Heathercombe Spring Permaculture Design Course
14th to 28th March 2020
Residential, with non-residential option
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Why do a PDC?
If you are looking to make significant positive changes in your life, then the permaculture design course will almost certainly help you. This practical course provides you with a broad introduction to the applications of permaculture in a number of different situations, from food production to community structures, and alternative currencies to eco-housing. The course culminates in the main design activity that helps to consolidate all of the learning and empower you to take permaculture back into your home, life and community.
We will be using practical, experiential and theoretical teaching methods to create a fun, lively and inclusive experience. In addition to traditional lecture-style teaching, we use group work, discussions, observation exercises, guided walks, practical activities, videos, and slide shows as learning methods. These are supportive of different learning styles and for people with learning difficulties. We also visit projects where permaculture theory is being put into action.
As a group we will benefit from collaborative learning and from spending time together. We don't expect any previous knowledge and recognise that everyone has their own unique skills, knowledge and areas of interest to bring to the course.
This course is for anyone who believes that we need to find ways to better care for ourselves, for each other and for the Earth.
For more details about course content contact Aranya
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What you will learn
- Why permaculture is particularly relevant today
- What nature can teach us about meeting our all needs more effectively and sustainably
- The ethics and principles that underpin permaculture and inspire harmonious designs that work with nature
- Simple techniques for caring for soil, water, trees and animals
- How to improve your own food security, including permaculture gardening and farming methods
- How permaculture can make cities healthier and more productive places to live
- Techniques for building eco-friendly, low impact homes and how to design them into the landscape, minimising both pollution and unnecessary work
- What really constitutes ‘appropriate’ technology
- Some effective, low-tech surveying tools to analyse and map the landscape
- How to make the best use of space and slope in land-based permaculture designs
- How to apply permaculture thinking to social structures, including alternative economies
- How to achieve bountiful yields with a minimum of effort and create win-win situations rather than trade offs
- How to start using permaculture in your own life and community, to create a more sustainable lifestyle
- And much, much more!
During the second half of the course you will be guided in small groups through a permaculture design process, applying what you have learned to produce an original design on the site. This experience will help you to later apply it in creating further designs for your own home, garden or business.
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Venue and themes
The High Heathercombe Centre is situated 1250 feet (380 metres) high in the Dartmoor National Park, backing onto the open moor and adjoining Heathercombe woodlands. The Centre looks out over the valley towards Easdon Tor, providing a beautiful, tranquil setting for a variety of activities and courses throughout the year.
The High Heathercombe Centre has hosted two residential permaculture design courses each year since 2009 and also runs a wide programme of other courses and events, including Creative Family Weeks, Retreats, Arts and Crafts Courses and Volunteer Weeks. The developing vision incorporates permaculture principles, sustainability, arts and crafts, forest school and an embryonic organic vegetable garden. The Centre is run on a charitable basis by the High Heathercombe Trust.
For those who are especially interested, the High Heathercombe Centre offers an extra emphasis on social permaculture
and on designing food systems for challenging environments
For more details about the venue
contact Mel at the High Heathercombe Centre
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Dates and Times
The Spring 2019 course will run from 5.00pm (please arrive by 4.00pm for a prompt start) on Saturday 30th March to 6.00pm on Saturday 13th April.
There will be a day off mid-course on Saturday 6th and a half day off each week, usually Tuesday afternoon in the first week and Wednesday morning in the second.
Sessions start each day at 9.00am and continue on until the evening meal around 6.30pm. We also have a light session most evenings of slides or a video to reinforce the day's learning. We have an hour and a quarter for lunch and evening meals, plus tea breaks during the mornings and afternoons.
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On successful completion of the course, all participants will be awarded the Permaculture Association (Britain)'s internationally recognised Certificate in Permaculture Design.
Attendance of most sessions, plus participation in the design activity is necessary for accreditation.
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Completing his Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design in 2003, Aranya started teaching the following year. He discovered this made his heart sing, so he made it his main focus. Since 2004 he has taught over 90 two-week design courses, something he has no intention of stopping. He feels that it's a privilege to have the opportunity to teach "something that can make a real difference in all our lives".
Aranya is also excited about new ways in which permaculture thinking can help us, developing new courses on using its principles to help us design for optimising our health and creating ethical livelihoods.
In the spring of 2012 Permanent Publications published his first book 'Permaculture Design - a Step-by-Step Guide', which evolved from a set of design course worksheets. He also writes occasionally for magazines and from time to time shares interesting items on his blog. Aranya is currently writing a second book, about a subject he’s especially fascinated by, the application of systems thinking and patterns in permaculture design.
‘As a leading practitioner Aranya understands what it’s like to begin to turn your life around and to continue learning as you put permaculture into practice' Trish Taylor (Permaculture Design Certificate Graduate)
Caroline Aitken is a permaculture teacher, designer and consultant and director of Patrick Whitefield Associates. She is qualified in design, permaculture design and horticulture and has a background in gardening and food growing.
Her experience includes managing two acres of intensive organic vegetable production, managing five acres of ornamental and food gardens at a meditation retreat centre and catering for groups, courses and retreats.
She lives with her partner and son on a four acre smallholding in Dartmoor where they are working towards self-sufficiency and creating educational spaces.
Caroline is also co-author with Martin Crawford of Food from your Forest Garden
, a comprehensive guide to making best use of your forest garden produce.