Brookside Farm

Brookside Farm, Gaydon Road, Southam, CV47 2QZ
At Brookside Farm we are aiming to create an inspiring place for people to spend time in nature and to learn about themselves establishing inner balance and a sense of peace.
 
We have been running a range of volunteering events to develop the site and facilities, and this year we will have a yurt and a static caravan in addition to our existing log cabin for people to stay in while attending courses or volunteering.  This year will be the first year that we are creating organic herbal products commercially in order to make the site economically sustainable.
We are also lucky to have some other local businesses located onsite including: carpenters, an artist blacksmith, bespoke audio equipment, swim-training and the Bishops Itchington Men’s shed community.
 
Our course schedule in 2018 is also developing rapidly and will likely cover basket weaving, living willow sculpture, body mapping, flower arranging, ceramics, forge work and the creation of a micro-AD plant.

So far we have achieved: 
  • Installation of a world class Wetland Ecological Treatment System (WET) for harvesting grey, black and rainwater and converting it into a food and materials resource.
  • Planting of two levels of a forest garden and woodland area as part of an agro-ecology landscape for longer term education and therapeutic horticulture.
  • Establishment of a regular and thriving local community of people every week to learn craft and personal growth techniques.
  • Cross fertilization of ideas and projects with an international eco network of partners in Italy, India, Austria, sharing ideas and best practice in agro-ecology – The Living Valley
  • Incubation of a small scale circular economy process using work units onsite, including wood-working using raw materials generated on site.
  • Inspiring a growing community of volunteers and specialists from across the world - Canada, Italy, USA, Finland, Norway and more - who are dedicated to building the facilities at Brookside Farm.
However, it is very much a work in progress and the PDC offers a real opportunity for attendees to consider every possible aspect of the site development. From the use of animals to aquaculture, from developing the forest garden and guilds to the welcome facilities of the site, from the use of water around the site to the design of an off-grid Herb processing barn.
 
We’re confident that with the help of Aranya (PDC lead), Jay Abrahams (WET systems) and Les Moore (Socio-cratic governance) we will have a truly inspirational fortnight on the PDC course so please sign up below.
 
For those who are especially interested, Brookside Farm offers an extra emphasis on small-scale low tech systems such as waste-water treatment, aquaponics, anaerobic digestion plus commercial herb production (for medicines and teas).
 

Getting There

By Train:
Leamington Spa is the closest railway station with a good service from London (out of London Marylebone) and Birmingham.
Cross country trains also stop at Leamington Spa on their way between Bournemouth and Birmingham.
 
By Bus:
Buses from London and major airports come to Warwick Parkway station.
 
We can collect course attendees from either Leamington Spa railway station or Warwick Parkway bus station.
 
By Car:
Exit the M40 at Junction 12 (Gaydon). Turn right off the slip road on the B4451 in the direction of Southam. Travel 1.35miles and Brookside Farm is on your right hand side on a bend to the left. There is a tall poplar tree by the gate. (If you pass the tyre shop you have gone too far)
 
 

 

 

Ourganics Evolving Systems

Litton Lane, Litton Cheney, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 9DH

Ourganics Evolving Systems constitutes five acres of water meadow close to the coast in rural West Dorset. This working permaculture project was set up by Pat Bowcock in 1999 with its own detailed design that course participants have the opportunity to interact with.
 

 
The venue has already been used for apprentice design work on previous design courses and Pat also regularly hosts tours by local schools and groups.
Pat started Ourganics because she wanted to run her own business that was sustainable and debt-free unlike so many that run in constant debt. She wanted to show that permaculture principles could go hand in hand with being Soil Association-registered to create a land-based, self-financing and viable business which would provide affordable organic vegetables, herbs, salads, fruit and flowers for the local community. The produce goes out direct from the field as well as via farmers' markets, box schemes, farm shops etc.
 
Ourganics has the extra label "evolving systems" because like anything organic, the project is continually evolving, responding and changing. Ourganics is a fantastic venue for permaculture courses and lends itself well to practical demonstrations of permaculture in action. 
 

 

Getting There

From Bridport:
(via the coast road) Take the B3157 to Weymouth from the roundabout on the A35 Bridport bypass at the bottom of South Street. Stay on this road & pass through Burton Bradstock. Take the first left after the village (at a fork in the road just past the garage on your right). Follow this road past the caravan park on your right & a bit further on, Modbury Farm Shop on your left. Keep going along this road; you will pass two right turnings to Puncknowle & eventually after taking a left hand bend, drive down between some trees, over a small bridge & past a small utilities building on the right. Follow the road around to the right & Ourganics is the third gateway on the right after the bend.
 
(via the A35) Take the A35 to Dorchester up the long hill, out of town & past the Askerswell turnings on the left. After approx 4 miles you will have three opportunities to turn right down into Litton Cheney. If you miss the first (Chalk Pit Lane) you will still be able to turn at the crossroads a little further on (down Whiteways). This turning is across the dual carriageway. If you miss this one too, there is a third turning at the end of the dual carriageway. Take one of these turns down into Litton Cheney. When you reach the village (if you take the third turning you will need to take a right turn at the bottom of the hill to get back to the village & keep going through the village), turn right & drive through the village back towards Puncknowle. As you leave the village, keep to the right at the fork in the road & Ourganics is the third gate on the left along this stretch of Litton Lane.
 
From Dorchester:
Take the A35 to Bridport from Dorchester, through Winterbourne Abbas & when you reach the start of the dual carriageway take the left turning down hill to Long Bredy & Litton Cheney. At the bottom of the hill turn right at the ‘T’ junction. Follow this road until you reach Litton Cheney & when you get there drive past the thatched bus shelter on your right, around the left hand bend & on through the village towards Puncknowle. As you leave the village, keep to the right at the fork in the road. Ourganics is the third gate on the left along this stretch of Litton Lane.
 
From Weymouth:
Take the B3157 from Weymouth eventually passing through Abbotsbury & up the steep hill on towards Bridport. When you reach Swyre (a small village with a pub on the right), turn right towards Puncknowle. As you arrive in Puncknowle (around a sharp right hand bend), keep an eye open for the church on the right. Turn left just before the church & follow this road out of the village. Turn right at the end of this road & after taking a left hand bend, drive down between some trees, over a small bridge & past a small utilities building on the right. Follow the road around to the right & Ourganics is the third gateway on the right after the bend.
 
For Sat-Nav users the postcode is DT2 9DH.
 
By Public Transport:
Rail services run to Dorchester stations. National Rail Enquiries: (0345) 748 4950.
If you travel by coach, you can travel to Dorchester or Bridport bus stations. Timetable info at: www.nationalexpress.com
A bus runs from Dorchester to Bridport and stops on the A35 on the hill above Litton Cheney on request (20 mins walk).
Buses also run to Litton Cheney village (10 mins walk).
 

Laya Point

The Old School, Ulpha, Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA20 6DT
Laya Point started as a Permaculture (ad)venture situated at The Old School in the Cumbrian Lake District hamlet of Ulpha. Established in 2012 by Tom Dennison and Nicole Hermes, it is the creative offshoot of a Permaculture design that was crafted in 2010. After two years in South-East Asia, Tom and Nicole made the decision to put down some roots and their understanding of Permaculture ethics and design principles to the test.
 
In 2012, they moved back to England and set about transforming an old school playing field into their own ‘Garden of Eden’. The Old School has been an amazing place to discover, experiment and implement all the good stuff that comes along with Permaculture, such as annual and perennial food production, small space and high yield systems, poly-culture forest gardening, homesteading skills, natural building and so much more. Little by little, their aim of turning this one acre site into an enchanting, fun and productive example of Permaculture in practice has grown and evolved.
 
The aim behind Laya Point was to create a space where people, friends and teachers are able to exchange knowledge, skills and support through a variety of residential courses and weekend workshops. Laya Point runs an eclectic mix of different workshops each year, in line with what is most inspiring at that time. These range from Permaculture Design Courses, calligraphy intensives and yoga retreats to willow, stone or wood sculpture workshops. Each year amazing foraging weekends are held and more recently the space has been opened to the exquisite world of tantra and shamanic ceremonial practices.
 
In 2016, the amazing Rosie Moss took over the managing of the site and courses, along with her brilliant right hand man, Hedley, which has allowed Tom to spend a year studying to be a master craftsman furniture maker. With her ability to welcome everyone that walks through the gate with heartfelt warmth and a genuine interest, not to mention her exceptional cooking, Laya Point has never been in better hands.

Getting There

Getting to The Old School by Car

Leave the M6 at junction 36, onto the A591 towards Kendal then turn left onto the A590 towards Barrow after 3 miles. Stay on the A590 for approximately 20 miles. Turn right at the roundabout onto the A5092. This will become the A595 after 6 miles and you continue along the A595 for a further 5 miles. Go through the coastal village of Foxfield (railway station on the left) then on the brow of the next hill, you will pass a pub on your right called the High Cross. The road then dips down before you reach a set of traffic lights at Duddon Bridge. Turn right just before the lights onto Smithy Lane, signposted Ulpha and Seathwaite. Follow this road for 3 miles, until you reach the second cattle grid and Ulpha Bridge. Don’t cross either. Turn right up the track and The Old School is straight ahead.

Getting to The Old School by Public Transport 

Train
Our nearest train station is Foxfield, about 5 miles away. There are fairly regular trains (hourly) between Barrow-in-Furness and Foxfield. We can arrange to collect people from Foxfield at specified times. The next closest station is Ulverston, about 15 miles away. There are no direct trains from Ulverston to Foxfield, so you would need to go via Barrow-in-Furness. We may be able to arrange to collect people from Ulverston if arranged in advance.
Coach / Bus
There are coach stops in both Barrow-in-Furness and Ulverston. From Barrow-in-Furness there are buses (6 : X6) to Ulverston. There is also a bus service (7) from Barrow-in-Furness to Broughton-in-Furness, which is the nearest village to us, approximately 4 miles away. This only runs a handful of times per day. See timetable for details. 
Air
The nearest International Airport is Manchester. There are trains from Manchester Airport to Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness.
 
 

 

Park House

Wroxham Road, Rackheath, Norwich, Norfolk, NR13 6NA

Park House is a six bedroom house on 12.7 acres of land. It was purchased at the end of 2012. The house was very thoughtfully constructed in the 1950’s - the previous owners clearly had a good instinct for building design - however times change and from an energy and sustainability viewpoint it’s ripe for re-design along permaculture lines. The land consists of approximately two and half acres of mature mainly deciduous woodland, three acres of gardens and seven acres of silvopasture (grazing land with mature standard oaks). We hosted our first permaculture design course in August 2013 from which we received a host of good ideas for developing the land along permaculture lines.

Getting There

Cycling:

  • Head out on the Wroxham Road past the Park & Ride (there are cycle paths on parts of the route as far as Sprowston Manor).  Take care on the 150m stretch after the bicycle lane runs out. If the traffic is busy you might want to cross over and walk your bike for the last part.
  • After Sprowston Manor look out for a long clipped hedge on the left as the road bends to the right.
  • At the end the hedge is a big oak tree and two large rocks which mark the entrance to Park House

By Bus (from Norwich Bus Station, Castle Meadow Stop CA or Stop CD or Anglia Square)

  • Take Norse bus 605 to Sprowston Park & Ride (every 15 minutes until 18.30 Mon- Fri)
  • or First bus 11 or 11a to Blue Boar Lane Tescos, Sprowston (every 10 minutes)
  • Walk to Park House 10 - 15 minutes (see cycle route)
  • Alternatively take Neaves bus 36 (Castle Meadow stop CF) Ask driver to stop at Sprowston Manor (8.33, 13.33, 16.18 or 17.43 Mon - Fri or 8.43, 14.48 or 17.43 on Saturdays)

By Train (from Norwich Rail Station):

  • On Foot
  • Walk along Prince of Wales Road to Upper King Street, Stop CK for 605
  • or Castle Meadow Stop CD for bus 11 or 11a (about 10 Mins)
  • Catch bus as above
  • By Bike
  • Exit by the main gate which is straight across the car park from the station entrance.
  • Go over the river bridge and stay in the Right lane where cyclists can turn right.
  • Follow this road around - it wiggles L, R, L, R, ending under a narrow arch.
  • When you come out from the arch turn Left onto Tombland
  • Then Right onto the main road.
  • This road heads towards Magdalen Street passing the Maids Head on your right.
  • Keep on this road all the way to Park House. (it becomes, Sprowston Road and then Wroxham Road)
  • After Sprowston Park & Ride and Sprowston Manor look out for a long clipped hedge on the left as the road bends to the right.
  • At the end the hedge is a big oak tree and two large rocks which mark the entrance to Park House

By Car:

From Norwich follow signposts to Wroxham

  • After Sprowston Park & Ride you'll pass Sprowston Manor on your Right
  • Then look out for a long clipped hedge on the LEFT as the road bends to the right.
  • At the end the hedge is a big oak tree which marks the entrance to Park House
  • The white gate will open automatically
  • Park on the gravel drive in front of the house
 
 

Applewood Permaculture Centre

Waterloo Farm, Orleton Common, Orleton, Ludlow SY8 4JG
Applewood is a 20 acre smallholding in the beautiful hills of North Herefordshire. The owners, Designed Visions partners Chris Evans and Looby Macnamara, are developing a low-impact permaculture demonstration and training centre. They feel that with permaculture, you need to see it to believe it, and then need to be able to learn it, and then acquire the resources (seeds, plants, books, friends and networks) to do it!

The site includes woods, pasture, a lake, kitchen garden and an orchard of heritage apples. These diverse habitats make for an incredible wildlife and people sanctuary. A converted barn and outbuildings provide indoor accommodation and the grounds a peaceful campsite.

For those who are especially interested, Applewood Permaculture Centre offers an extra emphasis on social permaculture.
 

Getting There

By Train:
The nearest railway stations are Leominster and Ludlow.
 
Sign up to our quarterly newsletter to be notified of new blogs, courses, videos, books, events and more..