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Permaculture Design

Permaculture is a design methodology.

In simple terms we learn from nature how to manage systems well which provide for all human needs. That may start with growing our own food. But it surely includes how we manage all our energy usage- building homes and workplaces which are energy efficient and delightful, working together to make sustainable management of all our society needs. Creating trade structures which are fair for all. Looking after our people, our land and all living things. Leaving the world at least as healthy and abundant as we found it, whilst treading lightly on the planet in our journey. Bringing wealth creation to the places it is most needed with consequent improvement to health and happiness.  The permaculture design course is an unforgettable and life-changing experience full of fascinating insights, helping you realise your life’s dreams, and supporting others to do the same.

More information here

Permaculture Design Course Will run here in Coldstream Week 1 Monday 25-Friday 29 March 9 for 9.30 through to 4pm.  Saturday 30 March will be a day out seeing sites of interest.  Week 2 will be first week in July Monday 1st – Friday 5th, 9 for 9.30 through to 4pm.  Saturday will be visiting sites of interest with a party in the evening. 

Permaculture Teacher Training will run in Amersham Buckinghamshire June 9th to 15th 2019 with and additional two day event on 8th and 16th training in Sociocracy.  Further in formation hereDetails and booking on googledocs here


This year we are running a two week course split between March and July.  I am delighted to be joined by Mark Shipperlee and Caspar Lampkin for this.  Teacher profiles here.  What does it cost?  See here (we always charge relative to your ability to pay).  The agreed curriculum for this course can be found here.

Graham has a thirty year engagement with permaculture and has been teaching the subject for twenty five years. He has taught on five continents, pioneering new approaches in environments and cultures as diverse as Iceland and Israel, Slovenia and Senegal, Guinea and Germany. His books: The Permaculture Way and The Permaculture Garden have introduced thousands of people to the practicalities of taking responsibility for their own lives. He is currently Chair of Permaculture Scotland, and of the Permaculture Association Britain Education Working Group, a respected business advisor and mentor, consulted by distinguished organisations and an accomplished nurseryman, which he believes is good for the soul.

When you leave this course you will have found your own empowerment, many new friends, a song in your heart and a direction for your life going forwards.

Course Outline
Run at the forest garden Graham and Nancy have created at Garden Cottage, the course covers all aspects of permaculture design, forest gardening and sustainable growing. We are now developing a ‘unit approach’ so that all courses we teach will have a value which can contribute towards a completed PDC, or you can simply take the units that interest you and come back for more later.


In order to make courses as experiential as possible the PDC runs from Garden Cottage, rather than from halls, hotels or meeting rooms. Since the garden is just 1/5 acre and our home, there is no accommodation on site. However Coldstream is a beautiful town set in the wonderful Scottish Borders and, as such, boasts a fine array of hotels, guest houses and campsites.
Here are some useful links to places to stay;

Module 1 (Introduction to Permaculture)

First we share better ways of learning and agree how they will be used throughout the course. We decide what is permaculture and why do we need it. We look at design methods.

Module 2
How can we record information? Mapping and energy flows. Some design tools: Understanding energy. True yield, patterns and climate.

Module 3
Assessing and analysing what we have. More design basics: soil, tools, plants and trees, gardening techniques.

Module 4
Praciticalities of design. Social systems and communication. Built environment. Real Wealth. Understanding Money and resource management.

Module 5
Site visits. Ecological building and structures. Water.

Module 6
Design project. Next steps.

The above six modules complete a 72 hour PDC
A full curriculum is here.

Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment!


The cost of the PDC is dependent upon your personal circumstances. Please visit the Course Charges page for details. These are under review, so early booking may well save costs. We do not consider you have booked unless you have paid or made an arrangement to pay in instalments.

If you are unable to attend any modules, as described above, we will repeat modules throughout the year, or alternatively direct you to other teachers who offer the same six modules. (Module 1 also works as an Introduction to Permaculture and can be taken on its own).  In addition to the modules that make up the PDC there are further courses available;

Module 7 Forest Gardening
How and why Forest Gardens express permaculture approaches to food production.

Module 8. Real Wealth
What constitutes wealth, and how can we create it? Understanding our asset base and growing it.

Module 9 Transport Futures
How do we get from A to B. Do we need to anyway? What are the options and what can we do differently.

Module 10 Renewable energy sources.
How do they work and how can we harvest them?

Module 11. Ethical Business
How do we create sustainable living systems based on right livelihood and honest reward?

Module 12. The Permaculture Way
An open workshop addressing the issues that PDC graduates face a year on down the line. The course was pioneered last year on the inspiration of Tracey Hay. It’s a course with a very open weekend format which allows people who have completed the Permaculture Deisgn Course to think a year down the line about how their future plans are going. Helps get back on track, consider priorities and re-set goals.

Module 13. Food Preservation Course
When the growing season is so short we really need to know how to preserve peak season harvests.

To find out about future PDC courses, sign up to our newsletter.

11 thoughts on “Permaculture Design”

  1. Hello –

    I am interested in a permaculture design course and per suing some possibilities and found your website. Isle of Bute is within my range of travel (I live in Oban) and I see two weekly courses in April and July. Right now I am interested in practical arrangements to see what suits me best. Is there accommodation nearby? How many nights stay does the course span and of course importantly are there spaces?



  2. I did the course with Graham last year and it was one of the best learning experiences of my life. It has changed my attitude and my behaviour and left me with ‘a song in my heart’.

  3. Hi. Can you tell me if you still have spaces on the permaculture course starting last weekend in September? And just confirm it is at Garden Cottage and the cost? Thanks

  4. Dear Graham
    I would like to full design course then pursue higher course. I stay in Gordon. I completed intro to permaculture in Glasgow and I have done module 2 and 3 with James in Edinburgh. Unfortunately I was unable to complete full course with him. Please can you tell me if there are any courses coming up? Thanks
    Lynn Terry

  5. Hi Graham,

    I’ve been in contact with Lusi Anderslowe. I want to do her permaculture course in Glasgow which takes place over the next 6 months. Unfortunately I cannot make it to her introductory module. She thought that I could do that with you and then pick up the other modules with her back in Glasgow. Would that be possible in order to get the full PDC? I’d like to come across for the introduction at the end of this month?

    I look forward to hearing form you.

  6. Hi there,
    I am just a little confused by the dates of the PDC 2019. The course is 72 hours – how is this broken up over the 2 weeks? Can the full PDC be completed within the March dates (25th – 29th)?

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