Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (ScotLAND Centre)

LAND Region: 
ScotlandCentral and Eastern Highlands, Moray
LAND Project Type: 
LAND Centre
Areas of Activity: 
Culture & Education
Culture & EducationPassing on knowledge
Land & Nature Stewardship
Permaculture ethics, principles, design

We are Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (BIPA), a Permaculture micro-smallholding and livelihood on the Black Isle, 13km north of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. Since 2015 we have been developing 2.5 acres of garden and woodland to establish an organic Permaculture garden for food, wood fuel, habitat, well-being, abundant foraging, leisure and education, as well as eco retrofitting an onsite bungalow.

Our aim is to become a domestic smallholding where we are able to live a creative, regenerative and resilient lifestyle by the Permaculture Principles of People Care, Earth Care and Fair Share: a place where people can visit, stay, learn from and be inspired by an example of an organic smallholding incorporating a home based economy and resilient business plans.

Our design incorporates an eco-renovated house, art studio, compost toilets, some woodland camping huts for eco tourism and guests, creating kitchen and forest gardens, orchard, woodland, meadows and space for our chickens. Our design and vision is to create forest gardens, woodland and growing spaces that maximise habitat and diversity, along with a thriving and self-sustaining food-web, with multifunctional plants providing food, fuel, craft materials, income, and beauty.

We are also involved with a community initiative in Muir of Ord called MOOFood, which aims to reduce carbon emmissions, food waste and social isolation and create a healthy community and food culture through growing, sharing, and educating. We have planted a Permaculture designed orchard of 50 fruit trees, planted incredible edible inspired veg, salad, herb and fruit beds, installed a community fridge and have an education programme with the local school and community groups.

We welcome visitors by appointment, and hold open days, courses and workshops throughout the year. See our Facebook page and website for details. We are also hosting volunteers in 2020 via our WWOOF profile.

Number of people text: 
Clive and Julie live and work at BIPA
Contact Name: 
Clive
Number of people involved: 
2
Telephone number: 
01463 871 171
Many of the techniques and ways of working we use here are a shift in attitude from conventional agriculture or gardening, for example, active observation of ecosystems and foodwebs and making minimal intervention, slow solutions such as scything meadows seasonally rather than regular mowing, harnessing the benificial properties of ‘weeds’ and at the same time reducing time spent weeding, shifting from maintenance to harvesting (grass is a harvest which is used to make compost), no dig gardening and soil/fertility building through mulching, planting of nitrogen fixers and dynamic accumulators, and so on. It is more than just gardening as it takes in all aspects of our lifestyles such as housing, community, social equality, transport and food production. For us, as a LAND project, growing food, fuel, soil and sustainable production of resources, increasing biodiversity and habitat, circular cycling of materials, zero waste and energy efficiency are some of the key areas of focus, but we are also involved with community projects such as Transition Black Isle Seed Swap, Grow North and the MOO FOOD community orchard. We decided to become a ScotLAND Permaculture demonstration site so we can show people practical examples of how it can be applied and learn along with us. We are using Permaculture Ethics and Principles to guide how we live. The three Ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share are in the centre, and the 12 principles surround them Earth care is a main driver of our design, and we use organic and no dig techniques, composting and mulching for soil health, diverse types of trees, shrubs, plants, fruit, and vegetables, land stewardship and habitat creation through ecological methods, sensitive observation and minimal changes, water saving and harvesting, and regenerative growing practices. People care – we are creating a healthy environment, a relaxing, calm place to live, work and stay, inviting visitors to learn, providing opportunities for volunteers, demonstrating the potential of Permaculture to the wider community and improving food and environment in area, for example Transition Black Isle seed swap (http://www.transitionblackisle.org/) and MOO Food community food project (http://moofood.org/). Fair share/Future care – using local, ethical and ecological services and goods, living within sustainable limits and minimising our consumption (e.g. growing food, reducing travel and commuting, making crafts, furniture, art, and produce) offering affordable workshops, open to share knowledge and experience, putting our time, energy and resources into positive local projects.
Project start date: 
August, 2015

Please call in advance or email

Site Design Map
Kilcoy Farm The Warren
Muir of Ord, Highlands IV6 7RX
United Kingdom
Phone: 01463 871 171
Highlands GB