Ambassador local gatherings celebrate permaculture

During Spring our amazing Ambassadors ran local gatherings across the UK, from Plymouth in Devon to the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The aim was to spread the word about permaculture more widely within our own communities.

As we had limited funds available and submissions were all excellent, it was a difficult selection process to narrow it down to the final seven. Each group received up to £350 each to run their events. Below is a summary of some of those.

 

Celebrate the European Day of Sustainable Communities by organising an event on or around 21 September 2019. Share your plans with us and other organisers using #edsc19 on social media. We hope the below will give some inspiration - any event, however large or small can contribute to raising the profile of grassroots-led climate action, catalysing others to take more action.
 

Pembrokeshire, Wales - PermaBlitz compost loobuilding a compost toilet

Lauren Simpson and Phil Moore, Parc y Dderwen

In this fast paced world there’s not much time to think. But sat on the loo reflection ensues. 

Having recently been awarded a One Plant Development - an aim Lauren and I have been working toward from the point we did an excellent introduction to Permaculture with the fabulous Brighton Permaculture Trust - we were keen to get our first structure up. And it had to be a compost loo. 

The concept of ‘produce no waste’ is a recurring preoccupation with us. We had the good fortune to visit, and deposit future compost, at a number of excellent compost loos on our many travels. We also found that some of the best crappers we passed through had an educational element. So we wanted to design our beautiful loo and raise a structure with the help of volunteers and neighbours, whilst also taking the opportunity do so in an environment of learning and doing.

building compost toilet in the rainThe day began in true miserable west Walian weather: pouring rain. Setting out the tools, frames, cladding and other parts in place, making sure the teas and cakes and food were safe from the wet... we waited. And sure enough we had a number of keen volunteers who did an amazing job. 

Permaculture Pembrokeshire, a recently formed group, brought some people along, as did the active Paramaethu Sir Gar (Carmarthenshire Permaculture). We also had neighbours pop by and share lunch with us to.  After an early hurdle and slight panic, we got into our flow with everyone working so hard. It was a joy to behold - the spirit, fun and seriousness with which friends and strangers alike came together to put our loo together. 


For us the day was about many things. Communicating permaculture and getting people along to local groups; to demonstrate that with some thought and reflection, we could trust and encourage others with tools and to show that a compost loo can be a thing of beauty, not some horrible sidelined structure that’s more of an afterthought. 

Situated near our compost bays, ‘The Dropbox’ has pride of place in what will be the waste and recycling area as we work to change the nature of our land from pasture land to polyculture permaculture plot. 


Plymouth - Permaculture WeekendGroup of people at Plymouth gathering

Tess Wilmott, Jo Harold and Tom Buckley

Tom, who is involved in a fabulous project in the North of the city called Edible Whitleigh, got lots of people making seed bombs and planting up a neglected area around a car park. Jo brought some really creative interactive permaculture activities, including the permaculture bus stop, an ethics game and lovely feedback tree and cards. Together with Tess, they we made a great team! 

Over 65 people took part in the day, which included some great workshops and presentations and planning for the future. Some of the feedback on the tree Jo made for the event included ...

  • Great for making connections! Personal and Cerebral. Thanks.
  • Enjoyment in sharing. Enjoyment in building life without consumption
  • Wonderful day full of helpful info. Great folk and good vibes for the plants and beings for our future. Thankyou!
  • Fascinating! A beautiful community with great ideas. Excited to learn more.

On the Sunday, there was an afternoon event at Tess’ home, exploring the garden and networking with 21 people to celebrate International Permaculture Day.

These two events raised £185 towards supporting someone on a low income to do the Permaculture Design Course in Plymouth next year. So the legacy of this event is also a fantastic outcome.     
 

Rubha Phoil Permaculture Community, Isle of Skye - Rhododrendon clearing/lichen surveyGroup looking at lichen on beach

Lisa Pook

The first part of the day delved into rhododendron removal and provided practical solutions to removing it in an ecologically sound way, as well as the best use of the wood.

The second part was a walk and talk around Rubha Phoil with Nick Hodgetts. Nick shared his knowledge and passion about lichens and bryophytes – there is believed to be around 100 on the site.

The event went really well, with people going away with full bellies and a lot of knowledge about both permaculture and the biodiversity that lives with us at Rubha Phoil. We are really grateful to have had this support for our work. 


Enjoying lunch in the sunshineIsle of Arran - site tours

Pippa Downing

A fantastic day was had on Arran exploring two very different permaculture sites.  The morning was spent at Runach Arainn, looking at the forest garden with Pippa and talking about forest garden planning and planting, herb spirals, poultry, bees and running a smallholding.

The visitors loved to see forest gardening in practice and there was a great exchange of permaculture ideas and knowledge from everyone who took part.

We then moved across to Woodside CIC Farm. Everyone was treated to an amazing, outside, organic, locally sourced lunch, basking in the sun overlooking the sea and Bennan Head and out towards Kintyre and Northern Ireland. Couldn't have been a better spot for a social lunch and permaculture chat! Productive edible garden

Once we were all full we explored Woodside Farm. They have fabulous veg beds, polytunnels, comfrey tea, chickens and lovely pigs.

We saw the mobile shop and Jenny told us all about the project, shop, the veg box scheme and plans for the future. A huge site with amazing big plans!

The day was a very positive learning experience for everyone and a great opportunity to share knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm for permaculture. Many thanks to the Permaculture Association for helping to fund the day.
 



Pot luck supper, people chattingCardiff - Forest Garden Day and Potluck Supper

Poppy Nicol

There were two events in Cardiff - a forest gardening workshop which attracted 12 people and was very well received (read Global Gardens’ blog about the event) and also a community potluck supper with speakers.

These events sparked interest in a regular permablitz regular meet up around Cardiff, as well as a permaculture course.
 

To see more photos from these events, visit our Flickr album

The Permaculture Ambassadors project was funded from 2016-2019, but there are still opportunities for members who would like to become Ambassadors.