The Permaculture Association
More people doing more permaculture
What is permaculture? If you are looking for some basic information about what permaculture is you can find that here.
Using permaculture design empowers you to make the right choices for a sustainable future. Whether you are involved in gardening, farming, planning, building homes, economic regeneration, or business.
By putting ethics first and using natural systems as a model, there are simple and innovative ways to live fairly and sustainably now and in the future.
A participatory organisation
Sharing and self-organising are strengths of the permaculture network. The Permaculture Association has a participatory structure so members can be directly involved.
Our board of trustees is elected from the membership and guides our work. Voluntary working groups lead development. Any member may stand to be elected or ask to join a working group.
Our strategic approach is set out in more detail in the newly updated document 2019-2030 strategy: navigating the storm towards calmer waters, our response to the 'make or break' years.
The strategy is in 'perpetual beta' meaning it is under ongoing review, providing a framework for action, rather than a detailed plan month by month. Contact the CEO to give feedback or offer support.
Permaculture Association vision, purpose and aims
A healthy and peaceful world, where we care for each other, the earth and future generations, share resources wisely and continue to heal and regenerate communities and ecosystems.
To build a network of systems thinkers with the power to create healthy cultures and ecosystems.
1. Make permaculture accessible
2. Accelerate learning about permaculture
3. Grow permaculture networks
4. Share and develop permaculture practice
5. Work with others to tackle key challenges
6. Build a smart, effective, socially responsible and sustainable organisation.
Governance is carried out by our brilliant Board of Trustees, using an approach called 'Policy Governance' developed by John and Miriam Carver. It's our permaculture design for how we govern the charity.
Members can stand for election each year at the Annual General Meeting, which is usually held in November. Members are encouraged to apply early in the year so that they can learn about the board and the role and make a well-informed decision about standing for election.
Please see the Permaculture Association trustee pack to find out more. Applications to join the Board of Trustees can be made here, however please note that applications for 2020 are now closed. To complete the form you will need to include the name of a member of the Permaculture Association who is willing to nominate you as a trustee.
You can read the 2019-2020 Trustees Annual Report (including accounts) here, which covers the period from 1st July 2019 - 30th June 2020.
The last five years of accounts and trustee reports can be accessed on the Charity Commission website.
Permaculture Association work
You can contact staff via our contact form.
The Permaculture Association is dedicated to supporting an ever growing network of permaculture practitioners, increasing knowledge of permaculture within our society, developing permaculture theory and practice, and building an evidence base that supports this. My work as CEO is to carry out the intentions of the board of trustees, and to coordinate the direction of the many projects, network and events that facilitate these aims.
I have been Chief Executive of the Permaculture Association since 1999, having previously been a trustee and regular volunteer.
Paula Sonrisa Sturmer, Education Lead (Maternity Cover)
I am supporting the Permaculture Educators' Network while Jemma is on maternity leave. I believe we need sustainable, ethical solutions to climate change and I feel permaculture brings strong, practical design principles and values to meet this and other social and environmental challenges. I am inspired by the people in the network and look forward to supporting the Educators in their great work.
Jemma Findley (Dixon), Education Lead
I support and facilitate the Permaculture Educators' Network, and help it to reach its full potential.
My role is to promote permaculture education to the public, to improve access and quality of permaculture education and to work on behalf of the educator members to grow, animate and cohere the Permaculture Educator Network.
Catherine Marsh, Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design Coordinator
I look after the Diploma network - so that's 450+ apprentices, tutors and diploma holders. Together with the Diploma Working Group, I organise the Diploma Gathering (usually held every March) which is a great weekend of workshops, tutorials and inspiring accreditations. If you've completed your Permaculture Design Course and are interested in finding out more about the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, please drop me a line.
Lusi Alderslowe, Children in Permaculture Coordinator
Children in Permaculture Coordinator and co-author of the Children in Permaculture Manual - a guidebook full of materials which support educators to work with children, including activities, session plans, a curriculum and pedagogical guidelines. I also organise and attend events, courses, meetings, and conferences.
Alexandra Nicoletti, Online Course Developer
I am developing online courses for the Permaculture Association, to enable more people across the UK to access the fantastic training our team and network of educators provide. I work 13 hours per week, and spend the rest of my time in other parts of the third sector; creating online courses, writing funding bids and delivering training.
I was Research Coordinator of the Association from 2012 to 2019. In 2020 I became Climate Action Coordinator. My main role is to continue the development and publicity of 52climateactions.com, encouraging individuals and communities to take action on climate change. I also support a spin-off project for young children and their families. I work on two EU-funded Erasmus+ projects, International Action for Collective Tranformation (iACT), and Community Climate Coaches (CCC). I am a member of the Association's Management Team, focussing on knowledge management and project finance. I have previously worked in organic farming and retailing, anti-poverty work, and teaching history and archaeology.
The permaculture network in Britain
Dan Hurring, Events Coordinator
I am here to ensure that the Permaculture Association is able to offer an increasing range of high quality professional events that introduce new people to permaculture, nurture our membership and raise funds towards the ongoing work of the organisation. Events are core parts of the Association activities, bringing together people to share learning, offer community support and celebrate, and include our Convergences, regional events, the Annual General Meeting and other one-off activities.
Membership and networking
Nicola Bell, Membership Coordinator
I look after the Permaculture Association's membership. We have 1800+ fantastic members in the network, which is growing all the time. It is my job to support our members to fully utilise their membership benefits, and to encourage more to join. If you would like to join as a member or need any help with your membership please get in touch!
I also coordinate the Permaculture Association's suite of websites, so if you have any website related issues do not hesitate to get in touch.
Nigel works with Nicola to develop the Permaculture Association's use of the web.
Ryan Sandford-Blackburn, Strategic Communications Coordinator
I have an overview of the organisation's communications. Regular tasks include compiling and editing the members' journal Permaculture Works (you'll receive it if you're a member), sending the monthly ebulletin, publishing blogs, and managing social media. The Permaculture Association and its members do so much great work, it's my role to help them communicate this effectively and widely.
Sarah Cossom, Storyteller
It's my job to share the inspiring permaculture stories happening across the UK and help connect like-minded individuals and organisations. I currently work one day a week across the organisation, mainly on 52 Climate Actions and our Permaculture Responds project.
Dan McTiernan, Communications Assistant
Dan joined the team to help undertake a significant communications and brand revew; he worked in the team to enable us to rebrand the organisation and our communications channels. This work was done all in-house, collaborating with many members of the team. Dan is an accomplished creative writer and graphic designer. Dan helps produce our publications to a high standard, including editing and laying out Permaculture Works, the new members' journal.
Sally-Ann Delf, Finance Coordinator
I'm the person you contact when you want to send us money, have queries with payments, invoices or anything finance related! I work 16 hours a week.
Celia Ashman, Operations Lead
I look after the behind-the-scenes workings of the Permaculture Association, including fixing any technical glitches, developing our internal processes and supporting the staff and volunteer team to work effectively. I spend the rest of my time fixing bikes and drinking tea.