Dr Rock Radio show

Ever since I was invited to guest on a show on CHOM-FM Montreal Rock radio as an impressionable 17 year old I have had a passion for radio and its potential as a powerful form of communication. I don’t think the medium has been well explored, especially here in the UK with its crowded airwaves and BBC dominance and its vast potential especially as a community medium and alternative information channel remains untapped. We have been subjected to decades of A+R approved play lists and even the same few radio voices to the point of distraction and abandonment, high entry costs and tight media ownership and control has left us with a monochrome and exceedingly narrow window on the wider world.

All of this has of course changed with the rise of the Internet but for whatever reason Internet radio has largely passed me by and I suspect a great many others as well. A deluge of content has ensued but its been hard to single out the voices worth paying attention to. The advent of the podcast has opened more doors and I have already dared to stick my toe in that particular water, I remain keen to go forward to develop a regular podcast format show. I see a great potential in covering the kind of issues I care about and talk about on here,  joining together intelligent and thought provoking conversation with great music from across the spectrum and well off the favoured playlists of mainstream broadcasters..

That said I was thrilled to be invited along to contribute to the regular Internet radio show and podcast hosted by Dr_Rock last week, someone who presents in the format I have always felt is missing from the airwaves. Here is the show, where together with friends and colleagues Andrea, Steph and Ollie we got to take part in a recent 3 hour broadcast, discussing a variety of issues including natural bee keeping, permaculture and rain forest medicine.

We are also planning to contribute to this week’s show, which will be broadcast from the Concious Camp Tribal Gathering, held in a beautiful riverside field near Llangollen. So look out for this broadcast and hopefully many more in the future.

Dragons Radio Channel?

With encouragement from our radio host and other friends surrounding us we have a growing enthusiasm to do something regularly along these lines ourselves. The new co-op premises in Llanrhaeadr could provide a perfect base from which to broadcast and hold regular sessions for interviews and generating other content for a regular show.


Dragons Co-op are planning to host their community internet radio broadcast

I am really keen to see new media content on a regular basis that develops permaculture, sustainability and transition ideas and links them to social change. Live folk music, organic growing updates, Crowdfunding campaign news, cutting edge debate and ideas, exploring decentralised locally orientated media and much more will form some of the main themes for our planned broadcasts.

It is early days for this idea but one I hope that is gaining momentum and I for one want to get it off the drawing board as soon as we are settled in at the new premises. We hope that Dragons Co-op can be a powerful shop window for permaculture ideas and can help connect a great many people to projects and enterprises that embody their own values and reflect their enthusiasm for a much more sustainable, compassionate and saner world. One thing I am sure about is that the low carbon, post industrial sustainable economy we must rapidly transition to will have to be much more locally focussed than it currently is, community radio and other decentralised channels of communication will surely play an essential part of that process.

I for one am really keen to gain much more experience in this area and explore the opportunities it presents Anyone who might want to help us out with this ambition is welcome to contact me and find ways to become involved.



We continually get great feedback from our course participants, such that we suld make more of an effort to collate and share the feedback we get. Here is Ollie from our most recent course, held in Llaniloes this June.

Permaculture is one of the most powerful tools we have for grassroots change in the world today. We were recently honoured to partake in a life changing permaculture design course, directed by Steve Jones in North Wales. Permaculture gives us the knowledge and framework to design for a sustainable future for almost anything… It’s principles can be applied to your life, your garden, or to redesigning Britain. Steve does an excellent job of presenting ideas which will change the way you look at the world forever. If you have any motivation to learn and make a difference then I would highly suggest applying for the course and getting involved. It does not take an genius to realise that our current collective path on earth will come to and end one way or another. Be a part of the positive transformation…

Next up, Septemebr in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant

Next up, Septemebr in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant


PDC presentation: One Planet Living, by Bruce, Conor & Ieva

The following presentation was a final design exercise on our recent PDC in Llanidloes. See what happens when you put a soil expert with a small scale renewable energy systems guy and then put a sensitive yet bold Lithuanian woman in the middle.

This was a truly fantastic presentation, realising the enormous potential of local site, picked out as one planet living, self build, 6 acre plot. The client, Simon had been fully consulted by the team, and indeed he had himself completed the PDC with Sector39 at the same venue last year.

I suggest you play the audio (its 67 minutes long) but well worth listening to, and scroll through the photos and video to illustrate the design ideas. Shame we were not able to film it, but I hope the audio and pictures do it justice. Annoyingly I was timing the presentation with my phone, so there are clicks and pops of interference, I have taken loads out and cleaned it up a lot, sorry it is not perfect, but time didn’t allow any more.


The client interview

The client interview

The client interview was recorded as we had limited transport available so one of the design team was unable to attend, they turned this limitation to an advantage with their design process.

The field

The field

Its a six acre field so it hard to catch in one shot, but with vale of Kerry before you, it is a stunning location, and all looking south. The Client’s vision is too think about three generations of family establishing an abundant, bio-diverse food and energy system, based on natural inputs only. They imagine a roundhouse of straw and clay, and the ability to meet most of their own needs from the land whilst generating a small surplus for trade and community.

The Site, is not owned nor is there planning permission, so on one level this is purely an academic exercise, although the client fully intends to develop something t these specifications on a site similar if not exactly this one.

The design team worked really well as a team and also drew heavily on their own individual strengths and depth of knowledge. With their permission of course, I plan to use this as a teaching resource as it is such an excellent presentation in many ways, not least as it present holistic, wonderfully interconnected and longer term vision for the potential of this site and client family might be able to achieve. Being able to visualise and communicate  vision of a sustainable future is a truly wonderful thing in the troubled times .



Larger version of the design map

Larger version of the design map, click to explore

Zone one area map

Zone one area map




September PDC in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant

September PDC in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant

Click image to visit course booking page

We are excited to be offering our next PDC in Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, the tiny Welsh mountain village made famous by its stunning waterfall. Located only 45 mins drive from Shrewsbury and 12 miles from Gobowen mainline station, this village is buried deep in the unspoilt Mid Wales countryside, by the Berwyn mountains.


The area is home to numerous permaculture projects and housing co-ops, which will form the backbone of our site visits and practicals. We are about to launch our own latest project in the area, a housing co-op and community shop. The course will use the PDC framework to look deeply into co-ops and other community led solutions, including local currencies and trading schemes. It is our contention that Crowd funding, ethical investment and local currencies offer up a whole new layer of opportunities that are yet to be fully exploited, never has it been a more interesting time to be involved in permaculture! Come along and find out why.


View of the Berwyn Mountains


Wages of Rebellion: Chris Hedges talks of the moral imperative of revolt

Chris Hedges is a fierce academic and brilliant writer. The Pulitzer prize winning journalist spent 20 years in war zones, from Yugoslavia to Iraq and has seen US empire and corporate forces at their worst. This is his call for mass civil dis-obedience and he talks of the imperative of revolt. On Climate change alone we have no time left, yet his message is optimistic and stirring, this is well worth taking the time to watch.

Its not our job to take power, it is our job to build powerful movements that hold fast to moral imperatives that hold power in check. Chris Hedges


Donation by collectible artist Dale Marshall, towards our fundraiser campaign

NB the silent auction for this work ends on Friday 5th June at midday UK time (BST)

See our Crowdfunder campaign
Balloons, by Dale Marshall, this work has been donated towards supporting permaculture education @sector39

Balloons, by Dale Marshall, this work has been donated towards supporting permaculture education @sector39

Title: Balloons Charcoal #2.
Description: 38 x 51cm Charcoal and graphite on Rutland heavy grained archival 300gsm paper

Dale Marshall is a collectible artist practicing locally. He has generously donated this work on paper for a silent bid auction to support our project and our long term vision.

Please email your bids to : Steve@sector39.co.uk
If you win you will then be required to use the donations facility to pay in full at the end of the auction.

We would like to say thank you to Dale for this kind donation.


We are live on Crowdfunder


Live on Crowdfunder, from today, please support us!

Please consider supporting Permaculture Education, we are aiming to raise £600 via Crowdfunding to support low income students on our June PDC. We specifically want to help Ollie Boon and Stephanie Jackson of the Roots project to be part of our next course, they are just back from 4 years in the Amazon and launching their own Roots project.
the ideas, concepts and networking provided by permaculture design education will be the perfect support they need to advance their project ambitions and here at Sector39 we think this is the best way we can link with projects such as this one.

There is more info here https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/permaculture-design-course-bursary and payment links.

Many thanks in advanc,e any help is much appreciated!


Great biochar talk

Here is a subject close to my heart… and a fascinating subject with so much potential, biochar. In this excellent TED talk we get a good overview of the subject and some of its potentials. Something we will be discussing in our up and coming permaculture course.