Course Information

Information on the course is below. To register to attend, please go here.

If you have any further questions about the course that are not covered here, please email info (at) transitionleicester (dot) org (dot) uk or call Andrew Reeves on 07848 007786.

Course Dates, Venues and Times

The course takes place over six weekends from February to July 2011, on the first weekend of each month.

The first weekend offers an introduction to Permaculture and can be taken separately or as a first step before committing to the full design course. However, please note that most places during the introductory weekend will be reserved for people that intend to take the full course.

The course dates and venues are:

  • 5th – 6th February, Introductory Weekend at Uplands Infants School, Melbourne Road, Highfields, Leicester
  • 5th – 6th March, at Whetstone Pastures farm, Gorse Lane, Whetstone, Leics, LE8 6NB.
  • 2nd – 3rd April, at Uplands School, Melbourne Road, Highfields, Leicester
  • 30th April – 1st May, at Leicester Ecohouse, Hinckley Road, Leicester
  • 4th – 5th June, at Leicester Ecohouse, Hinckley Road, Leicester
  • 2nd – 3rd July, at Uplands School, Melbourne Road, Highfields, Leicester

Each day runs from 9.30am until 5.30pm. The venue will be open from 9am each morning. Please arrive in good time to start promptly at 9.30. Depending on interest, we may watch an optional video after 5.30pm on some of the days. We’ll also look to arrange a social activity or group meal for the Saturday evening for those that are interested.


The introductory weekend and each subsequent weekend of tuition costs £60. A limited number of concessionary places are available, with costs on a sliding scale between £20 and £60, depending upon what you can afford.

The full design course therefore costs between £360 and £120 – good value compared to the costs of many permaculture courses.

Concessionary places are limited to ensure that we can cover our costs, and are available on a first-come first served basis. They are available for people on benefits, people with low-household incomes, or for anyone for whom cost could be a barrier to attending. A limited amount of bursary funding is also available from Transition Leicester for anyone for whom costs could be a barrier to attendance – if this is the case, please contact us on info (at) transitionleicester (dot) org (dot) uk to discuss further.

If we’re fortunate enough to generate surplus income through the course, this will be used to subsidise future permaculture courses in Leicester or to support further Transition Leiceser activities.

Course syllabus

The course syllabus is based on the internationally agreed Permaculture Design Certificate syllabus and will cover permaculture ethics, principles, design methods, a group design exercise and lots of information about ecological thinking, sustainable living and appropriate technologies.

At the end of the 12-day course, participants will receive a certificate in Permaculture Design, accredited by the Permaculture Association of Britain.

The proposed timetable for each day of the course is given in the following excel spreadsheet:

Leicester Permaculture Course Timetable

The core course text will be “The Earth Care Manual” by Patrick Whitefield. A free copy will be provided for all participants attending the introductory weekend course.

Participants are encouraged to read and learn about Permaculture prior to the course, although this is not compulsory. A list of recommended reading and other useful background information is available on the Permaculture Association website:

The course textbook is “The Earth Care Manual” by Patrick Whitefield. All participants on the full design course and those just attending the introductory weekend will receive a free copy (worth £35).

Accommodation and food

The course is non-residential and aimed at people living in the Leicester area. However, for people who are travelling to attend, we’d be happy to help you to find a place to stay in or around Leicester.

Teas, coffee and refreshments for breaks will be provided at no cost. Lunch will be organised on a bring-and-share basis each day. The one exception to this is the 2nd day of the course at Whetstone Pastures, when lunch will be provided.

If bringing food, please ensure that you know the ingredients of any food you bring so that people with special dietary needs or food allergies can be catered for. Also consider preparing or bringing dishes that are suitable for vegetarians, vegans or people on a gluten-free diet so that we can ensure that a wide range of food is available for everyone.


The course will be led by Hannah Thorogood, with support from a number of experienced permaculture practitioners. We will also draw upon the experience of the course participants wherever possible.

Hannah Thorogood has been teaching Permaculture design since 2004. She was brought up on a family small holding in Bedfordshire and holds a BSc in Environmental Studies, and MSc in Organic Farming and a diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.

Further information on venues

Uplands Infants School is committed to sustainability and is in the heart of the Highfields area of Leicester. By basing much of the course here, we’ll be able to explore the viability of applying permaculture ideas in an urban context, and look at possible uses of sites in and around the school.

The Leicester Ecohouse was the UK’s first environmental showhome, and features a training room, eco-shop and permaculture garden. It will be a great place for learning about technologies for use on homes and seeing permaculture in practice.

Whetstone Pastures is committed to bringing farming closer to the public, and is the home of Transition Leicester’s Community Harvest Whetstone project.

Directions and travel information for each venue will be sent out to participants prior to each weekend.