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The Context - Gomde Lindholme Hall - The centre for Tibetan Buddhism in the UK

The Context

The Context - Philosophy and Geography
The Buddha´s teachings are in harmony with protecting and caring for the environment. 

The unique location of Gomde, Lindholme Hall and the rich resources here, put us in a perfect position to ´practice what we preach´. To read more about our environmental and conservation policies and practices please see Land Management and Sustainability.

* Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche´s Advice 
* Buddha´s Teachings and the Environment



Buddha’s Teaching and the Environment

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche gives us this insight in an interview with the author Daniel Goleman:

“We talk a lot about protecting and safeguarding the environment, about the importance of organic foods, and so on. The point, however, is not just to talk about it, but to make sure that we actually do take care of our environment. What we do will have very far reaching consequences, affecting even the most subtle forms of life on this planet. We need to prevent future disaster, and to do that we must first of all seek to understand what direction we are moving in. We must try to identify where things have gone wrong and discuss how we can best restore and improve wherever there are problems. In this way, we can make sure that the future is a happy one. If the outer environment is healthy and in balance, the physical well-being of all who inhabit it can also improve, and this, in turn, allows for peace of mind, kind heartedness, and brightness of the mind. In short, we can come to experience true joy and fulfilment.

On the other hand, what prevents this is, basically, human craving and selfishness: Having no concern for what may happen later, simply thinking that the elements are there to be exploited, for me to become as rich as possible – even if it means poisoning the world — that type of selfish attitude. So what we think and do matters.”

The Buddha did not live during a period when the environment was considered to be under threat. Nevertheless his teachings give us insight and guidance into this very modern issue.

The Buddha asked us to examine things carefully; when one does this it is clear that nothing lasts forever and that everything is impermanent. Through properly understanding impermanence one becomes less preoccupied with selfish aims and more appreciative of positive conditions and situations. Seeing that nothing lasts we become more inclined to take care of finite resources.

Interdependence is a core teaching of Buddhism. It acknowledges that we are not isolated individuals but instead are fundamentally interconnected as all phenomena arise through the coming together of countless causes and conditions.

Karma, the law of cause and effect, teaches us that all our actions have a corresponding result now and in the future; in short all we do, think and say has an effect.

Compassion and caring for others is key tenant of the Buddhist faith. Treating all beings with true compassion not only benefits others but leads to personal happiness and is the basis for enlightenment.

Within Buddhism, ego clinging - a preoccupation with, and a belief in a self– is the cause of all our suffering and creates all the negative thought states and emotions such as anger, jealousy and greed. It is this preoccupation with the self which makes our mind-set selfish, narrow and ignorant of the consequences of our actions.

From investigation it is clear that caring for and protecting the environment is wholly in tune with the Buddha’s teachings and is a message for our times.

Our Location
The Lindholme Island Estate
Our location provides us with not only a perfect place for practicing Buddhism but a perfect place for making a real difference in the areas of conservation, caring for the environment and sustainability.

Gomde, Lindholme Hall Estate is an ‘island’ in the centre of 3,500 acre National Nature Reserve, the Hatfield Moor. The island, previously reached only by boat, is now reached through the peatland by a 1 mile single lane road.

Our 180 acre island site is made up of grassland, heathland, peatland and woodland; it is very beautiful, inspiring and peaceful, with a medieval character. It is understood that the gravel ridge which now forms Lindholme Island was laid down during the last ice age some 16-20,000 years ago. Two geological sections have been exposed in the south of the estate which provide rare evidence of the limits of the last glaciation in Eastern England. It is anticipated that the sections will be the basis for further discreet scientific research.

Being a sandy island in the middle of a peat bog, the estate is in a unique position in conservation terms, preserving  a great diversity of habitats and species. Due to these factors we have been able to join a funded scheme run by Natural England, Higher Level Stewardship, which helps us manage and care for these habitats.  Click Here for further details.

The estate also has a walled garden, traditional orchard and space to produce good quantities of fruit and vegetables. We also have our own well and septic system which further enables self sufficiency.

The Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve
Hatfield Moor and the Lindholme Island estate lie within the Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve. On the international scale, the lowland raised habitat is as rare as any patch of Amazonian rain forest and is considered an exceptionally precious part of our national heritage.

Hatfield Moor was, from 1950 up until the 1990´s, milled for garden peat. The industrial scale of the extraction meant that the moor habitat was systematically devastated; indeed at one point there were plans to turn the whole area into a land fill site.

Individuals and many local conservation bodies vigorously campaigned to save both Thorne and Hatfield Moors. The story of the ´fight for the moors´ is, according to the botanist David Bellamy, “a story of the real guts of conservation."
Thanks to the efforts of a few informed, bold and tenacious conservationists the Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve is now owned by Natural England and is one of the largest bog restoration projects in Europe, so despite the massive damage done in the past it is hoped that the Moors can be restored.

Hatfield and Thorne Moor and parts of the Lindholme Estate are comprised of lowland raised mire (peatbogs) which is a rare, endangered and environmentally essential resource.

The Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve (NNR)
The Humberhead Peatlands comprise Hatfield, Crowle and Thorne  and Rawcliffe Moors. They are all nationally and internationally important for their wildlife.
The Humberhead Peatlands are a meeting place for northern and southern species. A remarkably large number of plants and animals are at the edge of their distribution here, resulting in a unique species mix.
Only 10,227 hectares of lowland raised mire is left in England and all have been damaged by peat extraction and drainage. Thorne and Hatfield represent approximately 31% of this; the largest area left for attempts at reconstruction of this wetland environment.


Raised mires are very different from other lowland wet mires and are a unique ecosystem. Thorne and Hatfield Moors are the two largest lowland raised mires remaining in Britain, covering approximately 3,000 hectares in total. They are considered to be the only true continental raised mires remaining in Britain with a strong affinity to bogs in countries fringing the Baltic.

The importance of Thorne and Hatfield Moors is confirmed by their conservation designations:
•Sites of Special Scientific Interest SSSI
•Special Protection Areas under the European Birds Directive SPA
•Special Areas of Conservation under European Habitats Directive SAC´s
•Qualifies as Wetlands of International Importance under the terms of the Ramsar Convention.

Invertebrate interest
In terms of invertebrate faunas, Thorne Moors is the richest peatland site in Britain. It contains the fourth largest assemblage of rare species of any British site irrespective of habitat and Hatfield Moor is in the top ten of such sites, yet is acknowledged as being under-recorded.
So far the recorded insect fauna of both Moors exceeds 5,500 species - around 25% of the British fauna - with over 30 Red Data Book species and over 250 nationally scarce species. Six species are known from no other sites in Britain, including three that were new to Britain in 1992.

The Moors are notable as the only British localities for:

•The Red Data Book Category 1 -– the ground beetle Bembidion humerale and a pill beetle Curimopsis nigrita, both of which are equally rare throughout Europe.
•The Red Data Book Category 2 - Phaonia jaroschewskii, a Muscid fly that is currently known only from the Moors in Britain
•Further species are added each year.
Botanical interest includes royal fern, bog rosemary, the insectivorous round leaved sundew and bladderwort, and the greater yellow-rattle.

Living Museum
The acidic peat of the Moors creates an environment in which few bacteria are active and where there is minimal free oxygen. This inhibits the process of decay and has allowed a veritable Domesday archive of four millennia to be preserved. Two trackways and charred tree stumps yield rare clues to the activities of Neolithic and Bronze Age human communities - but if the mire is allowed to dry out, the record would be lost forever.

Environmental Resource

•On a world wide scale peatlands provide us with a range of ecosystem services without which we would not be able to survive.

•Peatlands remove and store carbon from the atmosphere. UK peatlands store 3 billion tonnes of carbon, almost four times as much as UK forests, making them a vital natural resource in the fight against climate change and they could perhaps be seen as the UK´s equivalent to tropical rainforests.

•Currently, almost all peat dug out of the ground is used to make peat compost. Our use of peat composts is responsible for 630,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the equivalent of 300,000 cars!

•Due to the continued degradation of the UK’s peatlands a significant amount of carbon is being put back into the atmosphere. This is particularly alarming as a loss of only 5% of stored carbon equates to the UK´s total annual green house gas emissions!

Healthy peatlands and those that have been restored and enhanced can make a positive contribution to tackling climate change.

•There has been a dramatic decline and extensive degradation of these areas and in the UK 94% of lowland raised bog habitat has been lost in the last 200 years. Historically, the decline has occurred through agricultural changes, afforestation, and industrial peat extraction.

For further information about the Moors please see Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum (THMCF) and Natural England websites.

Our Aim
Rangjung Yeshe UK is committed to protecting and enhancing this precious and rare habitat. We achieve this through working in partnership with our neighbours Natural England, and with local experts in The Lindholme Old Moor Management Group to manage the rarest parts of the estate, much of it being within a Higher Level Stewardship scheme.