Workshops 2015

Workshops in 2015 will include:

Big Picture Permaculture – Inspirational projects near and far!

Maddy Harland, Editor Permaculture Magazine

From rainforest restoration, to regenerative agriculture, locking up carbon and building the soil, plus perennial vegetables and other interesting tasty edibles, Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture magazine, shares stories and insights into the big picture of Permaculture around the world. Permaculture MagazinePermanent Publications

Introduction to Permaculture will run through the day

Shamaila Akram

A brief interactive introduction to permaculture.

Randy Mayers

During my Presentation I will cover the basics of Permaculture. The building blocks of for conscious design and living in harmony with the planet and all its’ inhabitants. I will touch on ethical and ecological principles, some design tools and some ways to get started on your very own Permaculture journey.

plus presentations by Natalie Mady and Chloe Anthony

Permaculture’s Next Big Step

Andy Goldring

Andy Goldring will report on the wonderful world-wide permaculture network and what we have found out over the last six months of mapping, surveying and interviews. An incredible picture is emerging of a powerful network that is working across the world in exciting and innovative ways. The session will give an overview of findings so far and share plans to help permaculture develop its ‘Next Big Step’ at the 12th International Permaculture Convergence this September.

Wildlife Gardening

Kate Bradbury

Author of The Wildlife Gardener, Guardian writer and occasional presenter on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time.

The Barefoot Beekeeper – practical & natural beekeeping in top bar hives

Phil Chandler, author of The Barefoot Beekeeper (now in it’s 4th edition)

Learn about ‘balanced beekeeping’ in top bar hives: a simple, practical, chemical-free way to have healthy and happy bees in your garden, with the possibility of your own honey harvest, but without the cost and complications associated with conventional beekeeping. Phil will follow up this workshop with a practical presentation at his biobees stall demonstrating the kind of simple equipment that you can make at home to get you started on low-impact, low-cost, beekeeping.

Green Roofs

Lee Evans

Owner of Organic Roofs, winner of National Federation Roofing Contractors green roof of the year 2015.

Best crops for pots

Mark Ridsdill Smith, Guardian writer, founder of Vertical Veg

In a small space, the choice of what to grow is critical – and there are many brilliant edible crops outside the traditional veg like broccoli and parsnips.  This workshop would explore the inspiring options of whats possible in containers depending on what sort of garden you want to create. We’ll look at themes like: beauty, low maintenance, highly productive, herbs (including unusual ones), making a statement (or community talking point), salad, climbers, and the fruit container garden.

Sneak preview of the International Permaculture Convergence & Conference

Alan Thornton and Andy Goldring

In two months time the world of permaculture is coming to London for some unmissable events. This session will give an enticing overview of who and what is going to be happening. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity with the biggest and most diverse permaculture gathering coming to our city. You’ll also find out how you can take part even if you can’t afford the time or money to attend the whole of the conference or convergence. International Permaculture Convergence

 Seeds of Fashion – Grow a garment

Zoë Burt and Kate Poland

We will be telling the story of a piece of clothing grown, harvested, processed, designed and made completely in London. It took a year and more than 500 people to complete it so we’ll be talking about how we got it done.

Zoë Burt is an innovative and collaborative textile designer, camera-less photographer and award-winning artist. She was trained at St Martin’s School of Art and designed for fashion labels for 17 years. In response to working in the fast fashion industry she was inspired to see if it was possible to grow a garment within the M25. She runs arts projects and creative workshops at her studio and the Tate, Garden Museum, the RHS and South London Botanical Institute. From September will be the advanced textile tutor at Morley College.

Kate Poland founded and runs an award-winning community garden. With Nat Mady she set up the community enterprise, Cordwainers Grow. They organise and run garden-related workshops and events to promote volunteering and engagement with the environment and community. They collaborate with community and schools groups, artists – such as Turner-prize nominees, Assemble – architects, and organisations such as the RHS and Kew Gardens.

Grow a Garment was runner up in the national Epic Awards 2015 and has been shortlisted for the national Green Gown awards.

Soil as a living ecosystem

Sue Amos

A closer look at soil: What is soil? What is a good soil and how can we make it? Soil analysis. We’ll investigate the properties of soils and how we can work with soil to make it healthy productive and sustainable. You’ll learn;

  • What soil is made of
  • How to check soil types
  • How to build and create soil
  • How to preserve and protect soil

Sue Amos has been a gardener in London for over 20 years. Steeped in permaculture, she promotes healthy and balanced soil as the fundamental of  healthy growing and creating balanced systems in gardens.  At Glengall Wharf Garden in Peckham, she is managing several giant hugel mounds and creating soil in a new forest garden.

Urban Permaculture In Action – Diploma accreditation session

Ruth Robinson, Juliet Kemp and Liz Darley

Ruth, Juliet and Liz will present their designs for the Diploma in Applied Permaculture and answer questions about the whole experience

Singing Circle

hosted by Robin Grey

Singing Circle hosted by Robin Grey from Three Acres and a Cow: Come and share a topical song about the land, radical history, nature etc and/or just come and join in…All welcome. Robin devised and performs a show called ‘Three Acres And A Cow, A History Of Land Rights And Protest In Folk Song And Story‘, has been undertaking musical cycling pilgrimages under the rubric of ‘Pedal Folk

Come and Meet My Hens – Urban chicken-keeping

Owen Griffiths

Building with Bales

Eileen Sutherland

This talk will introduce you to building with straw bales, describing the building methods, the advantages of using straw and  how this method of building could provide affordable houses for the future. Finally, there will be an invitation to get involved and learn through the School of Natural Building.

Transition and Permaculture

Ros Bedlow and Samantha Woods

There are clear links between Permaculture and Transition. Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement, himself a Permaculture teacher, identifies permaculture as “one of the principle foundations of the Transition concept”.

Before registering a new Transition Initiative with the Transition Network, it is recommended that one or two members of the core group attend a permaculture design course. However, as time passes those involved at the outset are likely to move on, and people now taking leadership roles may no longer have ‘Permaculture eyes’.

Getting started with Worm Composting

Paul Richens

Come and meet some working worms and see them turning kitchen waste into plant food. Paul Richens gives you a chance to get hands-on with a wormery as he explains how you can set one up and maintain it. He will go through what kind of foods the worms like and the kind of conditions that are best for them. He will demonstrate the difference between vermicompost, humus and mineral soil and explain how and why the vermicompost can make such a huge impact on the growth of your plants. Blue Dome Synergies

Edible Forest Gardening

Kevin Mascarenhas

Forest garden design packs useful species into a small area to create an intensive and highly productive system. Learn how by design, a tree system can provide a diverse range of foods, requiring little maintenance and with few offsite inputs.

Herbal Medicine for Common Ailments in a Modern World – How to make a medicinally infused oil and cream

Sarah Gray (Herbalist) and Rasheeqa Ahmad (Hedge Herbs) – From the Gone Wild Herb’s Collective

This practical workshop aims to demonstrate how easy it is to make your own herbal medicines! We will start by showing you how to make a medicinally infused oil, the basis for many herbal preparations. We will then go on to make a cream using the oil as a base. We will also be discussing a few herbs commonly used to make oils and how to use them. Come and join us. Open to all levels. All welcome.
Sarah Gray is a fully qualified medical herbalist and member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). She has full medical insurance and carries out herbal consultations from home in Walthamstow.
Rasheeqa Ahmad is a community herbalist based in Walthamstow. She has experience of offering herb walks, talks and workshops around London and the UK and is committed to returning this medicine to the heart of the community.

Projects people want to be part of – what works

Anna O’Brien 

Come and discuss what you’ve learned in your projects. We’ll be taking a whistle stop tour round issues of communication, decision making processes, meetings, theories of change, expectations, planning, group agreements, power, equality, inclusion, privilege, burnout, kindness, conflict, culture and evaluating impact. Bring your questions, confusion, down right irritation and despair, and your experience, ideas, energy and learning. This very brief, very participative workshop is some space for you to think about what’s working well, what needs a bit of attention, and what might need a real rethink.
Anna does free facilitation and training with environmental and social justice groups in London. She is involved with Transition Town groups in London, is part of the London Roots Collective of trainers and facilitators and pays the bills via her work in the NHS.

Practical Tips from our Urban Permaculture Garden

Cecilia Litvinoff and Pamela Bhanvra Adams

A garden of any size can be a paradise full of edible and wildlife friendly plants. This workshop will discuss: Planting for bees and butterflies; sourcing sustainable materials; dealing with difficult soils; making the most of the available space – roofs, walls, window sills –  and water harvesting. But most crucially, we will show how to integrate all these elements in order to create a vibrant and productive garden. Come and find out how to get started.

Edible Garden Makeovers – come and meet the Permablitz London team

A permablitz typically involves a group of people meeting up for the day to create or develop a community or household edible, wildlife-friendly garden, according to a permaculture design. They spread through a network of reciprocity. Once you have been to a few (usually three) you can have one for your own private or community garden or rooftop/balcony. Come and find out more about Permablitzing: how you can have a permablitz for your garden and what happens when you join a permablitz.

Permaculture – A Design Science for All


Trying to create a ‘Permaculture’ without design, is at best, an optimistic strategy. Just throwing some ‘commonly seen in permaculture’ elements together and hoping that it works was fine for our ancestors, but we don’t have that much time anymore. By actively learning from nature and applying ecological design principles, we can avoid much of that trial and error in creating solutions for many of the world’s problems.

The Permaculture design process borrows heavily from many disciplines and remains open to new tools and techniques that integrate well. This workshop looks at how this multi-faceted design process can be useful at many levels, for those of us who like to ‘just get on with it’ to those who like to delve a little deeper. Permaculture has something to offer us all.

Aranya is a busy permaculture teacher and author of ‘Permaculture Design: a Step-by-Step Guide’. He has served the British Permaculture Association for many years as both a trustee and a member of several working groups, including Diploma development. He is writing a second book around the subject of systems & patterns in permaculture design.


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