What is Permaculture

  • Permaculture is a design system, which can be used for any project. It uses a framework or stepped approach to guide us through a project, or anything where you want to make a change.
  • It is based on the amazing workings of nature, coining its principles through observation and applying them to our thinking, like taking different lenses and using them to look at our project and generate new ideas.
  • A key one is ‘working with nature, not against it’, which could be interpreted as widely as ‘going with where the energy is’.
  • There are lots of principles, but just to mentioned one other example based on the observation that there is no waste in nature: ‘produce no waste’ or ‘energy cycles’, thinking about we meet the needs of a system from within the system
  • It is also based on systems theory or ‘everything is connected’ and is all about how & what we connect together to make things work efficiently.
  • One of the design frameworks starts with goal setting & visioning, then survey: what have you got already (resources, skills..), what are the limits (we love to design solutions around our limits).
  • In permaculture we also love natural patterns and applying them, being aware of form and function
  • It has an ethical footing, so it’s only permaculture if it considers: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Shares / or Future Care. And again these ethics can be used as lenses to generate ideas

If you’re interested in how to apply permaculture to social, personal life settings, have a look at the social permaculture page.

Information about the principles coined by permaculture co-originator David Holmgren.

Lots of information, course listing and ways to connect with the network via Permaculture Association  and Permanent Publications


I have been teaching permaculture since 2007, in particular the Permaculture Design Course, but also introductions and specialist courses such as People Care focussed design courses, see Permaculture courses.

I provide tutoring for the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.

If you need a permaculture design I can work with you, both for physical (land-based) and invisible (non-land-based / personal / social) designs.

I’m happy to work with a group and facilitate the design process and work with individuals as a design coach.