The Farmyard Lisnavagh

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Journey through the Art of Climate Action Project

The FarmYard, Lisnavagh is a living lab; a hub of innovation, resilience & sustainable living in County Carlow. People from all walks of life & all parts of the world come to the FarmYard to be inspired & to rethink their lifestyles by participating in events that explore the inextricable links and interdependencies between the arts, agriculture, biodiversity, community, innovation, technology, nature, the environment, health & wellbeing and climate action.


A compassionate, fair and regenerative society of empowered and resilient communities that live sustainably within planetary boundaries and thrive through inclusion, diversity, creativity and collaboration.


To Inspire, Innovate, Ignite & expand public and political awareness of the potential of empowered communities within rural areas, villages, towns & cities to transform their localities and to help reach ambitious local and global level policy goals and targets, such as the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Intended impact  

The intended impact of the ongoing events programming is to develop a dynamic and inclusive framework for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, learning and capacity-building to support communities to engage in and spread transformative action on the ground. In practice, through our Climate Resilient Communities Programme,  we aim to cultivate an integrated network of groups, individuals, organisations and change-makers that inspires a holistic culture of regeneration.

This will result in a national network of Conservation Volunteers - a Task Force for Biodiversity, Climate, Nature & Environment, working with the PPNs and Local Environmental Networks, County Councils, cultural creatives, youth organisations, NGOs, Tidy Towns & FairTrade Towns, local artists & farmers in Carlow &  surrounding counties.


To provide a creative environment that promotes and supports accelerated learning, knowledge-sharing and collaboration among artists, community-led initiatives, marginalised groups such as asylum seekers, travellers, refugees, people living with disabilities, public agencies, cultural creatives & their networks in order to catalyse action that will result in systemic transformation across the country and beyond, with regard to climate change, biodiversity loss, nature and environmental degradation.

What we do

We curate & run events with cutting edge artists, creatives, thinkers, philosophers, farmers, poets, scientists, asylum seekers, politicians, community agencies & groups, non-profits, and those in the most marginalised communities that are passionate about nature, environment and sustainable lifestyles. These events are melting pots of creativity & inspiration to reconnect people to our beautiful land, water and ecosystem and ignite the energy in confidence needed for everyday people to take creative action which will transform their own lives and communities. Through our events we empower people to tap into their inner artist to become agents of creative change.

In a nutshell, our programme embraces History, Heritage, Culture, Community Biodiversity, Climate, & Environment through transformational events & co-creative art & land-based projects 

  1. Arts: visual art exhibitions, film, music, poetry, photography, theatre, storytelling, live art performances, dance, creative workshops, podcasting
  2. Climate: action camps, climate resilient communities & task force networks events
  3. Community: festivals, gatherings, workshops, trainings, seminars, physical/emotional/spiritual health & wellbeing retreats, conferences, immersive experiences
  4. Culture: history, heritage, crafts, healing arts, performances
  5. Environment: biodiversity, nature, regenerative agriculture, organic farming, permaculture &  renewable energy

Why we do it

Humanity must reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if we are to reverse the onset of climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss. Art has the power to inspire, enthral and motivate people to transform the reality we are now facing as we reach the climate tipping point.

We believe that art, and the voices of those most impacted by climate change, are the missing pieces in global climate action efforts. The out-of-the-box thinking that many practising artists engage with daily is essential to finding creative and real solutions. Further, we have a lot to learn from those that have lived at the front lines of poverty and conflict as a result of climate change. We acknowledge that many refugees & people from the travelling community have very real priorities of getting basic needs met and may not have the capacity/resources to face the wider issues of climate change. However, our trauma-informed programme aims to support migrants and other marginalised groups to move beyond survival mode by sharing tools & skills that will help them to integrate into their new communities and empower them to share their knowledge and wisdom they carry from their journeys.

As stated, our window of opportunity to make the changes needed to turn the tides is closing by the day. That is why we are giving this project our all to build a community that might have previously taken 10 years, in the span of 3 years! The time for action is now, and we are committed to building the foundations needed to bring all of the amazing projects & artists that already exist  in Ireland together to energise & support each other. None of us can make change alone, so the FarmYard will be the heart of the mycelial network that brings everyone together for inspired action.


In the late 1600s, the Bunburys rented 600 acres of marginal land that was stripped of trees, built Lisnavagh house in 1696 and started to buy the land in the early 1700s. Captain McClintock Bunbury reformed the Lisnavagh estate in the mid 1800s perhaps partially in response to the devastating impacts of the great famine across Ireland. The FarmYard at Lisnavagh was built as a resilient model farm of the future, where diversity of crops, nurturance of the soil and respect for the hundreds of people that lived and worked on the farm were the main priorities.  In the 1857 Irish Farmer’s Gazette the farm and farmyard were hailed as a shining example of innovation and renowned for its ethos and building design, which demonstrated that aesthetics, beauty and quality of life were crucial for the wellbeing & sustainability of workers and animals.


Today, Lisnavagh is home to a 200-acre forest, 400 acres of grassland, crops and hedgerows where we aim to support the biodiversity to flourish. Recognising the multitude of modern-day crises that humanity faces on a global scale and building on the legacy left by Captain Bunbury, his great-great-great grandson William & his wife Emily have been working for twenty years to re-establish the FarmYard at Lisnavagh. With this project, we wish to restore the FarmYard as a model for future communities once again.

The intention is for it to become a thriving centre, where people from all over the world can step into an environment and experience first-hand the peace and tranquillity of a pastoral landscape, and a quiet place to rethink personal priorities and explore meaningful possibilities for the future based on the themes of the programme:

1.  Helping people rethink lifestyles)
2. Connecting  to the Biodiversity crisis
3.  Ensuring a Fair & Just Transition
4. Understanding the Changing Climate
5. Adapting places to climate change

Nature knows no boundaries. Consequently, the FarmYard Project will link  with other projects in Europe - such as Damanhur, EcoLise and European Permaculture Community.  

Biodiversity, Climate, Nature & the Environment

Climate change is the result of pushing the earth beyond the tipping point of what is sustainable.  In order to reach our Paris Agreement Targets, we have to tackle the root causes.  In doing so, it is possible to see that all of the causes are man-made and can therefore, be addressed by human intervention. For example, through interactive exhibitions, people get to experience how trees communicate with each other through sound waves and go forest bathing in the magnificent indigenous forests. They’ll learn all about the “underground forest” and how Nature’s Superhighway, the mycelium layer, is the foundation of a healthy ecosystem, upon which all life depends.  Through our Farmers Forum series of webinars and workshops, growers will learn how it is possible to prevent pests using sounds made by certain plants. People from indigenous communities in Africa, the Middle East and Asia will share their experiences of the impacts of climate change and how their local communities are finding solutions.


The importance of the Arts in igniting people’s creativity and imagination when it comes to envisioning a peaceful, just and sustainable world cannot be underestimated.  It’s no longer acceptable to view nature and the environment as an unlimited resource to be plundered -  irrespective of the consequences.  

As a result of  taking part in the ongoing Journey through the Art of Climate Change Project at the FarmYard, i.e. our Heritage Week festival, people develop new skills & ways of seeing things, as well as  learning about the old ways; the tried and tested ancestral skills and traditions that have been lost.

Irish people have turned to the wisdom & rich heritage and traditions from other cultures which are of value, yet we wish to support in the reconnection to the culture of this land. A huge part of this has been the loss of language, so events focusing on the Irish language and culture will play a huge role in our programme.

Further, many of the older generations, especially in farming families, still carry threads of wisdom, skill and stories that are woven into the tapestry of Irish culture.

We aim to empower the voices of our elders in passing down this wisdom to support us in re-imagining  meaningful pathways forward for sustainable living, farming in alignment with the land and waters and community engagement with nature in alignment with the ecosystem.  


Key element of the FarmYard - Community spirit.

Community spirit is at the heart of all we do at the FarmYard, where social inclusion and creativity are the keys.

Through the Arts and Environment, we explore:

  • Unlocking creativity, imagination & collaboration
  • Diversity, inclusion, regenerative agriculture, permaculture, biomimicry, Circular Economy, Doughnut Economics, food sovereignty, Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs), climate justice
  • The best models of sustainable living that harness the transformative power of diversity, inclusion and equality
  • Exploring the interdependencies and symbiosis between Arts, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climate, Nature, Environment
  • Sustainable food systems: connecting people with nature & each other
  • Delivering green skills for a zero-carbon future
  • Addressing biodiversity loss in relation to agriculture, soil and food
  • Creating & sharing solutions for environmental transformation & joyful living
  • Community, learning, living more simply in a wholesome way
  • Deepening our connection to purpose and nature
  • Honouring and reviving old ways of wisdom & traditional crafts
  • Building networks
  • Empowering humanity to create sustainable livelihoods that will take us beyond the climate, biodiversity & cultural crises into a sustainable future

We invite you to become part of our evolutionary journey!

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Lisnavagh Farmyard