Permaculture flourishes in the UK this summer

The ‘grow your own’ culture is blossoming in the UK according to the Permaculture Association, which has seen an increase in membership as more people and groups form an alliance with the theories and practice of permaculture.

Based in Leeds, the national charity is now linked with networks across the UK following the launch of Permaculture Scotland in February 2011 and Permaculture Cymru, in Wales, in May.

The association’s success is in part thanks to its Learning and Network Demonstration Project (LAND). The scheme is supporting permaculture sites in acting as demonstration centres where members of the public can see in practice, the approach of working with nature. The LAND project has led to a boom in events across the permaculture calendar, which includes regional, national and international convergences. An international event will take place in Jordan in September.

Back in Britain, this summer will see the London Permaculture Festival take place on 16 July, which hopes to build on the success of last year’s inaugural gathering, having attracted over 850 people. Other festivals are hosting permaculture zones this year, including Glastonbury Festival on 22-26 June.

Smaller scale events such as skill-sharing and networking meets will also be taking place. On 2 July for example, the gates will be opened to Ragmans Lane Farm in Gloucestershire, a 60-acre organic farm where permaculture principles have been applied over the last 20 years. Workshops for practical skills such as cultivating mushrooms on logs, and tool sharpening and repair, will be accompanied by talks about setting up and maintaining a diverse organic orchard and cultivating and using willow.

Another place to find the fruits of permaculture is at the organic and farmers markets that are now promoting permaculture as an element of their working practice.