you agree to take full responsibility for your own actions and health, including the health of others and animals in your care whilst on our land, if you are working freelance in exchange for your accommodation you agree to take out insurance and medical insurance to cover yourself as FarmFam is not liable for any injury, accidents or loss to you or your possessions, including vehicles whilst onsite, this includes damage, injury or loss of possessions from theft, damage or loss, fire, flood or other natural disaster or natural accidents including fires, floods, earthquakes, sinkholes, electrical storms etc.  

  • You agree to carry out work within your own limitations and have relevant experience and/or qualifications to safely do what you have agreed do, this includes all work, gardening, maintenance, building, project work and other work etc

  • You agree you are healthy and fit to complete any tasks you do and are of sound mind, and you have disclosed any medical conditions that may affect any activities you carry out 

  • You agree Cara and Rui have looked at all areas of ’due diligence’ and advised you to the best of their knowledge and you take full responsibility from herein 

  • You agree  if you have any reason you have full rights to refuse any work or task if you feel it is inappropriate for you and you there is no mandatory tasks 

  • You are responsible for your own safety and safety equipment, including footwear, gloves, eye protections, masks etc and safety of machinery you use, including any qualifications you require to  use them 

  • YOUR POSSESSIONS AND PROPERTY ARE AT YOUR OWN RISK - WiseRoots.Community is not liable for loss, theft or damage of any kind, including natural disasters (such as fire, flood, lightning, quakes, sinkholes, trees falling etc) during your stay, including all possessions, tools, structures, plants, agricultural or work equipment, vehicles, animals and any other possessions not listed here etc .  

 

  • OTHERS PROPERTY you are responsible for any damage to others property including loss theft or damage, you agree to pay for any damage and WiseRoots.Community is not responsible 

  • PROPERTY OF WISEROOTS you are are liable to pay for any damage to property or possessions at FarmFam

 

 

 

YOU AGREE YOU TAKE FULL LIABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS, PERSONAL SAFETY AND POSSESSIONS WHILST ON OUR LAND AND  BUILDINGS WITH DUE DILIGENCE AND COMPLETE YOUR OWN RISK ASSESSMENTS FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY 

 

SIGNED________________ DATE _______

 

cara foulkes 

& rui verissimo 

WiseRoots.Community (formerly FarmFam)

last updated: May 2023 

 

Please email us back with your signature and dated signed contract 

THIS EMAIL IS CONSENT YOU AGREE AND CONFIRM YOU HAVE BEEN FULLY INFORMED WITH DUE DILIGENCE OF ALL INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR YOURS AND OTHERS SAFETY DURING YOUR VISIT/STAY

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