Friday, November 28, 2008

Permaculture Design Course in Hebden Bridge Area (Oldtown)

Do you want to think creatively about the future? Work in a practical way towards a better life? If you do, then this course is designed to help you.

It will look at the really important things in life, such as food production, energy use, buildings, work and finance. You will learn how Nature provides for life in a productive way, looking at the major support systems on the planet, such as soil, water and climate. How we can live sustainably within these resources?

Permaculture design is about designing using inspiration from natural ecosystems which are far more efficient than man-made systems. You will also be considering the systems that we put together to support ourselves, such as finance, transport and organisations.

This course will introduce you to the practice of Permaculture Design relevant to a domestic home situation as well as community scale and larger scale projects. It is therefore also relevant to people involved or interested in Transition Towns.

By the end of the course, you will be able to begin to move forward in your activities by using design, rather than just drifting along with the crowd.

The course introduces you to the principles and techniques of ecological design. It will also give you an insight into learning from Nature, which is the greatest teacher on the planet. The course runs over seven weekends, these are the themes for each weekend.

  1. Introduction to permaculture design and learning from Nature

  2. Soil, conservation and soil-building

  3. Water, its importance and potential uses

  4. Trees and their energy transactions

  5. People and settlements

  6. Group design work – practical

  7. Complete practical work and presentations of results

The programme covers basic theory of natural systems, and the organisers will use a variety of sessions during the course, including talks, slideshows, discussion, videos, group work and practicals

In addition to this weekend work, the organisers will arrange some site visits to permaculture projects in the locality.

The course is delivered in partnership with the WEA (Workers' Educational Association) and you will be expected to do some additional course work between weekends and work on a design project of your choice as part of a group. The organisers will give you plenty of help and guidance with this and you will end up with a Level 3 (A-level standard) accreditation in Permaculture Design from the Open College Network. You will also get a certificate from the Permaculture Association Britain that you have completed the foundation course in permaculture design. This allows you to go on towards the diploma in permaculture design, should you wish to do so.

The dates and times of the course are:
10am - 5pm on the following weekends

31st Jan - 1st Feb
28th Feb - 1st march
28th & 29th march
25th & 26th April
23rd & 24th May
27th & 28th June
11th & 12th July

(also will include a couple of additional evening sessions 3hrs each or an additional day tbc)

Venue: Wadworth Community Centre in Oldtown.

Course Fees:

The fee for the course (now including accreditation through the Open College Network) is £288.

Concessions are £42 (including accreditation and registration) however we are also asking for an additional voluntary contribution from concession fee payers of £20. This is to cover additional costs of the course that can't be funded by the WEA. This would make the total for full concessions £62. To qualify for this full concessionary fee you need to be in receipt of any of the following income related benefits.

Job seekers allowance
Working Tax credit (with a household income of less than £15,000)
Housing benefit
Council Tax benefit (but not just the single person's reduction)
Income Support
Pension guarantee credit

Partial concessions (£22 off the full fee) are available for people in receipt of the following:
Disability Living Allowance
Incapacity Benefit
Invalid Care allowance
Severe disablement allowance
Attendance allowance.

We apologise for an increase to the previously advertised non-concessionary fee; This is due to a cost for accreditation which the Open College Network (the accrediting body) is charging to the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) - the organisation who we are running the course through. This is a new additional cost of £60 that the Open College Network is charging to the WEA, and the WEA is doing its best by only passing £40 on to course participants. This is all a result of reduced funding for adult education and something happening to all the WEA accredited courses not just this one.

Please send initial deposits in order to book your place,
Full fee payers (and partial concs.) initial deposit: £100
Concessionary fee payers initial deposit: £20

Please make cheques for the deposit payable to Angus Soutar, but send to Joanna Dornan, 31 Lovell Park Hill, Leeds, LS7 1DF.

Full payment of the rest of the course fees is required in January. We need to be sure we have commitment from enough people in order to run the course. (However if this is an issue please let me know we may be able to negotiate part of a final installment to be paid in Feb, let me know if this would be helpful)

The course will be delivered by a team of tutors, all of whom are permaculture practitioners.

Angus Soutar
Angus Soutar is the lead tutor. He has been teaching permaculture design for 15 years to diverse groups in a variety of locations. Angus is currently working on projects in local food, recycling and other small-scale enterprises. He has previously had experience in the energy industry with engineering design and project management. He is also working on finance and currency systems.

Angus is the co-ordinating tutor for the permaculture diploma in the north.

Joanna Dornan - apprentice tutor
Joanna completed a permaculture design course in 2007 in Leeds, she has since been involved with a permaculture designed community allotment/orchard project in Leeds. She has apprenticed as a trainee tutor on the Leeds Permaculture Design Course earlier this year. She is interested in creative methods of learning and groupwork as well as particular interest in permaculture food production.

Other input will be from Kath Baker - experienced local permaculturist, Maz - local permaculturist and bio-dynamic gardener and other visiting tutors from the Yorkshire Permaculture Network, including Andy Goldring/Suzi High from the Permaculture Association of Britain.

Recommended book list (it’s not essential to read anything beforehand, but if you do, try one of these)

The Permaculture Way : Practical Ways to Create a Self-Sustaining World. By Graham Bell. Permanent Publications, UK . 2004 (2nd ed.). 239pp.

The Permaculture Garden . Graham Bell. Thorsons, London . 1994. 170pp.

Permaculture: A Beginner's Guide. Graham Burnett. Land and Liberty , Westcliff On Sea, Essex , England . 2001. 60pp.

Urban Permaculture. David Watkins. Permanent Publications, U.K. 1993. 152pp.

Permaculture in a Nutshell. Patrick Whitefield. Permanent Publications, U.K. 1993. 75pp.

Earth User's Guide to Permaculture. Rosemary Morrow and Rob Allsop. Kangaroo Press, NSW Australia . 2006 (2nd ed.). 164pp.

Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability. David Holmgren, Holmgren Design Services, Australia , 2003, 320pp.

(All available from the Permaculture Association)

Recommended websites has a useful online introduction.

If you have any questions please call, Joanna on 07923 221268 or e-mail her at or e-mail Angus

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