Practical permaculture gardening course

Date for 2019 course to be announced
This two-day course runs from 10.00am to 5pm in Stanmer Park, Brighton.
This course explores how permaculture design can be used to create beautiful, productive and wildlife-friendly gardens.

What will the course cover?

By the end of the course you will have the skills to carry out a Permaculture Design for your plot and to start a garden from scratch without digging. Other topics we will cover include annual and perennial food crops, encouraging beneficial wildlife, composting, pest-control without chemicals, rainwater harvesting and maintaining soil fertility. There will be the opportunity to carry out at least one practical activity each day and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Please note that attending this course does not qualify you to use the term 'permaculture' as part of your work as a professional or with the public, such as being a gardener, a teacher, a designer, giving talks about permaculture, etc. In order to do this you need to complete a permaculture design course such as our Building sustainable communities course.

Who is the course for?

This course is open to anyone aged 16 or over.The course is open to anybody interested in applying Permaculture ideas in their home garden, community garden or allotment. It is suitable for complete beginner gardeners as well as those with some experience who wish to increase the sustainability and productiveness of their plots. You may have some prior knowledge about or qualifications in Permaculture but this is not a necessity as we will cover some basic theory.

Please note that, unfortunately, this course is not suitable for wheelchair users.

Learning methods and outcomes

A discussion about what participants want from the course will be followed by short theory sessions and practical demonstrations. Weather permitting a large part of the course will be outdoors including practical hands-on experience with guidance from the tutor. We will have an in depth tour of a working permaculture garden on day 2. By the end of the course, participants will have learned several practical techniques and design tools, which they will then be able to apply to their own gardens and allotments. Course participants who complete the entire course will receive a certificate, which will be sent via email after the course.

What does the Practical permaculture gardening course lead on to?

This short course is not accredited. It does not lead directly on to any other courses but will provide a taster for those progressing to work or courses in horticulture, sustainable garden design and market gardening. Those interested in the ideas of Permaculture Design could follow it with one of Brighton Permaculture Trust's Permaculture courses, held regularly in Brighton.

Course tutor

Tuition will be provided by Pippa Johns, an experienced tutor who has designed and created gardens using Permaculture Design for over 10 years with additional tuition from Jen Beaufoy.


Stanmer Park (near University of Sussex)
South East England

Get directions to Stanmer Park.


If you intend to book accommodation, please check availability before booking a place. Get details on local accommodation and Brighton Permaculture Trust supporters who can provide accommodation in their homes.


Fees include tuition, refreshments, handouts and information sheets.

  • £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
  • £52.50 - Individual, concessionary rate (check your 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 Practical permaculture gardening course

Booking is essential, as 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.

Please do not book unless you are able to pay for your place.

Paying for your place

Please read this section carefully.

When you complete the booking process, you will receive a confirmation email from us. If you haven't received that email within the next few hours, please contact us immediately, as this email contains vital information regarding your booking.

You can pay when you book your place using a credit/debit card or PayPal, or you can tick the 'Pay later' box (in the Event Fee section), which gives you the option to pay by BACS or send us a cheque after you have booked. If you choose to pay later, you will have 7 days to pay for your place. Bookings that remain unpaid on our system for longer than that will expire. You will receive notification of this expiration by email. If you then decide you want to come, you will need to contact us to see if there is a still a place available for you.

If you are booking within two weeks of the course, or the course is nearly full, you will not have the option to pay later. Instead, you will need to pay immediately at the point of booking using a credit card or PayPal.

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

Booking link coming soon!

  • Mara
    "Fantastic activities and delivery style - all stages of the training had been carefully thought through and the trainers were able to engage us all with very interesting methods."

    Mara Crippa

  • Anita
    "Really well structured and delivered, liked the informality of it, yet we covered a lot. Also liked the interactive way of learning."

    Anita Wicks

  • Charlotte
    "Loved the beautiful village location, lovely barn classroom and Pippa's enchanting and inspirational garden."

    Charlotte Matthews

  • Carrie
    "[I enjoyed] connecting with other inspirational people, the sheet mulching process, the tour of the garden, learning about shade happy plants and perennial plants, the shared lunch, and collecting plants from the garden to take home."


  • Laura
    "The practical sessions showed all of us novices just how easy it is to experiment with gardening. Working with plants can sometimes seem scary but, by getting involved, we all learned lots."

    Laura Parr

  • Amelia
    "A good balance of theory and practice/hands-on work. The second day at Pippa's house in Southease was excellent; I learnt a lot about use of space and natural materials, as well as better techniques for growing vegetables. Good advice on garden design."


  • Lydia
    "Excellent teacher, fantastic volunteers, really nice warm accepting vibe. Thanks to Pippa, may she continue to pass on her abundance of knowledge in a warm and full way!"


  • Ruth
    "Lovely people, excellent facilitator and a great group of helpers. I found the course really inspiring and can't wait to try out what I learned."

    Ruth Findlay

  • Debbie
    "Thank you ever-so much. I am really inspired and can not wait to let loose on my garden. I have already started making observations and sketches and am telling everyone who will listen to me all about it!"

    Debbie Bartelds

Contact us

For further information or if you have problems with your booking, please contact us.