New Modular PDC in Mid Wales
An innovative new Permaculture Design Course got off the ground at the end of September in mid Wales. Steve Jones of Sector39 led the event, which was the first weekend in a series of 6 over six months from September to March 2011.
The course has been sponsored jointly by partner organisations Transition Llandrindod and the Mid Wales Permaculture Network, and aims to provide a low cost, local and accessible way of doing a full PDC for students. Roz Brown said
"We are bringing the tutors to the students on their own patch, instead of the other way round. This way, we cut travel and emissions, and students get to study local patterns and landscape and can relate what they learn to their own territory. We have also been able to keep costs down by making it non-residential, and by having bring and share catering. We hoped to attract a good number of students this way and are very pleased to have 19 people on the course".
The first weekend, in brilliant weather, included a field trip to Cefn Woods, an ancient tract of deciduous woodland, where Rhian Hill, a PDC graduate and project worker for the site, gave the group valuable insights into forest ecology. The venue for the course will move between an acre plot of blank canvas, ripe for design, on the edge of Llandrindod Wells, and the Mid Wales Permaculture HQ - an elevated site with medieval longhouse in the Wye Valley near Rhayader, where an evolving Permaculture design and forest garden in its second year are available for study and practical involvement.
Steve Jones is very excited about generating a new template for this way of delivering a PDC, and sees great potential for making it available to other groups, particularly Transition Towns, where increasing numbers of people who cannot take the normal 2 weeks away from family and job responsibilities will no doubt find it fits with their needs.