Course Details for PDC Orkney

PDC OrkneyAbout

This is the first Permaculture Design Course (PDC) to be formally hosted by Permaculture Scotland, the first PDC to take place in Orkney and the most northern ever in the UK, and the first PDC in the UK to receive grant funding to support local regeneration. A one-of-a-kind event, this course has a lot of firsts - did we mention that it will also be first rate?!


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Being led by one of the longest-standing permaculture educators in Britain, Graham Bell, we are very pleased to announce a PDC with room for 24 participants in the beautiful archipelago of Orkney. A unique location, with a fascinating and often underappreciated place in Britain's cultural and historical heritage, Orkney Mainland provides the backdrop for this opportunity supported by Pebble Trust, via Permaculture Scotland's ScotLAND project, and organised by Stromness Community Garden. This will hopefully be the first such course of many to target social, economic and ecological regeneration in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.


This is a two-week intensive course. If you don't know what to expect from a PDC, check out Graham's recent reflections on what the course means to him and also take a look at the course curriculum for details.


The dates for this course are Mon 29 July - Sat 3 August 2019; Mon 5 August - Sat 10 August 2019. The main teaching space will be in Stromness Library, with several excursions away from the library both on and off island.


The price of this course is on a sliding scale. The full rate, including 12 days of tuition, lunches, trips out and evening events is:

  • £300, for unwaged or irregular earners
  • £450, for regular earners on a low household income
  • £700, for those who are financially secure
  • £950, for those who are financially comfortable

How much you choose to pay is entirely up to you in your circumstance, we have faith in your honesty and no interest in means testing. Payment by instalments will be possible, as long as the full amount is paid by the end of July. The most expensive ticket is essentially a 'gift ticket', as it enables more people who can afford the cheapest ticket to attend (which is essentially a bursary rate as this undercuts our 'break even point'). If you are very keen to attend the course, but find that the cost is prohibitive, please get in touch to find some alternative arrangement.

Please direct all enquiries to Rachael Milor on pdcorkney[at]

For those who need it, we have arranged for accommodation options near to the venue. August really is the peak of the peak season for Orkney's tourist industry and archaeological activities, so we are very lucky to have this accommodation reserved for you! The main residence will be a large town house, which:

  • is in the heart of Stromness, close to all amenities
  • is a few minutes walk from our course venue (Stromness Library)
  • has self catering with a lovely large fully functional ground floor communal kitchen
  • has four bedrooms in total (situated on the first and second floors); each room is ensuite with two single beds and one double bed
  • has an additional lounge area, a utility space (with a large washing machine and large dryer) on the ground floor.

The price depends on the number of people willing to share a room, and ranges from £20 per person per night (three individuals sharing) to £50pppn (single occupancy). This comes to an additional cost of £280 - £700 for the fortnight, so please factor this into your budget for attending. We will assume to organise each room as unisex, unless requested otherwise (for couples, families and friends). Homestay options may become available as we start to take bookings. For all accommodation queries please enquire with Rachael when you book.


This course has come into being in order to promote the ScotLAND Project and to hopefully create more ScotLAND Centres. When booking, please share with us whether or not you are currently involved in a permaculture project and whether you are interested in becoming a permaculture demonstration site. Graham Bell is an approved site assessor for the ScotLAND Project, so there will be no better time to join the network than while he is already there, teaching permaculture!


Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity - Book Today!!


The course itself will take place in two 6-day blocks, both Monday to Saturday on a roughly 9am-5pm schedule (although exact timings will change daily according to activities, ask for timetable for more info). Sunday 4 August will be an 'off day' for everyone to take some down time.

This article will soon be updated with a full timetable, including evening events inter-island trips and multiple site visits across Mainland Orkney. Watch this space for further info.