May 2018 London Permaculture News

Permaculture Magazine Prize Launched!

Permaculture magazine is launching the Permaculture Magazine Prize 2018 with a fund of £20,000. It will consist of one main award of £10,000 and four runners up of £2,500. The prize is open to any permaculture project in the world. We want to specifically award money to permaculture projects that reach ordinary people and demonstrate best practice permaculture both in terms of ecological and socially / culturally innovative design.We are looking for a variety of permaculture projects that are:

  • Regenerating damaged land
  • Enhancing habitat and biodiversity
  • Helping people to gain practical and community skills
  • Adding value to produce and developing local economies
  • Building community, creating social glue and greater economic resilience
  • Modelling new ways of cooperating and new cultural paradigms

Projects can apply if they have been functioning for at least three years and have established their place within their community. Please tell permaculture projects around the world about the prize. We want to hear from you! Online applications are open now and it’s free to enter. For more details see

Design 4 ACTION Permaculture Design Course

starts Saturday 5th May, 9:30am for 6 weekends

Furtherfield Commons, Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ

London’s Permaculture Design Course – Design 4 ACTION (Active Community Transformation In Our Neighbourhoods) is a different kind of permaculture course – urban focused positive design for your life, your community and your world by empowering the genius inside all of us! Led by experienced Permaculture teacher Graham Burnett and others, D4A is about regenerative learning, enabling individuals, organisations and communities to come together over six weekends to create empowering solutions to the real world challenges we are all facing in these times of change. For more details and booking see

Kingston Permaculture Reserve Open Day

Saturday 5th May, Noon–6 pm

Kingston Permaculture Reserve, Knollmead Allotments, Tolworth, KT5 9QP

We are holding an open day in aid of African Vision Malawi (AVM): a magical day in our orchard for all the family with lots of fragrant apple blossom (hopefully), storytelling by Belinda and Jack from Surrey Storytellers, orchard tours, pond dipping to look for amphibians, Bamboo straw making, plant sales, Dominic the beekeeper, music and sunshine, and a chance to meet Jade our friendly Indian Runner duck. We also are selling plants, either for collection from site or by arrangement. For more details see

Attack of the Clones Part IV

Sunday, May 6, 1pm-4pm

Edible Landscapes, Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ

You might do it by cuttings, you might do it by division, you might even do it by layering. Either way, by the end of the day you’ll be on your way to becoming Lord Plant-Invader, with the power to clone plants, creating your own huge edible army. Come over to the park side and learn the ways of the plant force with Jedi master, Jo Homan. Booking essential, via this wormhole:

Stepney City Farm May Day Festival

Monday 7 May 10am-4pm

Stepney City Farm, Stepney Way, London E1 3DG

Bank holiday May Day festival, with traditional music, dancing, crafts, food and drink all day. We’ll also be shearing our sheep ready for Summer, and celebrating two very special birthdays – donkeys George and Dunstan are turning 20. A full schedule of events including sheep shearing demonstrations, animal show and tell, dance instruction and craft can be found at

Essex Permaculture Hub

Tuesday 8th May, 7pm-9pm

Chigwell Convent, Domus Mariae Retreat & Conference Centre, 803 Chigwell Rd, Essex, IG8 8AU

The Essex Permaculture Hub is a brand new meeting place where we can get together to share ideas and to discuss the current challenges in our communities. Network with people from across Essex to explore shared values and solutions based on Permaculture Principles and Practices. Join us in creating a brighter and a fairer future, caring for the earth and for each other, whilst living in harmony with nature. Email or ring 07942612117 for more details.

Creatively Teaching Permaculture

Friday 11th – Monday 14th May, 9:30am-4:30pm

May Project Gardens, 158 Middleton Road, Morden SM4 6RW

Open the window to facilitating creative learning! Do you want to change your world by teaching permaculture? Due to popular request Graham Burnett will be leading this four day introduction to creative and participatory teaching and learning in partnership with May Project Gardens in south London. There will be plenty of opportunities to put your own learning into practice, and to develop and deliver your own teaching session in a supported and safe environment. Please note that places are STRICTLY LIMITED on this course, so apply soon to avoid disappointment! More details and booking at

May in a Day!

Saturday 12th May, 1pm-4pm

Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London NW1 7AY

Cecil Sharp House permaculture project is part of the LAND (Learning And Network Demonstration) network showing permaculture in practice. Managed by Permablitz London ( volunteers maintain the garden through our Gardening with Nature training. During the ‘May in a Day’ festival Permablitz London will be holding special activities in the garden including workshops for children such as ‘meet our mini-beasts’, ‘plant a seed’ and nature art. Come and help us keep the kids educated and entertained.

May in a Day is an annual family folk arts festival. Inside Cecil Sharp House traditional entertainment will welcome in the spring, with fun and creative activities for all the family! There will be ceilidh and maypole dancing with expert caller Mike Ruff, and live music by Deborah Chambers and David Delarre or take a breather whilst watching dynamic morris side, Fool’s Gambit. Make folk-inspired creations with Shelagh McCarthy in our arts and crafts workshops, join enchanting folk singer Aimée Leonard for lively song sessions.

If you would like to join us and help out, please email us at to let us know.

Learn about Bees- Sustainable Beekeeping weekend course

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May 2018 10am-5.30pm

Hawkwood Nursery, 115 Hawkwood Crescent, Chingford, E4 7UH

This course is for anyone from beginners to experienced beekeepers who are interested in learning about more sustainable methods of beekeeping. The first day of the course will take a look at the fascinating world of the honeybee, introducing key concepts in their biology and ecology. Day Two will focus on how to keep bees in Warre hives and the practice of keeping bees within an ethical framework. More details at

‘Anima Mundi’ film showing by Ealing Transition

Sunday 13th May, 7.30pm

St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, W5 5RH

Following our talk by Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture Magazine – we are continuing the permaculture theme with a screening of the 2011 documentary ‘Anima Mundi’, the first feature documentary by film maker Peter Charles Downey. After the screening, there will an opportunity to explore the relevance and significance of permaculture principles and practice in creating a sustainable future. For more details see

Join the London Permaculture Festival team!

First 2018 team meeting on Tuesday 15th May, 6:30-8pm

Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, NW1 7AY

The annual London Permaculture Festival is a one day grassroots event that attracts around 700 people who come to learn about how the ethical design science of permaculture can offer sustainable, regenerative green solutions to different areas of modern life. We rely on 50-plus volunteers to put it on each year.

We will be meeting on the following Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm-8pm at Cecil Sharp House:

  • Tuesday 15th May
  • Tuesday 5th June
  • Tuesday 19th June
  • Tuesday 3rd July
  • Tuesday 17th July

Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, NW1 7AY. Meet in the café downstairs. Camden tube/Camden Road overground

We would particularly appreciate help with:

We could always use more creative ideas to promote the festival as well as help leafletting, distributing posters, setting up articles for the local/specialist press, arranging radio interviews, posting announcements on the internet and anything else you think might help to publicise the festival.

Help on the day

The festival cake stall
Our stalls market runs on a ‘cake currency’ in which two cakes ‘buys’ a stall – the cakes then being sold on the festival cake stall to help cover our costs.

If you would like to get involved, either beforehand or on the day itself, please contact Kayode at:

Sustainable Hackney Films For Action Presents ‘Power Trip: Fracking in the UK’

Friday 18th May, 7pm – 11pm

St Paul’s West Hackney, 182 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY

Power Trip follows grandmothers who set up a campaign group (Lancashire Nanas) and teamed up with young activists (Reclaim the Power) to shut down the Fracking sites of Cuadrilla near Blackpool (Lancashire) and Balcombe (West Sussex) by occupying trucks and blocking gates. The Undercurrents production, supported by the Lush Film Fund, explores how social media is being used by both Fracking companies and activists as a tool. After the film, there will be a Q&A session with some of the people involved in the protests as well as local campaigners from groups offering positive, alternative energy solutions. More details:

Food Growing Skills Level 1 Award (City and Guilds)

Starts Friday 18th May for 7 weeks, 10.30am-4.30pm

Organic Lea, Hawkwood Nursery, 115 Hawkwood Crescent, Chingford, E4 7UH

This course provides an opportunity to achieve an accredited gardening qualification through practical learning. It is designed to build basic and technical skills in the classroom then support this with demonstration practical tasks in Organiclea’s market garden at Hawkwood. It would suit anyone who is thinking about working as a gardener or who wants to enhance their food growing knowledge for the home environment. For more details call 020 8496 2971

Permablitz at Susannah’s allotment

Saturday 19th May, 10am-5.30pm

Brent Cross, North-west London

This permablitz at Susannah’s allotment will be developing rainwater collection and automatic watering systems on the allotment. We will be adding guttering and water butts to the shed, setting up gravity fed soaker hose irrigation and wicking beds. We will also be planting unusual edible perennials, unusual root crops, the three sisters: corn, beans and squash, improving pathways, setting up new compost bins and creating a keyhole bed.
There will be mini-workshops on installing a water butt, creating wicking beds, and the ‘three sisters’.
RSVP Essential: if you want to come along you need to let us know so we know numbers and we can give you all the specific details. Contact us here

Designing Edible Spaces

Saturday 19th May – Sunday 20th May 9:30-5pm

The Skip Garden, Tapper Walk, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AQ

Would you like to be growing your own food but feel you don’t have space or the time? Eating more organic food but think it’s too expensive?
This course will give you the design skills and knowledge to transform your garden or urban space into an abundant, edible garden, that is full of food, friendly to wildlife, looks good, and needs little maintenance. For more information see

Introduction to Off Grid Energy Systems

Saturday 20th May, 11am-4pm

Unit C, 59 Ladywell Road, Lewisham, London, SE13 7UT

Learn off-grid design principles and gain practical skills to build future systems. Learn what energy is – how it works today, and what’s in store for the future. Understand the electrical basics: current, voltage, resistance, power, series and parallel circuits. Learn to test and use 12V batteries. Know how to choose the right components to build circuits to power phones and laptop chargers. Receive advice for further circuit and systems design and build. Dig deeper into the energy dilemma – and possible solutions. All materials provided, including charging components. More information from:

Introduction to Permaculture

Saturday May 26th 2018, 10am–4.30pm

Upminster Sanctuary, Pea Lane, Upminster, Essex RM14 2XH

Are you concerned about climate change and future generations? Do you want to change how we interact with our gardens ecosystems and human communities? Our one day Introduction to Permaculture Course led by Graham Burnett (author of Permaculture a Beginners Guide and The Vegan Book of Permaculture) aims to inspire and empower you to use permaculture design in your everyday life to create the change you wish to see in your world. This course is being held at the beautiful setting of The Sanctuary near Upminster, a peaceful haven set in rural surroundings providing a learning environment where visitors can feel relaxed, rejuvenated and restored. For more information and booking see

Gardening with Nature training at Cecil Sharp House

These sessions are part of a series of training sessions taking place at the Cecil Sharp House garden through the year for people who want to learn more about plants and the practicalities of taking care of them in a permaculture garden. Sessions are £6 each. For more details and booking go to

Wednesday 2nd May 6pm-8pm, Making and applying nettle tea
Nettle tea gives the plants a boost of nitrogen at the time of year when perennials are growing their leaves. At the same time, the tea supports the soil-food-web. Come and find out how to make and apply nettle tea.
Wednesday 9th May 6pm-8pm, Taking spring cuttings
Come and learn how to take cuttings. This session will explain how taking a cutting from a plant can grow a new plant. You’ll then get a chance to take cuttings and pot them up.
Wednesday 16th May 6pm-8pm, Planting unusual root vegetables
It is time to plant out the plants that will give us roots to harvest in the autumn at Cecil Sharp House. These will include Mashua, Oca, Chinese artichoke and Jerusalem artichoke. Come and find out more about them.
Wednesday 23rd May 6pm-8pm, Planting up the green roofs at Cecil Sharp House
We will be adding plants to the green roofs at Cecil Sharp House. They are in very different places so this session will include an explanation of how each of them are designed to deal with different conditions.
Wednesday 30th May 6pm-8pm, Making comfrey tea
In this session you will have a chance to make comfrey tea. Come and learn how to do that and all about the benefits of comfrey tea to both the plants and the soil-food-web.

Capital Growth Training Courses in May

Thursday 3rd May, 6pm-8:30pm, The Skip Garden, Kings Cross, Natural pest management and companion planting
Wednesday 9th May, 6pm-8:30pm, The Regent’s Park Allotment, Understanding soil life, composting and wormeries
Saturday 12th May, 10:30am-1:30pm, Pop Brixton and Brixton Orchard, Creating and maintaining beautiful communal gardens
Wednesday 30th May 6pm-9pm, Sydenham Gardens London SE23, Introduction to social and therapeutic horticulture

See more details and links to booking pages.

Have a stall at the London Permaculture Festival

The ninth annual London Permaculture Festival will be held on Sunday 29th July, 2018 in the beautiful Arts & Crafts building of Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London.

Let London know all about your project, or sell your wares with a stall in the main hall of the festival.We normally have over 700 people attend during the course of the day. The audience are very much drawn from permaculture, alternative, green, action-oriented networks – all looking forward to a fun and fact-filled day bringing together people from across the capital and beyond who are interested in finding creative solutions for a sustainable future.

As in previous years we are operating a ‘cake economy’ asking all stall-holders to bake a couple of cakes as ‘payment’ for having a stall. For more details,and to book your place please email Hugh: We look forward to hearing from you!


London Permaculture Network – Interactive Project Map


The London Permaculture network has launched a map of permaculture, and permaculture-friendly projects in London. Go to to see it. Use the map to guide yourself around the projects in your local area, and the whole of London.
This map is still being developed, and we would love your project to be included! If you would like your project added to the map please contact us at

Forthcoming Events

Permablitz at Nubian Life Centre

White City, West London

Saturday 2nd June, 10am-5.30pm

Nubian Life Centre is a community centre that provides day care for African and Afro-Caribbean elders. This permablitz is being undertaken in partnership with Living Medicine, so the plants have been selected for their nutritional and medicinal benefits. We are going to be transforming the garden at the centre, creating a mini-forest garden, raised beds with the three sisters, adding trellis and climbers and laying out pathways. Mini-workshops will include ‘the three sisters’, ways to keep your plants watered and an explanation of the design.
RSVP Essential: if you want to come along you need to let us know so we know numbers and we can give you all the specific details. Contact us here

Permablitz London Design Guild

Starts Monday 4th June 7pm-9pm (8 free weekly sessions)

Cecil Sharp House Permaculture LAND project, Camden

Help design a permablitz and see it put into practice!

Permaculture designers from Permablitz London Design Guild are holding another Introduction to Permablitz Design series focused on creating designs for forthcoming permablitzes that will take place at a variety of sites across London.
All welcome: suitable for experienced designers, gardeners and complete beginners. If you would like to come along please email Kayode or Susannah at to let us know. These sessions are free.
Permablitzes are edible, wildlife-friendly garden makeovers that typically involve a group of people meeting up for the day to create or develop a community or household garden according to a permaculture design. They spread through a network of reciprocity. Once you have been to a few permablitzes (usually three) you can have one for your garden or rooftop/balcony

Permablitz at Forest Farm Peace Garden

Hainault, East London

Saturday 9th June, 10am-5.30pm

Come and help plant and find out about native forest garden plants on this permablitz. It is the first of three to implement a project funded by ‘Grow Wild’ (led by Kew Gardens) to showcase edible, wildlife-friendly plants that have been growing in Britain since ancient times. Mini-workshops will cover ‘what are native plants?’, an overview of the plants, and an explanation of Forest Farm Peace Garden’s forest garden design and this new area being established.
RSVP Essential: if you want to come along you need to let us know so we know numbers and we can give you all the specific details. Contact us here

Introduction to Permaculture

Saturday 16th-Sunday 17th June, 10am

Stepney City Farm, Stepney Way, London E1 3DG

This lively and interactive course will teach you the basics of permaculture: learning from natural systems to help us design our gardens, balconies – even our lifestyles!
Contact for further information

Gardening with Nature training at Cecil Sharp house

These sessions are part of a series of training sessions taking place at the Cecil Sharp House garden through the year for people who want to learn more about plants and the practicalities of taking care of them in a permaculture garden. Sessions are £6 each. for more details and booking go to

Wednesday 6th June, 6pm-8pm, The importance of supporting plants
For many plants it helps them to give them support structures as they grow. In beds where there are a lot of plants it prevents one plant being smothered by another. Come and find out more.
Wednesday 13th June, 6pm-8pm, Summer care for fruit trees
There are lots of fruit trees at Cecil Sharp House and this session will focus on how to take care of them during the summer. We will be doing our summer pruning and thinning the fruit.

Capital Growth Training Courses in early June

Saturday 2nd June 10:30am-1:30pm, Edible Landscapes London N4, Midsummer medicinal herbs: Fresh forage on you doorstep
Wednesday 6th June 6pm-8:30pm, The Regent’s Park Allotment, Growing food with children and young people
Wednesday 13th June, 6pm-8:30pm, The Regent’s Park Allotment, Nature connection: exploring mindfulness in the garden
Saturday 16th June, 10:30am-1:30pm, Spitalfields City Farm London E1, Keeping chickens

See for more details.

National Permaculture Convergence

Thursday 20th- Sunday 23rd September 2018

Manchester, England

We’re delighted to announce that the National Permaculture Convergence, organised by the Permaculture Association, will be happening in Manchester 20 -23 September.
The event will be held across venues in Hulme, including the wonderful Hulme Community Garden Centre, Z-arts and Hulme Hall.
Friday: a day-long conference,
Saturday: a day of practical learning and activity
Sunday: a shared brunch and tours of local projects.
On the Thursday there will be an Educators’ Meeting and a Thriving Communities network meeting
Tickets on sale 7 May 2018 – see for more details

Brighton Events

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside – so head down to the Brighton Permaculture Trust – just a train ride away. Check out their website for news of courses, events and Permaculture by the sea.

21st Century Permaculture Radio

Archive programmes available at

Open Days & Volunteering

Please check details with projects, as many close over the winter period

Cecil Sharp House, Camden NW1
Come and volunteer at the permaculture LAND (Learning and Network Demonstration site) project at Cecil Sharp House. Weekly volunteering sessions

Organic Lea – Hawkwood Plant Nursery, 115 Hawkwood Crescent, Chingford, E4 7UH.  Organiclea hold Open Days at Hawkwood Community Plant Nursery on the last Sunday of each month 12pm – 4pm. Just show up and join in. Regular volunteer days at Hawkwood are Wednesdays and Fridays 11am-4pm. New volunteers are asked to join a volunteer induction, on the 1st Wednesday or 3rd Friday of every month. Check the website for more information including induction dates,

The Orchard Project – Londonwide. There are loads of events happening each month that you can help out with, check out their website for up-to-date info:

The Meadow Orchard Crouch End, N8. Every Saturday 12-4pm  workday to care for the site, garden, orchard and wildlife meadow, plus an Eco-building session. Variable depending on leaders availability so check website for details:

Burgess Park Food Project. Weekly open sessions :
General garden volunteering ~ every Sunday from 12 – 4pm – next open dates: 18th and 25th Feb, 18th and 25th March
Herb Tuesdays, gardening for well being ~ every Tuesday 10 – 2pm, shared lunch at 1pm.
Grown in Peckham ~ growing to sell ~ every Thursday 11.30 – 2:30pm, shared lunch at 1pm.
Please check winter opening hours
Kingston Permaculture Reserve  Maintenance and harvesting according to the time of year last Sunday of the month and other occasions. Check our Facebook group for details. Website:

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