The Design Course gives you what you can’t get from books: the experience of permaculture design. It centres on a series of practical exercises in which you develop a design for an actual piece of land, either a domestic garden or a smallholding according to your choice, with guidance from your tutor throughout. There’s no better way of learning than by doing, and by the end of the course you will be ready to go home and design your own place for real.
In the orchard at Ragmans Farm
In addition there are shorter desk-top exercises, slide shows, talks and discussions. As well as focusing on permaculture as a design system we also explore it as a guide towards more sustainable living in this time of great change.
The course is certified by the Permaculture Association of Britain. This is a qualification recognised by the permaculture community internationally.
For more details on the course contents, including a sample timetable, click here.
The main tutors are Caroline Aitken -director of Patrick Whitefield Associates and Matt Dunwell -permaculture pioneer and the farmer of Ragmans Lane. Additional teachers include Sarah Pugh -urban and community permaculturist and director of Shift Bristol, Steve Pickup -expert in living willow structures, Carine van Gestel- craftswoman, designer and teacher, Juanfran Lopez -permaculturist working at Ragmans, Christina Crossingham (Patrick’s sister) at Easton Community Garden and legendary permaculture teacher Mike Feingold.
The venue, Ragmans Farm, set in the glorious countryside of the Wye Valley, Gloucestershire, has long been noted as a leading permaculture site. A particularly interesting aspect of their work at present is holistic orchard management, a probiotic approach which avoids the pesticides used in organic orchard management. If using public transport we organise a group taxi collection service from Gloucester Train Station the evening before the course begins.
During the course we make a day trip to Bristol visiting several inspiring projects to see permaculture in action in an urban setting. While our courses have a land-focused approach we include something for everyone whether they are in the middle of a city or have land in the country. Permaculture principles can be applied to any situation and we provide useful information, practical skills and clear understanding that you can apply to your life and your surroundings. This includes people-care sessions to help us with working in groups, community and in our personal relationships in acknowledgement of the importance that good communication and co-operation have in a sustainable future.
The Earth Care Manual, Patrick’s major permaculture book, at discount price. You can order your copy in advance or collect it on the course. Simply choose either option on the booking form and add the cost to your payment: £35 in advance, £30 on the course.
Fees cover all costs including wonderful home-cooked meals made from local organic produce (where ever possible); bunkhouse accommodation in a beautiful converted barn or camping with a stunning view and access to all facilities (you choose); teaching and tuition from experienced and inspiring teachers; day trips to educational and inspiring projects; a wonderful experience and learning that will enrich your life! If you are local and won’t need to stay or join us for breakfast and dinner we can arrange a discount for you.
Full rate: £780
Concession rate: £580. Please contact email@example.com to discuss.
A deposit of £300 is due on booking, and the balance of £480 six weeks before the course starts. On receipt of the full payment we will send you joining instructions. Payments are non-returnable. You may like to take out insurance for your fees in case you’re unable to attend through illness etc. Guest First is an insurer which covers this kind of risk. (If the course is cancelled for any reason, then of course all payments will be returned.)
If you’re unable to afford the full fees please click here.
“I have been satisfied beyond all expectations.”
– Daniel Kronenberg
“The wide variety of learning styles employed and well balanced timetable were unique.”
– Julia Groves
“The course was taught extremely well – professional, yet fun and personal at the same time. One of the most amazing experiences of my life!”
– Alison Ensor
“There’s nothing I’d rather have been doing for the past two weeks of my life and nowhere in the world I’d rather have been.”
– Chris Klasinski