with 1 Comment

Sunshine in the North East

Saturday July 30th 2016 we headed to the first North East Permaculture Convergence held at Scotswood Natural Community Garden, Newcastle upon Tyne for a day of permaculture inspiration.  


Wilf Richards welcoming everybody in the opening circle.

Permaculture and Pizza

We all know what first time events can be like when it comes to organisation on the day, all I can say is that the organisation team behind creating this North East Permaculture Convergence pulled it off 100%.

We arrived just before midday and walked seamlessly through the registration area, consulted our 8 page program, got our bearings on the provided map and headed straight over to the cob oven for an amazing pizza and salad lunch. After a relaxed lunch and a piece of chocolate cake the opening circle brought us all together.

During the circle Wilf Richards welcomed everybody as a group to Scotswood Natural Community Garden. Next we all headed off to the workshops which were located around the site. We had a staggering choice of 21 different workshops split into three, 50 minute slots.

The afternoon workshops flowed smoothly like the river Tyne through the local bioregion which just happened to be what my first workshop given by Ed Tyler was about “bioregions for Britain”. This workshop was held around the fire pit in the woodland area which even without the fire been lit gave just the right setting for such a discussion. Compassionate communication was the next workshop where Beth Currie carried on the flow state in her relaxed charismatic way, presenting Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. As the sun shone through the clouds It was the shamans drum that brought my workshop journey to a close with Victoria Clark bringing us back to our animistic selves by sharing her thoughts on “thriving through challenging times” with the help of mindfulness practices.

To bring the North East Permaculture Convergence to a close we all joined together in the spring meadow for the closing circle where Karen Dobson, project director of the Scotswood Natural Community Garden, sowed the seeds for the second North East Permaculture Convergence in 2017.

Workshop Programme



Session A

  • Grow Sunderland Activity with Paul Brickle and Allan Rowell
  • Tour Of the Scotswood N C Garden with Sean Clay
  • Making and Using Biochar with Vicki Chunter and Mark Shepperlee of Northumbria Biochar
  • Introduction to Permaculture with Wilf Richards of Abundant Earth
  • Co-housing and Sustainability- A discussion with Alyson and Annette
  • Bioregions for Britain - A discussion with Ed Tyler
  • The Forever Home Formula with PassivHaus architect Mark Siddall
  • Fair Shares in High Tech with Mark Ruddell of Re-pute.it 

Session B

  • Recycling Money into the Community with Ruth Hayward of WEA Green branch
  • Taoist Energy Work and Meditation with Mike Martin
  • Permaculture Observational Walk with Permaculture author Graham Bell
  • Compassionate Communication with Beth Currie of Abundant Earth
  • Introduction to Transition with Allan Rowell of Transition Sunderland
  • Building with Straw Bales with Eileen Sutherland of Straw Works

Session B

  • Growing Sunderland Activity with Paul Brickle and Allan Rowell
  • The origins of Scotswood Garden with Ed Tyler, founder of Scotswood Garden
  • Making the Financial System work for us with Richard Shelley of Positive Money
  • Thriving through Challenging Time with Victoria Clark
  • Solar Boats with Jill Essam from Harehope Quarry
  • Green Cities with Alison Whalley and Sandy Irvine from the Green Party
  • Using Compost and Biochar with Tony Callaghan from Soil Fixer

Further Infomation


To join the North East Permaculture Network visit www.northeastpermaculture.org.uk 

To lean more about Scotswood Natural Community Garden visit https://sncg.org.uk

For more infomation on Permaculture visit the permaculture association www.permaculture.org.uk


One Response

  1. Wilf
    | Reply

    Thanks Stephen, excellent article. Would you be willing to share it / adapt it for the Permaculture Association newsletter?

Leave a Reply