Permaculture courses

Much is planned for the coming year, kicking off with a 6 weekend PDC at RISC Reading. Sector39, our teaching partnership began from work done in 2002-5 in Reading at RISC, on the roof garden and in Wales at Chickenshack housing co-op from 1995. These two project gave us experience and insight enough to begin teaching our selves. So it is perfect to be back in Reading at the end of this month to offer a full PDC at RISC and in the garden

Permaculture course advert RISC 2017

Sector39 are also planning to offer full residential camping course in Mid Wales in the village of Llanrhaeadr, home to Dragons Co-operative.

Permaculture design courses for 2017 from Sector39

Facing our demons

Now more than perhaps ever before the World needs to rally together to face the terrifying issues of the moment. Our whole economic paradigm seems to be collapsing, responding to climate and economic crises is no quick fix, it will take a bold new vision of our collective objectives and strategies. Liberal democracy seems to have been fatally hi jacked by corporate power, banks and oligarchs putting humanity on a collision course with reality.

I strongly believe permaculture design has a very big part to play in how we address these issues in a coherent way. As our work at sector39 continues to reach a broader and broader audience and brings us into contact with more diverse audiences I can that this potential continues to grow.

Nobody can articulate the enormity of the challenge we face better than Chomsky and here he is a recent interview that really demands our attention.

Noam Chomsky, ‘The Human Species Has Never Faced A Question Like This’ (2016)

Here is a current scientific overview and presentation on the scale of the challenge we face.

If humans caused it then surely we can solve it?

Well if you listen the presentation above you realize that although this is a correct assertion the clock is ticking and that will not be true for long.



Full Permaculture Design Certificate courses, Autumn/ Winter 2016-17


Sector39 are taking bookings for two full PDC’s running over the coming autumn/ winter period. An intensive, residential course in the Mid Wales hills with cmping or bunkhouse accommodation, in the second half of September

The 6 part course, runs every other weekend spread over three months, at RISC Reading, start in January.

Please get in touch to find out more about these fantastic opportunites to study permaculture and make connections and contacts to help you in your own ambitions. Studying permaculture is a big step towards a saner and more rewarding life, building solutions and responses to the challenges of the modern world.

£600/ £450 for the residential course (low price for those on <£18k pa)

or £225 for the 6 part course in Reading

A deposit is required to secure a place, please see the booking form

Forest gardening day in September

It was a real thrill to go back to Reading to the Roof Garden last year, and so I am planning to go back there again on September the 22nd this year to run the day again. Past PDC graduates are welcome to come along for a £7.50 donation only towards the lunch.. and full is price is only £25 for the day. It is an excellent introduction to Permaculture design and approaches to problem solving and is a lively and fun day.

forest gardening at RISC 2012

One day introduction to forest gardening and urban permaculture

The garden is 10 years old this year and has matured wonderfully into a forest system. the understory plants have self-seeded all around the place and it is starting to have a genuinely wild feel about it.

It will be a great day out and I am arranging a special meal from Tutus Ethiopian Table… freshly prepared traditional style Ethiopian food will make it an extra special experience.

Lots of opportunites for chat and to ask questions and of course a perfect opportunity to explore the garden.

The RISC centre itself is well worth a visit, it has fair trades shops, bar and cafe, meeting rooms and is home to Reading International Solidarity who develop teaching resources on global themes, and are active supporters of fair trade and human rights.

I have just updated the Forest Gardening page on my website.. lots more info there if you are interested.

The other new Course we are developing is in conjunction with the Get-Growing project in Newtown Powys, where we are putting together a 5-day, how to design a community garden course.  This is specifically aimed at people with an interest or involvement in community gardening. we are very involved with community gardening ourselves in Newtown and have just been offered a new site from which to develop a our community growing hub… which is a 2 1/2 acre site on the Newtow FE College campus and we will be using the coruse process to design the garden.

Reading Roof Garden, edible landscaping, urban permaculture, 24th Sept

FG ad

Forest Gardening at RISC Reading 24th Sept 2011

A one day workshop on forest gardening and the potentials for urban renewal using permaculture design
Work on the award winning RISC roof garden began in Feb 2002 and now in its ninth year it is positively blooming. It is a bold statement about the possibilities for greening our cities, supporting biodiversity,  reducing urban heat islands and storm surges and creating oases of calm and sanity in city centre spaces.

The RISC garden is inspired by the work of Robert Hart and was designed as a Global Garden to reflect the inter-connectedness of life, society, history and culture on this earth. It is a statement about the importance of biodiversity and the value of the ecological legacy we leave to future generations. A forest garden is a self sustaining system assembled from a great many, mainly perennial plants with multiple uses, from around the world; some obscure, some so familiar we take them completely for granted, all of them however are important.

The day will focus on positive responses to the challenges thrown up for modern society by the excesses of industrial agriculture, the overuse of chemical inputs and the corresponding erosion of biodiversity, tops oils and water. Forest gardening address all these issue and more and can be practised in any setting on any scale. Forest gardening is simply the application of the principles of ecology to a designed, constructed system such as  garden.

RISC has also been a big part of my own personal development, I moved there from CAT in 2002 to be involved in developing the roof garden project and it it will be a pleasure to be back there working on this one day event.  The case for all the issues that the garden embodies have never been more pertinent: our place in the globalised world, the debt we owe to past generations for the diversity of food and medicine plants represented here that sustain us all.
Society needs to evolve its relationship with the environment and fast, from degenerative destructive exploiting to a productive partnership aiming for regenerative design, adding biological and social complexity to the built environment.’

An important insight for…

  • Local and national politicians
  • Town Planners
  • Visionaries
  • Gardeners
  • Environmentalists
  • Everyone….

The day will be a positive and uplifting experience, looking at how we can work with natural systems and permaculture design to create resilient, productive and bio-diverse habitats everywhere.. even on roof tops!
Booking is via and its on £45 for the day, including delicious snack lunch. 55 places only.

Forest Gardening on the RISC roof

Urban generation, permaculture and forest gardening in Reading, Sept 24th