Thriving Communities - where is permaculture engaging people from disadvantaged and marginalised communities?

The Permaculture Association has been supporting permaculture practitioners and teachers to create thriving communities across Britain for over 30 years. In 2016 we launched the Thriving Communities project to ensure that permaculture is reaching those in the greatest need.

Permaculture in action

We are living in a time of great change and uncertainty. The EU referendum and government austerity have revealed huge inequality in the UK with many people experiencing appalling poverty, fragile public services, precarious employment and decreasing opportunities to find ways out of poverty.

At the same time, global challenges including climate change, war and natural disasters mean that more people than ever are being forced to flee from their homes and seek sanctuary elsewhere.

People feel powerless and angry with limited options for changing their own future.

For many years, it has been shown that permaculture is able to make a huge difference to people’s lives, no matter what their background or their circumstances.

Thriving Communities is about learning from many existing projects and finding ways to support much more of this to happen all over Britain. This work is supported in part by regular donations, as well as grant funding.



Case studies

We have produced ten detailed case studies with existing permaculture projects. Find out more about how they engage with communities, how permaculture helps, and what additional support they feel would be most useful. Click links below to read the case study PDFs.

The Good Life

The Grange

Growing Links

Headway Cambridgeshire

Horton Community Farm

Hulme Community Garden Centre

Hyde Park Source

May Project Gardens

Sydenham Garden


What we've done

  • Pete at Hyde Park SourceThe first stage of the Thriving Communities project was a survey. This helped us better understand how permaculture is already engaging people from disadvantaged and marginalised communities and how we could improve our practice in this area.
  • We have produced ten detailed case studies with existing permaculture projects to find out more about how they engage with marginalised communities and what additional support they feel we would be most useful. We're finalising these and have published the first 3 above.
  • In 2018, at the edge of the national permaculture convergence, we held the first Thriving Communities network meeting! We brought together a wide range of people to discuss the initial findings and to help us shape the second phase of the project.
  • We've produced this video to showcase some of the projects in our network. We appreciate your views, likes and shares:

Next steps

We are working on the plan for the next phase based on everything we've learned so far about the needs of our network.

If you would like to be involved in the Thriving Communities project or have any thoughts or ideas to share, please contact Ryan.