Ireland’s first LAND centre

We’re really pleased to have become the first Permaculture LAND centre in Northern Ireland. There are currently LAND networks in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Scotland, England and Wales.

The LAND networks have been established to provide practical examples of land based permaculture design in a wide variety of places, climates and cultures. Centres are generally those that open to the public for visits, demonstrations and events.

Unlike in the rest of the UK, Permaculture in Northern Ireland is part of All Ireland Permaculture, which doesn’t yet have a formal central organisation, so Andy Goldring, CEO of Permaculture UK has very kindly worked with us to certify Lackan Cottage Farm as a LAND centre, with the aim that we will now be able to work within the All Ireland Permaculture network to establish our own network of LAND centres here in Ireland.

We’re still working out the details of how that will happen, but our experiences here at Lackan will be invaluable to others as they establish other LAND centres acrosss Ireland.

The broad aims of the LAND network are –

To create a network of permaculture practitioners working on land-based projects.
Centres will excel in their permaculture design skills, and will be better equipped to teach others the possibilities of permaculture design.
Centres will be better resourced to deliver courses and local presentations, and seen as a hub for permaculture in their local community.
Centres will be better prepared to provide volunteer opportunities for local people and itinerant learners.
Visiting groups will be aware of the opportunities to actively visit IreLAND Learners and Centres.
and the benefits to participants –

Connecting with other inspiring projects
Increased exposure for your project through
Potential training and support for aspiring LAND centres
Increased visibility and accessibility of your project to others for permaculture related courses and events
Receiving more visitors and volunteers at your project
Recognition for the work at your LAND centre
Our assessment was carried out by Hannah Mole of Earthcare Permaculture Design in Roscommon, and we’ll both be applying what we’ve learned about the process to benefit other centres as they are assessed.

As part of the process of building permaculture networks, the All Ireland Permaculture website – has been redesigned, and people can now add their projects, whether land based or not, as well as events and courses. It is free to add listings, and we hope the site will build into a valuable resource.

Here at Lackan, we’ll be running a series of open days and courses throughout 2019 to share the work we are doing, as well as helping to organise the first Northern Gathering, to be held at Oxford Island bushcraft centre in August 2019.

The UK map –

and the new Permaculture Ireland map of projects –

Permaculture at Lackan

Permaculture has long been at the heart of what we do at Lackan – we first encountered permaculture at the Quarries Farm, through the teaching of Philip Allen, a veteran of permaculture in Ireland, and when we arrived at the farm here we endeavoured to observe our surroundings and come up with a plan that would embody permaculture principles.

Over the years that has steadily evolved, and we’ve experimented with all kinds of projects here. Steve now has a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate), having completed a 2 week course at Carraig Dulra, and he’s now in the middle of completing his Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design. Many of the designs that form part of the material for the Diploma are based here at Lackan, and participating in the course has been invaluable in refining designs here.

Over the years we’ve hosted many Introduction to Permaculture courses in conjunction with our friend Hannah at Earthcare Designs, and we’ll continue to offer a variety of permaculture training in 2019. Our own interpretation of permaculture is very practical in nature but like the site itself is always evolving.

We’re part of the core team organising All Ireland Permaculture, which for the last seven years has consisted of the Permaculture Gatherings, and most recently the European Permaculture Convergence in Wicklow. We’re now working on the first Northern Gathering, to be held at Oxford Island bushcraft centre in August 2019, as well as working to develop the LAND network in Ireland. Part of our skillset is also web development, and Steve is responsible for the website and the new map of permaculture sites.