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Permaculture design at Chickenshack

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Permaculture Design Course Outline
Permaculture design principles extend from the position that "The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children" (Mollison, 1990). The intent is that, by rapidly training individuals in a core set of design principles, those individuals could become designers of their own environments and able to build increasingly self-sufficient human settlements — ones that reduce society's reliance on industrial systems of production and distribution that Mollison identified as fundamentally and systematically destroying the earth's ecosystems.

This 2-week course explores patterns in nature - revealing the building blocks of sustainability; Soil, water, plants, animals, microbes and energy, diversity, cycling and patterning - the key being how they work and interact together in complex ecologies to create sustainable and abundant environments: be they natural ones like forests, or wild spaces or designed ones like gardens, buildings, communities and economies. Permaculture deisgn invites us all to apply the insight of natural sustainability to our lives, in whatever we do.

This is a very hand-on course which offers the potential of a unique and immensely valuable experience. Spending 2 weeks as part of a group of like minded people initself can be an infectious and up lifting experince, especially when those involved have all reached a similar stage in their convictions to begin to put their thoughts into action.

Get with it, get sustainable, get permaculture!

[See Course Timetable]

view to the east

The venue for the course (pictured above) is a 5 acre small holding known as Brynllwyn, which is owned and managed by the folk of Chickenshack housing co-operative. We are situated on the southern and coastal edge of Snowdonia national park in Mid Wales. Pictured above is the view to the south east, looking over our property towards Cadair Idris, the highest local peak. [Getting here] Its easy to get here by train, or its a lovely car drive through the Welsh hills, Birmingham/ Manchester/ Cardiff and Bristol are all about three hours away.

The course will be based here for the fortnight, with field visits and practicals at various projects and plots around the area. We will also be working closely with fantastic new project at the Llanfyllin Workhouse and have long standing links with the Centre for Alternative Technology.

Two weeks Camping (live in vehicles and caravans, by arangement) and delicious local fresh food all including in the price. There is a course common room and library and access to the main house with solar hot water, internet/ phone connection.

For the less hardy don't worry, there is a selction of B+B's and holiday cottages in the wider area, if you don't wish to camp. There is the possibility of some fall back accommodation in the house.

Main meals, drinks and snacks are provided, just bring your tent, sleeping stuff and a good pair of boots. [what to bring] You will need plenty of pens and paper and feel free to bring a favourite book or two for the course library. Also bring details of your land or project if you have one to share with the course.

The permaculture design course's core curriculum is laid out by the international permaculture institute and its copyright vested in its course graduates. Permaculture is a global network of people and projects dreams and aspirations all dedicated to working for productive harmonious relationship with nature. Permaculture design is a mixture of language, concepts, ideas and practicals that enables a deeper and more active understanding of sustainability.

Special for this year! We are working closely with the Llanfyllin Workhouse project for our design exercise and a practical exercise. This is an exciting and groundbreaking rural project in the Welsh borders and an excellent chance to have input into a ground breaking project such as this. A real life focus for the design exercises. The Workhouse hopes to grow into a regional centre for creativity and innovation -arts, music, events, permaculture and so much more!

workhosue strip image

Subjects and practicals featured during the 2-week course include;

  • Organic growing, sustainable forestry, principles of ecology
  • Visits to CAT, Dyfi Valley Eco Park, micro and macro scale projects and more,
  • Wild food and coastal walks
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Also looking at personal, social and economic development issues e.g. herbs and health,
  • Community business and co-operatives
  • With practical gardening sessions and a 'real life' design exercise

This certificated two week course includes a year's membership to the Permaculture Association, joining you to a national network of people working for change.

Course Tutors:

  • Steve Jones*
  • Chris Evans **
  • Chris Dixon **

Also including sessions from

  • Amanda Dean* (Herbalist) Covent House Alternative Therapy centre
  • Roger Maclennan *(Centre for Alternative Technology) Head gardener
  • Pete Condron* gardener and small holder

    (**denotes, Diploma in permaculture design, & *Pc graduate /Diploma student)

There is a max number of 16 students

Price: £420, a deposit of £120.00 secures a place. There is a small bursary fund* for SY20 and LL36 residents, sponsored by Sonwdonia National Parks and Machynlleth fringe festival (*TBC)

(this includes, the course itself, all meals; vegetarian wholefood, local and mainly organic and yummy camping for 2 weeks with transport for trips, materials for practicals and entry for all site visits)

  • The days are structured for a 9.00 am start with a mid morning tea break.
  • Lunch, fresh soups and salads from the garden
  • followed by the afternoon session, which usually includes a pracitcal session or a walk
  • there is an evening session from 8 - 9 on several evenings
    which is usually a slide show/ video presentation
(example) Field trips inlude;
  • Vist to Centre for Alternative Technology and a meeting with head gardener Roger Maclennan
  • Visit to Y Felin Permaculture plot
  • Visit to Dulas Limited and the Dyfi Eco trading park. Dulas are a leading renewable technology company with a rapidly expanding interest in solar power
  • Tir Penrhos Isaf - a mature permaculture plot in North Wales
  • Peter Harper's gardening experiments

Contact Steve at 39 internet.co.uk

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Updates, Pictures and news

students make design presentations beech trees veg garden visit poached egg plaant, an ideal companion plant garden tour at CAT P Harper's trial garden working on a design idea scything practical steve pickup is a willow expert weaving raised beds design presentation Herbalist Amanda Dean peening the scythe blade