Permaculture Design Course (PDC)

Join this strong team of expert teachers for 12 days of intensive heads, hearts & hands-on permaculture learning at the beautiful 'Carraig Dúlra' in the South East of Ireland.

This 8 year old permaculture smallholding site lends us the fantastic opportunity to explore practical elements of land-based permaculture interconnected with community engagement initiatives & permaculture based livelihoods. Earth care, People care & Fairshares in action!

The diverse teaching team offers a high standard of engaging teaching methods; practical, theoretical & experience based learning in a collaborative, productive & fun learning environment.

There will be a practical element to each & every day! Forest Gardening, Landscape water harvesting systems, Natural building, Woodland skills, & Foraging weave through the course and we will also get off-site to visit other nearby projects.

Applied permaculture design in visible examples (under development since 2006) throughout Carraig Dulra's non-residential, research small-holding:

  • Food forest
  • Organic circle garden
  • Herb labyrinth and spiral
  • Swales and pond systems
  • Natural built barn,cob straw bale reciprocal roof
  • Yurts & ghers
  • Sauna,and outdoor bath
  • Wood fired pizza oven BBQ and bath
  • Walpini (under construction)
  • Heritage apple orchard
  • 1.5 acre native woodland, hedges & shelter belts,
  • Living willow structures
  • Chicken and duck houses integrated with fertility and compost systems
  • Bees: top bar hives
  • Greenhouse with annuals, hot beds and cob perennial beds: apricots, kiwis, olives, figs, grapes, South American root crops and more

Zone 5:
Sitting on Carraig mountain with its mixed commercial forestry plus old growth oak the area is full of foraging opportunities, and connections to nature. We have regular sightings of wildlife: deer, fox, stoat, buzzards, re-introduced red kites, other birds, ravens, stone chat, swallows & rabbits, foxes, pigmy shrews, lizards and much more!

Participants will gain a grounding in Permaculture design methodology, Essential knowledge of natural systems, Practical skills to begin implementing their designs & an inspiration to adventure further with Permaculture!

Topics include: Observation skills... Landscape water harvesting... Permaculture Ethics & Principles... Food Production... Community economics.... Trees & Woodlands... Communication Skills... Natural Building... Urban Design... Forest Gardening.... Patterns in Nature... Design Methods & Planning tools... Wild plant identification.... Food foraging.... Soil analysis & fertility... Site surveying.... Edible landscaping.... Personal Resilience... & much more!

This course is fully accredited by the Permaculture Association Britain, which means that on successful completion of the course participants will be awarded an internationally recognised Permaculture Design Certificate.

Do join us for this exciting adventure, We would love to have you on board!

The collaborative nature of this course extends to the food arrangements, abundance mainly local food will be supplied & we will cook & eat together. The course cost covers all meals. There are various accommodation options on-site, see below.

Booking information

The course fee includes all meals for 12 days, and is payable in full in advance. We are offering this course on a sliding fee scale:

Standard course fee: €1,000 (waged). 
Good wage fee (or if your organisation is paying for you): €1,200
Low waged fee: €800

There are also a limited number of places for unwaged people; these are funded by the standard and good wage fees above.  Please contact us for more information.

For some fundraising ideas for your course fee, see How to fund my PDC?

If you prefer, you may pay a booking deposit of €200 instead of the full course fee now.  The balance is due 6 weeks before the course begins. 

Accommodation options

Booking via email on first come basis

There is no charge for camping if you bring your own tent & camping equipment.
€60 tent rental (i.e. €5/night) for limited number of pop up 1, 2 and 3 man tents
€180 (i.e. €15/night) caravan1 contains 1double bed 1single bed, electricity
€180 for cabin with single or double bed, with electricity (this is a simple shed-type structure with 2 rooms, insulated, carpeted & furnished)
€100 for small Bell tent
€120 for large Bell tent

Bedding is generally not provided. Bring your own sleeping bags, sheets, pillows. Some sleeping bags and extra blankets are available on request. Please get in touch if you are traveling far and need help with this aspect of your stay.

ARRIVALS: it is possible, by arrangement, to arrive on the afternoon/evening before the course for set up, especially if you are travelling from a distance. (please email)


All high quality ingredients provided on site for meals (special diets can be accommodated on request), but in general the main meals will be vegan based. Extra snacks, organic farm eggs and other ingredients are available for individual sale from stored stock from Carriag Dúlra local & bulk food initiative and you can also make an individual order online in advance of the course.

The course runs for consecutive days, with one day off in the middle.

For information about refunds, transferring your booking, etc. please see our Course Booking Details page

Thursday, 25 June, 2015 to Tuesday, 7 July, 2015

In order to hold your place on the PDC, you may pay a booking deposit now and pay the balance at least 6 weeks before the course begins. 


Steph -PDC 2014 Participant

I walked away from this course feeling strong, and more importantly, capable.  Suzie, Hannah and Lusi worked hard to design a PDC that challenged participants to carry the ethos of permaculture out of the classroom and into the everyday responsibi