I’m Steve Charter and I’m responsible for running the Permaculture Courses here at Rippledown as well as developing the wider education programme for The Bay Trust as a whole. I’ve been working in the sustainability field since 1993 and in all those years permaculture is the only thing I’ve come across which consistently gives people both a coherent understanding of sustainability problems alongside the positive ways of thinking, the skills, the tools and the inspiration to design and implement solutions to the challenges of sustainable living and working. Whether it’s at the scale of a backyard or garden, a farm, a community project or even a business, permaculture can be used to generate constructive, positive solutions. It provides you with a really well thought out tool kit for designing solutions, and a straight-forward and practical process for implementing, maintaining and tweaking those solutions over time.
About Permaculture Courses
It also has a well structured pathway for developing your permaculture skills and understanding – from the 2 day Introduction to Permaculture Course to the 12 day Permaculture Design Certificate Course, and then if you wish to take it further still you can progress on to an diploma in applied permaculture design, over a minimum of two years, which is focused on applying permaculture in your life and refining your skills and deepening your understanding as you go. Permaculture design certificate (PDC) courses are often really positive life changing experiences for people – so the diploma is a way of embedding those changes in your life and continuing on the positive path of the change that the PDC may have been a catalyst for. The Intro course is where it all starts for a lot of people.
Most permaculture courses are also great ways to meet a mix of people who are also looking for ways to make a positive difference in the world. So permaculture is a very social thing too. In the UK there are very strong permaculture networks, local projects and groups all around the country, and around the world permaculture is making a difference in many thousands, probably now even millions, of people’s lives.
Why I Teach Permaculture
This is why I teach permaculture – because it is inspiring, because it gives people hope and a positive way forward, and because it is practical, and creates meaningful changes in people’s lives. Through my years of work in the sustainability field, if there was something better I am sure I’d know about it – there isn’t and actually there doesn’t need to be, because as permaculture evolves, is refined further and becomes adapted to more and more niches in our world its impacts and benefits will grow still further.
It’s a social movement with a global effect, that is still only about 30 years old. And I, like many others, am really looking forward to seeing where it goes in the next thirty years.
Steve Charter, Permaculture teacher and Bay Trust Education Development Manager
Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, MA Environmental Planning, BA Hons Economics & Geography