History of the Permaculture Association

We will use this page to present some key moments in the organisation's development. Its an important job, because soon we might not remember...

1983: Set up as a charitable unincorporated association....

The Permaculture Association was established as a charity on February 8th 1983, but that isn't where it all started. As Mike Roth explains....

"My first experience of permaculture was a four day introduction in the south of England, in the Autumn of 1982. Soon afterwards I was amongst a group of about six people at a design course in the tiny Lake District village of Blencarn. This was given by Max Lindegger from Permaculture Nambour [Australia]. On the final weekend we climaxed in what must have been the first British permaculture convergence.

"At this gathering Max invited us to form into the first British Permaculture Association, somewhat against our own inclinations I seem to remember. A small subgroup of us agreed to edit the newsletter (which at that time meant writing most of it), and I remained a part of this for about three years.

"During this time the permaculture people (numbering something like 10 in total) seemed to be a little more than a band of off the wall starry eyed lunatics, who wondered if the world might conceivably "catch up with us" one day, or perhaps would simply never know we existed. We felt that our mission was to keep a spark of permaculture thinking alive, in case, or until such time as, more interest was able to build up. On the practical level, there were exciting local initiatives struggling to happen in various places, but sadly our tiny Permaculture Association was not able to provide real support for any of these.

"The turning point seemed to be in the summer of 1985, after a successful lecture tour (and a design course given in the Pyrenees), by Sego Jackson from the Permaculture Institute of North America. The lecture tour culminated in a gathering of about 40 people and a fresh leadership initiative from a group of new design graduates who were better placed, and much needed fresh energy and commitment, to carry the movement forward to another stage."

8th November 2006

Registered as a new incorporated charity with the Charity Commission. We were previously unincorporated, so we set up a company and registered that in order to give trustees more protection and ensure that the Association was on a firmer legal footing and ready for an expansion in its work.