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Permaculture Design Certificate Autumn 2023

Start Date: 09/09/2023
End Date: 23/09/2023

A two-week certificate course on permaculture principles and design practices, especially permaculture in community.

Permaculture is about living lightly on the planet and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature.

This is a two-week comprehensive introduction to permaculture principles, design practices and their application, with a particular focus on permaculture in community.

Certified by The Permaculture Association (Britain), the course is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about permaculture design theory and apply it to a relevant design project here at Findhorn.

Participants of the permaculture design course (PDC) at the FIndhorn Foundation standing around a fire in the Hinterland

What to expect

The Findhorn PDC is guided by Bill Mollison’s curriculum and delivered in collaboration with a registered collaboration with a registered ScotLAND Centre – the wonderful barrel house! Run by Craig Gibson and Maria Cooper it is an inspirational eco-home made from an old whisky barrel set in an abundant permaculture garden.

Occasional evening slots and guest speakers are offered in addition to the minimum 72 hour-programme.

The training includes varied methods that will engage the heart, head and hands: theory, practicals, designing, group work, site visits, games, reflection and group sharing.

You’ll be encouraged to observe permaculture principles in action, and experience how these processes influence systems and site development in an experimental living environment.

Participant of the permaculture design course (PDC) at the FIndhorn Foundation

What Participants Have to Say

‘I would just say that I think that everyone would get value from doing a Permaculture Design Course. Even if you don’t want to set up a food forest or a permaculture garden. It is like a philosophy. It is a way of seeing the world and once you wear that permaculture lens it will help you in your relationships, in your working life, in your connections. It is just so valuable for everyone. It is like a holistic design for how we should be living together and how we should be interacting with the world. So that is something that is universal.’

Marcus Giles from London Kingston

‘It has just been so great. The atmosphere and the people and all the information as well. I am going to try and process everything now. It was quite full on in a good way. There was so much to learn. I am still here. I am struggling to leave. So this is a good sign, isn’t it? My three highlights were Craig’s garden and speaking to Craig. Our trip to the permaculture farm, to see the lived examples of what is happening here. And the third one is the kindness and openness of everyone here. Mari has been facilitating so well. It has just been very nice. All in all.’

Marta Lewicka from London

Learning areas

  • Permaculture Ethics: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share (aka Future Care)
  • Permaculture Principles: Attitudinal and ecological
  • The Permaculture Design Process: Skills, tools and methods
  • Design Practice: Group work on design projects
  • Design Presentation: Demonstrating and evaluating coursework.

  • Soil: Food web, macro/microorganisms, mulching, composting, tilling, soil sampling, erosion, mycorrhizal and bacterial associations
  • Water: Hydrology cycle, rainwater harvesting, wastewater systems ( including tour of the Living Machine), drainage, water as energy store and water use
  • Plants and Trees: Tree species and their gifts, energy transactions, forest gardening, windbreaks and shelter belts, riparian buffers, indicator plants and orchards
  • Growing and sourcing your food: Polycultures, organic farming/ horticulture, bed creation, food preservation, ethical choices, ecological footprints, input-output cycles of food
  • Built Environment: Ecological buildings, retrofitting, transport, renewable energy, and urban permaculture
  • Resource Use: Ecological and carbon footprints, asset assessments
  • Social Systems: Personal and community resilience, communication skills, economics, land tenure, governance, and decision-making.

  • Community Building: Attunements, team building, morning meditation and group singing options
  • Local site visits and invited guest presenters
  • A tour of the ecovillage from a resident looking through a permaculture lens
  • A tour and practical activities at the Barrel House Permaculture Centre
  • A tour of the Hinterland Forest to learn about woodland regeneration and spirituality
  • A tour of the Living Machine to see how the Ecovillage clean their own sewage
  • Practical food preservation and fermentation
  • Tour and practicals at Cullerne Gardens – the ecovillage’s food-growing garden
  • A tour of the different types of eco-buildings offering low to high tech solutions.
  • Deep reflection time for personal and social permaculture
Several hands holding green beans in Park Garden at Findhorn.

Prices and accommodation

We look forward to welcoming you here for two weeks of learning, friendship and hands-on fun.

Prices include accommodation, meals with two weeks of tuition, outing to Black Isle Permaculture & Arts centre.

£1,990 (Tuition and single room accommodation at Cluny)

£1,600 (Tuition and shared room accommodation at Cluny)

To read more about Cluny, click here.

Bookings closed

About Lusi Alderslowe

Lead Faculty for the PDC , Lusi is registered to award Permaculture Association Permaculture Design Course certificates.

Lusi is a permaculture teacher from Scotland with 13 years’ of experience designing, coordinating and teaching permaculture courses of different durations. She’s taught in many locations in various countries, including Scotland, England, Ireland, Turkey and online.

The theoretical basis of her permaculture work comes from studying Development Management and Human Ecology, for which she received a MSc with Distinction.

She is experienced in both rural and urban permaculture, having studied her Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design while living in Glasgow for seven years, and then living in rural Galloway for the last nine.

She is Children in Permaculture Coordinator for the Permaculture Association (Britain), and the author of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share in Education: The Children in Permaculture Manual.

Lusi loves sharing permaculture with children and adults using fun, creative and inspiring methods.

‘Permaculture is about stability, about deepening soils and cleaner water, thriving communities in self-reliant regions, biodiverse agriculture, and social justice, peace and abundance.’

Bill Mollison , ‘father’ of Permaculture

‘A very enriching, filling, nourishing experience, from the topics, the speakers, the activities, but most especially from the energy of the group and the staff team involved. I would not have experienced this diversity in a PDC back home.’

Rosemary , past PDC participant


Start Date: 09/09/2023
End Date: 23/09/2023


Cluny Hill
Findhorn Foundation, Cluny Hill, St Leonards Rd
Forres, IV36 2RD United Kingdom
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