Black Isle Permaculture and Arts
We are Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (BIPA), a Permaculture micro-smallholding, household and business, on the Black Isle, 13km north of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. 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. Our aim is to create a welcoming and accessible place where visitors can see how the ethics, principles and design process have been applied and how they relate to the physical site and the way we live here, and hopefully take something away that will inspire them to make positive actions! By sharing our story and our journey we hope to contribute to the change towards a regenerative and sustainable future.
In 2.5 acre’s of garden and woodland, we aim to live a creative, sustainable and resilient lifestyle by the three principles of People Care, Earth Care and Future Care: a place where people can visit, stay, learn and share. We’ve been a Permaculture Learning And Network Demonstration (LAND) Centre since 2018 and are using our gardens to show the possibilities of Permaculture on a domestic scale.
The household and gardens here are being transformed using Permaculture design and techniques to create a balanced ecosystem for people, plants and animals while also adapting to the unfolding climate and ecological crisis. We have worked to create a place where we can live in a harmonious ecological balance which provides us with many of our needs: food, a comfortable place to live and stay, a livelihood, but also biodiversity and habitats for wildlife, and a place to share what we are learning. We have a mosaic of meadows, forest gardens, mixed woodland, wildlife pond and bog garden, a kitchen garden growing vegetables, salads, herbs, fruit, polycultures of wild flowers for insects and pollinators, and some free range hens. We use organic and no dig methods to create healthy soil, working with closed loop systems so nothing is wasted, either through composting, wormeries, mulching, reusing/upcycling materials, and wood processing for fuel.
On-site, we have built a compost toilet and a Yurt for use during events and workshops, and two eco cabins for guests wanting a simple, off grid, low impact holiday. We have used natural and organic materials to eco renovate the bungalow and installed renewable energies such as solar PV, solar hot water and biomass heating, as well as energy efficiency measures to reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint. We have an arts and crafts studio where we work to create artwork and handmade products.