Fantastic Workshops on Offer at the Gathering This Weekend!

1 day to go!

If you haven't got your ticket click HERE

Open Space kicks off at 2pm on Friday followed by a full programme of workshops on Saturday and Sunday. Scroll down for the full programme

Do contact us if you have something to offer in the openspace


Workshop Summaries

Abundant Earth LAND Centre Story -Wilf Richards

Abundant Earth is a permaculture LAND Centre run by a workers co-op near Durham City. We have been going for nearly 15 years on our 15 acre smallholding, where we run a veg box scheme, keep hens and sheep, create craft items and run courses. Wilf will be sharing how permaculture has shaped the development of the site.


Wild comb in Scotland: working with the bees -Emma Chapman

Emma has been keeping honey bees since 2011, focusing on learning about their requirements, on their health & wellbeing & on keeping gentle happy bees near to human beings. Since 2014 she has been working only with wild comb, and has added a framed longhive to her apiary. She would like to share practical experiences, especially of working with wild comb & longhives, & to find other beekeepers who are interested in exploring what "sustainable beekeeping" might mean in Scotland.


Scottish Book of Bioregions -Ed Tyler

A brief background to bioregions and bioregionalism. A collaborative look at considering Scotland as a loose federation of bioregions. Attempt to see what these bioregions look like in terms of their (soft, fuzzy) boundaries. Offer to stay in touch as I am writing a book on this subject and am happy to collaborate with others like-minded.


Sourdough Bread Making -Nenya Milne & Nancy Woodhead

This will be either a practical workshop or a demonstration (depending on the number of people), covering the basics of sourdough bread making - starter culture, its refreshment, making the dough, rise and bake. We will be working with wheat, but covering pure rye sourdough as well.


Why should you consider adaptation to climate change in your designs? -David Stutchfield

Experts say that climate change is happening, but what practical effects will we see in our lifetime? How should our designs adapt to climate change predictions, and what aspects should we be concentrating on? This workshop will explore the likely impacts of climate change and how they may affect our designs.


Compost Toilets in Your Home (open space session) -Lesley Anderson

Drop in and have a chat about compost toilets, I can help you understand the range of options, what you need to consider and what the different systems need to function well. This is not a full workshop, drop in at any point through the session.


Diploma Information Session -Wilf Richards

Wilf Richards and Ed Tyler will be providing an overview of the Diploma in Applied Permaculture. Both Wilf and Ed are Diploma Tutors and Wilf is currently chair of the Diploma Working Group. Together they will be able to answer questions on the Diploma system and provide support for those that are considering, just started or well on the way on their Diploma pathway.


Europe - should we stay or should we go? -Carole Eger and Judy Martin

Taking into account the Permaculture ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share, do you think it is in the best interests of the British people to remain in the European Union or to Leave? This is an open discussion where we wish to hear all views to enable participants to make an informed decision in the upcoming referendum.


The value & values of foraging in Scotland: insights from the StarTree research project -Emma Chapman

Insights from StarTree, a 4-year pan European research project to support the sustainable exploitation of forest resources for rural development. Types of enterprise found; the benefits & dangers of encouraging more foraging; how foraging can lead towards gardening or farming; the different perspectives of the different groups involved; movements towards a sustainable harvesting culture in Scotland.


Tours of Garden Cottage - Nancy Woodhead, Sandy James, Ruby Rosamund, Graham Bell

Tours of the oldest intentional Food Forest Garden in Britain. Garden Cottage is a forest garden started from scratch twenty six years ago, and is now sufficiently mature to show the intention of its original design. Sited in part of the old walled garden of the Lees Stables, Coldstream.  See how this amazing polyculture produces 1.25 metric tonnes of food (and a whole load of other outputs)  from 0.08 of a hectare.


The World of the Working Horse: Past or Future? Kate Everett

Kate gives an illustrated talk on working horses and begs the question is this historical technology and practice or can we look forward to a return of the working horse to see us through after peak oil?  We are hoping to be able to attract horses as well!


Kids craft Session -Elspeth English

Crafts from plastic waste; bird feeders, garden twirleys and mobiles and flowers. Under 5s will need the help of an adult. Adults welcome too!


Knitting for beginners -Carole Egner

How to cast on using thumb, plain knitting stitch, purl stitch (if time permits) and how to cast off. The aim will be to make a small knitted square to take home. Also brief introduction to knitting terms and abbreviations.


Money - the good, the bad and the ugly -Carole and Scott Egner

Presentation on why our current monetary system is broken and discussion of possible alternatives


Next Big Step - where do we take Permaculture from here -Andy Goldring

Andy is the Chief Executive of the Permaculture Association and over the last few years has been working with others to develop a more coherent and effective international permaculture network. Permaculture has grown organically and is now in over 125 countries, and it now feels like a good time to see how we can work together more to support each other and develop collective projects. Andy will talk about the work of the Next Big Step group and invite participants to imagine and suggest what our Next Big Steps might be.


Permaculture for the Unwary -Kate Everett

Permaculture Scotland are sometimes asked to provide an introductory talk to groups who have no concept of what permaculture might possibly be! We have been designing a slide presentation (about 30 mins) explaining it to the as-yet uninitiated. Come and help us make sure we've got it somewhere near right! Listen to the presentation, then tell us what you think we should have included (or left out) to inspire new permies everywhere…


Plant ID walk -Nenya Milne

The walk will introduce the plants we will come across, focusing on the botanical, medicinal, edible, and other useful properties, and will most likely include a foraging element. Participants will be shown how to use a simple chart that aids plant identification, by narrowing down the possibilities to a few pages of most common illustrated British wild plant ID guides (e.g. Keble Martin's The New Concise British Flora). The pace can be adjusted to the participants' needs, and as long as people are happy to proceed, the walk can take place in most weathers.


Local Walks to Hidden Treasures -Jason Patient

Local Cycle Rides -Jason Patient


Other workshops likely to be added, especially on Friday afternoon which is Open Space.



Timetable for the gathering (as of 31 May 2016)


9am Set up starts

12 pm onwards - Arrivals throughout the day and set-up
*Offer from Jason Patient to meet anyone cycling from Berwick railway station and guide to Coldstream

2 pm onwards - Open space:

4.00 - 5.00 Drop in to talk about setting up a compost toilet;in your home:Location tbc
4.30 -5.30 Kids settling in session: Kids Tent
4.30-5.30 Guided Tour of Garden: Garden Cottage
5:30 - 5:55 Bread workshop part 1 - sourdough refreshment: Location tbc 

6 - 7:15 pm - Evening meal

7:30 pm Opening Circle

11 pm onwards - Quiet time on campsite



7:30 - 8:00 am Yoga session (Please bring a mat if you have one): Large hall

7 - 8:30 am Breakfast

9 am - 12 pm   Workshops

9 - 10 ‘Abundant Earth LAND Centre Story’: Large hall
10 - 11 Bread workshop part 2: Making the sourdough and leave to rise: Location tbc
10 - 11 ‘The value & values of foraging in Scotland: some insights from the StarTree research project’: Large hall
11 - 12 Plant ID walk: Walk
11 - 12 Knitting for beginners: Small hall
9 - 12 Local walks to hidden treasures with Jason Patient
9 -12 Children’s activities

12:30 - 13:30 pm Lunch 

2 - 5.50 pm  Workshops:

2 - 3  ‘Wild comb in Scotland: working with the bees’ : Cafe
2 - 3 ‘Scottish Book of Bioregions’: Small hall
3 - 4 Kids Craft session: Kids Tent
3 - 4 Bread workshop part 3; Checking the rise and baking: Location tbc
3 - 4 ‘Money - the good, the bad and the ugly’: Large hall
4 - 5/5:30 ‘Permaculture for the Uninitiated’: Cafe
4.30 - 5.50 Guided Tour of Garden: Garden Cottage
4.30 -5.30 Children’s Activities

6 - 7:15 pm Evening meal

7:30 - 10:30 pm Ceilidh

11 pm onwards - Quiet time on campsite



7:30 - 8am Yoga session (Please bring a mat if you have one)

7 - 8:30 am Breakfast

9 am - 12 pm Workshops:

9 - 10 ‘Europe - should we stay or should we go?’ : Large hall
9-10 Guided Tour of Garden: Garden Cottage
10 - 11 Why consider adaptation to climate change in your designs: Small hall
10-11 The World of the Working Horse- past or future: Back of large hall
11 - 12 Diploma information session: Small hall
11 - 12 ‘Next Big Step’- where do we take Permaculture from here:  Large hall
9 - 12 Local cycle ride with Jason Patient
9 - 12 Children’s activities: Kids tent

12:30 - 1:30pm Lunch

2 - 3pm SGM Large Hall

3 - 3.30pm Clear-up

3.30 - 4pm Closing circle Large Hall or garden

4pm Departures
*Offer from Jason Patient to accompany anyone cycling to Berwick railway station


Further detail is being added daily