Introduction to permaculture – online and outdoors

This course introduces the basics of permaculture design. It aims to inspire and empower you to use permaculture design in your everyday life.

This Introduction to permaculture course will be online, with a visit to our sites at Stanmer Park (Brighton) as an option if the Covid-19 situation permits.

The course will be from 2pm-5pm over four days with self-directed study and activities between sessions.

Autumn Course (1):
Saturday 12 September, online
Saturday 19 September, online
Saturday 26 September, practical/tours at Stanmer or online
Sunday 4th October, online

Winter Course (2):
Saturday 14 November, online
Saturday 21 November, practical/tours at Stanmer* or online
Sunday 29 November, online
Sunday 6 December, online

New Year Course (3):
Saturday 23 January, online
Saturday 30 Janurary, online
Saturday 6 February, practical/tours at Stanmer* or online
Saturday 13 Febrauray, online

*Winter practical sessions 1pm-4pm

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Course structure, learning methods and outcomes

The course will mostly be taught in virtual classes using a variety of methods including presentations, discussion, work in small groups and design activities.

A visit to our sites and at Stanmer Park (Brighton) will be an option for one day of the course if the Covid-19 situation permits. This will include short tours of Earthship Brighton, our permaculture plot and orchards; as well as a gardening demonstration. You will be in groups of no more than 8 people with Covid-19 safety and social distancing measures in place.  Online equivalents of the session will also be provided so anyone unable to attend the site visit will still be able to complete the whole course.

Prior to the course and in between sessions we will provide materials and guidance for self-directed learning. These will include observation activities and video presentations. Preferably you would have access to a green space for the activities, but this isn’t essential. There will be a maximum of two hours activities given in preparation for each session.

By the end of the course, you will have a basic knowledge of some of the permaculture ethics and principles and how to apply them. Course participants who complete the entire course will receive a certificate, which will be sent via email after the course.

What will the Introduction to permaculture course cover?

This course will cover the history and various definitions of permaculture, design process, ethics, principles, other design tools and case studies from a range of applications.

You will use this theory to co-create a design as part of the course.

Who is the Introduction to permaculture course for?

This course is for people who want to look at the current challenges we face and be part of creating solutions.

It is open to anyone aged 16 or over. No prior knowledge of permaculture is needed.

What does the Introduction to permaculture course lead on to?

This course is an ideal starter for anyone interested in a full permaculture design course. It is necessary to have completed an Introduction to permaculture design course in order to take Brighton Permaculture Trust’s Permaculture design course (Building sustainable communities). You can also go on to explore other specialist courses.

Course tutors

Four or five tutors will teach on every course:

Bryn Thomas is the Director of Brighton Permaculture Trust and is one of its founders. When Bryn is not teaching he can be found up a fruit tree or behind a computer.

Chloe Anthony is a permaculture teacher and designer who is passionate about design, forest gardens, community living, sustainable organisations and Transition.

Hannah Wilde is a new permaculture teacher and is particularly interested in the therapeutic benefits of nature and the use of permaculture as a tool for social change.

Stephan Gehrels received his Permaculture Diploma in 2009 and runs school environmental projects in Brighton.

Tracy Hind works freelance in youth and community development and has a long-held belief that community activism is the only thing that really changes anything.

Outside venue

This course will be mostly/entirely online. If the Covid-19 situation permits there will be an option for one day of the course to visit our sites and at:

Stanmer Park (near University of Sussex)
South East England
Get directions to our meeting point in Stanmer Park.

Technical information

The group sessions will be delivered via Zoom. This application will work best when used on a desktop or laptop computer. We use some features that do not work as well on a tablet and cannot be used on a mobile phone, so would advise that these are not an ideal way to access the course.

We will email you with details of how to access the resources in advance of the course as well as details of how to join the Zoom meetings.

Zoom is free to use. If you haven’t used it before we recommend you try it out before booking:

Recommended introductory material

It is not necessary to read / watch any of these resources before attending the course.

Short introductory reads:
Permaculture – a beginner’s guide, Graham Burnett
Permaculture In A Nutshell, , Patrick Whitefield

Handy reference books:
The Permaculture Way, Graham Bell
Introduction to Permaculture, Bill Mollison. Out of print but available electronically:

Series of short films introducing application of permaculture design: Living with the Land
Introduction to permaculture by David Holmgren, co-founder of permaculture, free download: Essence of permaculture


Fees include all tuition and online resources.

£247.50 – Sponsored/organisation rate

£247.50 – Individual income more than 25k/yr

£200 – Individual income 18-25k/yr

£152.50 – Individual income less than 18k/yr

£84 – Individual, concessionary rate (check eligibility)*

* Concessionary places are limited. If places are not available check back two weeks before the course/event as more may be available then.

We endeavour to make our courses and events affordable to all. Unfortunately, we do not receive any external funding for most of these and rely on large amounts of voluntary input.

See the cancellations and refunds policy.

Booking the Introduction to permaculture course

Booking is essential. Most of our courses/events are fully booked weeks in advance. However, if places are still available, then bookings can be made until midday the day before the course/event. A place is not secured until we have received the requested payment.

If you have completed the booking process but you haven’t received a confirmation email from us please contact us to check your booking has gone through.

If you are booking within two weeks of the event, or the event is nearly full, you will not have the option to pay by cheque or BACS. Instead, you will need to pay immediately using a credit/debit card or PayPal.

Be certain that you understand ALL the information on this page, then:


12 Sept – 4 Oct course



14 Nov – 6 Dec course



23 Jan – 6 Feb 2021 course

For more information:  MAKE AN ENQUIRY