What is Permaculture?


Permaculture is a solution based design philosophy which was developed in the 1970s by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. It began as an integrated systems approach to sustainable living based on growing perennial food crops. Since then it has evolved to incorporate social and economic design, and has spread virally around the globe.

Permaculture is working to re-design our impact on the Earth and regenerate what has been lost.

By observing and learning from nature, and weaving together traditional and indigenous wisdom with new scientific understanding, permaculture seeks to create beneficial and co-operative relationships within a system.

These thinking tools can be applied to all aspects of our living and designing.

Three strong ethics lay at its heart:

Care for the Earth

Care for people

 Future care

12 principles help to guide us through the design process.

For more information visit www.permacultureprinciples.com


Based on Permaculture design the festival holds the three ethics of Permaculture at its heart: Earth care, People care and fair shares/share the surplus. 

Aspiring to be a minimal waste festival reusable cups are used at the bar. All caterers serve food in environmentally friendly packaging and discount drink tokens are given to those who bring their own reusable plates and cutlery. Local food and drink is served wherever possible reducing food miles and supporting local businesses. Organic ethically sourced and produced clothing is used for merchandise.

Talks and demonstrations on how to reduce waste in your home include those about reusable cloth nappies and sanitary goods, natural cleaning products and reusable food wraps. Compost toilets reduce the amount of chemical toilets needed and act as a great educator in alternative toileting systems for which we receive great feedback.

People care: 

Great music and dancing is enough to get everyone smiling and feeling good! On top of that a huge variety of workshops offer festival goers a wealth of learning opportunities and a chance to try new skills such as juggling, slacklining or African drumming. An action packed kid’s area is located centrally for the convenience of parents and comfortable seating areas are available for those wanting to chill and relax. A healing area provides a calm and rejuvenating space where you can receive reiki, learn to massage or participate in a meditation workshop and much more!  A creative arts and crafts area showcases Coumme Nous, Sark’s Art cooperative. It also offers the opportunity to learn new skills such as lantern making, knitting, or jewellery making. 

Future care- fair shares/ share the surplus:

 Organising a festival is great for Sark’s economy; the influx of festival goers benefits many businesses.  Sharing music from headlining acts to chilled jam sessions! Sharing knowledge & skills with the great diversity of workshops available creates an inclusive environment for everyone. From yoga and contact improvisation to belly dancing and Kirtan singing meditation. Learn to forage from the seashore and hedgerow, or about permaculture from one of the UKs leading permaculture teachers. Get a hands on demonstration of cider making or learn about compost shower and toilets. Permaculture garden walks and a dark skies walk and talk to the islands observatory are only some of the other workshops on offer.  

Check out the latest international Permaculture magazine; summer issue 2018 to read more about Permaculture on Sark!


1st-14th September 2018 at Sark Sanctuary centre

In the run up to this year’s festival one of the UK’s top permaculture teachers, Aranya, will be running a full time Permaculture design course in Sark. 

What you will learn:


  • Why permaculture is particularly relevant today
  • What nature can teach us about meeting all our needs more effectively and sustainably
  • The ethics and principles that underpin permaculture and inspire harmonious designs that work with nature
  • Simple techniques for caring for soil, water, trees and animals
  • How to improve your own food security, including permaculture gardening and farming methods
  • ermacultureHow permaculture can make cities healthier and more productive places to live
  • Techniques for building eco-friendly, low impact homes and how to design them into the landscape, minimising both pollution and unnecessary work
  • What really constitutes ‘appropriate’ technology
  • Some effective, low-tech surveying tools to analyse and map the landscape
  • How to make the best use of space and slope in land-based permaculture designs
  • How to apply permaculture thinking to social structures, including alternative economies
  • How to achieve bountiful yields with a minimum amount of effort and create win-win situations rather than trade offs
  • How to start using permaculture in your own life and community, to create a more sustainable lifestyle 
  • And much, much more! 

This practical course will provide participants with a broad introduction to the applications of permaculture in a number of different situations, from food production to community structures, and alternative currencies to eco-housing. The course will use practical, experiential and theoretical teaching methods to create a fun, lively and inclusive experience. In addition to traditional lecture-style teaching, the course will use group work, discussions, observation exercises, guided walks, practical activities, videos, and slide shows as learning methods. 

On completion of the course participants will be awarded the Permaculture Association’s internationally recognised Certificate in Permaculture Design.

See www.learnpermaculture.com for more information.