Whitefield Permaculture
Introduction to Permaculture

Introduction to Permaculture

Further Information

This information is additional to what you can see on the Introduction to Permaculture page.

The introduction course is for people who may have heard about permaculture but want a better understanding of what it is and how it can be used. The philosophy, principles and history are covered along with information about practical applications, and how to get involved in community activities and networks, and further education.

A wide range of teaching methods is used, including talks, slide shows, discussions and exercises, both indoor and outdoor. We make full use of the farm as a teaching resource, with outdoor sessions every day if the weather permits.



The Course starts on the morning of the first day at 9.30. We ask all participants to arrive on the evening of the day before, when there will be a meal at 7.00pm.

Lessons end at 5.30pm each day, with optional evening activities on Saturday. The course finishes at 5.30pm on Sunday.


Ragmans Lane Farm is situated in beautiful countryside in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, on the banks of the River Wye.

The farm has been thost to a rich diversity of activity over its 25 years as a pioneering permaculture site. In recent years this has been narrowed down to three enterprises. One is mushroom log production – inoculating logs with the spawn of shii-take and oyster mushrooms and selling the logs as a source of fresh organic mushrooms. The other is organic apple juice production, and part of the farm has been planted up with orchards to supply the apples. There is a vegetable garden, presently run by a market garden group, which also supplies vegetables to the courses. The rest of the farm is let out to neighbours for grazing.

The farm is also the home of the Willow Bank, which supplies a wide range of willow varieties and installs living willow structures. Many of these can be seen around the farm. In addition, there is an interesting range of ecological building styles on the farm, and there is both mature and newly planted woodland.

For more information on the farm, including a pictorial tour, see http:// www.ragmans.co.uk (Please note that you should use the booking form on this website, not the one on the Ragmans Lane site.)

The Bunkhouse


This is in the bunkhouse, a converted stone barn with many ecological features. Accommodation is basic and there are no individual or double rooms, but if you want privacy you are welcome to camp.

The camping site, with beautiful views of the local landscape, is right beside the bunkhouse. Campers have full use of the bunkhouse facilities and there is no reduction in charge for camping.

Full vegetarian board is provided. The great majority of the food is organic and sourced as locally as possible – including fruit and vegetables from the farm itself.

If you’re unable to pay the full fees our first suggestion is that you look for funding. Below is a list of organisations which have given funding to people on our courses in the past.

Princes Trust
0800 842 842
Gives grants for training to young people up to 25 years. Although these are normally limited to £500 we have had one student funded for the full cost of the Sustainable Land Use course.

Princes Countryside Trust
Gives grants to projects that help support the people who care for the countryside, including grants for training.

0845 850 1122
Provides funding for “people with vision, drive, commitment and passion who want to change the world for the better.” This is interpreted quite widely.

Thomas Wall Trust
Funds courses for individuals who have financial difficulties.

The Vegeterian Charity
Gives grants to people under 25, which have included grants for permaculture courses.

Grants for Horticulturalists
Information on grants and bursaries available from organisations in the United Kingdom for horticultural projects, exchanges and travel.

BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers)
01302 572244
From time to time either the national organisation or regional and local branches give grants for training.

Cooperative Community Fund
Only gives grants to community organisations, not to individuals. For more oranisations which do this plus a whole range of other funders see www.somersetcommunityfood.org.uk/index.php?page=funding-2

Listing Websites
Comprehensive lists of funders can be found at these sites:

Job Centre Plus
If you’re unemployed and claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance it’s worth asking at your Job Centre whether they can fund you. The Permaculture Association (Britain) is registered as a supplier on ProcServe, which is used by the Department for Work and Pensions, ie Job Centres, to buy things. Our courses are certified by the Permaculture Association, so if there is any funding for courses available it should be possible to access it. In Wales you should contact ReAct.

Payment by Installments
If you’re unable to find funding but would be able to pay by instalments please contact us. We will be happy to arrange a payment programme with you, including payments both before and after the course.

If neither of the above are suitable for you we are able to offer some concessionary places. We don’t have a regular concessionary rate but discuss it with each person as an individual. If you would like to apply for a concession please email us with a account of your circumstances.

Course Group

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