Bristol Edible Ecosystems Dayschool

Friday 19 May 2017, St Werburghs Community Centre, Bristol

10am - 5pm, then film from 7.30pm

An inspiring and informative day of workshops on edible ecosystems, facilitated by the Permaculture Association, in partnership with Permanent Publications and Shift Bristol.

We have three top-class, experienced tutors on board - Tomas Remiarz, Sarah Pugh and Niels Corfield - each bringing wealth of knowledge and experience. The event will be facilitated by Tony Rollison of Permaculture Magazine. 

A full programme

The day will be broken up into 4 sessions looking at a range of edible human-designed landscapes; how they work and how to create your own - be that at home or on a larger scale.

We'll be carrying out design challenges and offering masterclass elements to the programme, ensuring that what is offered is suitable for beginners and those with more experience looking for the next step in their knowledge.

  • What is an edible ecosystem - a range of perspectives
  • Forest Gardening in Practice
  • A participatory workshop on community/social/political/education considerations of edible landscapes
  • A participatory design exercise to demonstrate the full design process
  • Participatory workshop on forest gardens - Bring your questions and ideas about specific projects
  • Q&A

We invite participants to bring along details of your projects - whether still in inception or more well-developed. You will be able to take part in participatory design sessions with all tutors.

There will be time to talk to all the tutors individually outside of the programmed sessions.

Timetable for Dayschool

  • 9.00am: ARRIVALS
  • 9.30am - 11.00am: What is an edible ecosystem? A range of perspectives
  • 11.00am: BREAK
  • 11.30am: Forest Gardening in Practice - With Tomas Remiarz
  • 12.15pm: Q&A Session with Niels Corfield, Sarah Pugh and Tomas Remiarz
  • 1.00PM: LUNCH
  • 2.00PM: Room 9: Designing for Participation: Interactive Design Session with Sarah Pugh
  • 2.00PM: Room 7: Edible Landscape Design Lab with Niels Corfield
  • 3.30PM: BREAK
  • 4.00PM: Room 9: Forest Gardens: Practical Design Session with Tomas Remiarz
  • 4.00PM: Room 7: Edible Landscape Design Lab with Niels Corfield
  • 5.00PM: Wrap-Up and final questions
  • 5.30PM: CLOSE
  • 7.15PM: Doors open for film screening of Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective

Learn and be inspired

Expect to take away a healthy knowledge of forest gardening, urban food production and edible ecosystems, and landscapes of different scales to be built on. Plus, information on a plethora of projects to visit and learn from and perhaps even some new designs for your own!

Followed by a screening of the hit permaculture film Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective, from 7.30pm, hosted by film director Costa Boutsikaris.

If you'd like to participate in the dayschool and attend the film screening, great! You could get food from the St Werburghs Community Centre Cafe.

Tickets available - only 15 places left!

  • Concessionary Dayschool price £27.50
  • Standard Dayschool price £35.00
  • Supporters Dayschool price £45.00
  • Plus, evening Inhabit film screening £5

Only 15 places now available!

All Dayschool tickets include lunch and refreshments through the day. Dayschool tickets do not include film screening.

Limited subsidised places available by request. Please email us for details.

For information about the venue, including parking, please visit their website.


Tomas Remiarz, author of Forest Gardening in Practice

Tomas Remiarz kneeling in front of plants at The Eden ProjectTomas Remiarz has been involved in creating and maintaining forest gardens across the UK and Europe for nearly 20 years. He is currently involved in a sustainable rural housing project project on a 7-acre site in Herefordshire. As a founder member of the Permaculture Association’s research advisory board he is particularly interested in studying polycultures and has produced several reports on the subject. 

Tomas' book, Forest Gardening in Practice: An Illustrated Practical Guide for Homes, Communities and Enterprises is released by Permanent Publications in March 2017. Copies of the book will be on sale over the day. 

Tomas' talk will explore how forest gardens link to an updated idea of urban Commons that could help us make healthy seasonal food more accessible to households and communities. Through creating edible ecosystemss where food is accessible to all, several core skills of food sovereignty - ecology, horticulture, systems thinking and cooperation - become embedded in the landscape. 

Based on four years of research into edible ecosystems, this talk will present examples across different scales and settings of the urban landscape, from home gardens  and allotments to housing estates, public parks, college campusses and extending to take in entire neighbourhoods, towns and cities. Many of these food landscapes are collaboratively managed. Examples drawn from the UK, Europe and North America will present and evaluate cooperative solutions to these issues that have been developed by active forest gardeners.

Update: Tomas will also be leading a participatory design session focused on forest gardens. Please bring details of your project to share.

reallifeforestgardens. com


Sarah Pugh talking to permaculture students in a sunlit gardenSarah Pugh has been facilitating permaculture courses since 1999 and teaching them since 2003, training with Mike Feingold and Patrick Whitefield. Alongside her teaching she has worked as a community gardener, event organiser and general rabble rouser within the thriving grassroots of Bristol.

Sarah's focus has always been on inspiring people to use Permaculture design to improve their local area, through collaborative work and reconnection with nature, particularly in urban areas. I teach an annual PDC in Bristol and contribute to other courses around the country. In 2007 she founded Transition Bristol as part of the now international initiative aiming to help support people in their efforts to resilient systems.

In 2010 Sarah and colleague Laura Corfield founded Shift Bristol to run the one year Practical Sustainability Course - the first of its kind in the UK. It's an expansion of the Permaculture Curriculum taught in collaboration with some of the best UK tutors and practitioners. She is a founder member of Bristol Permaculture Group - an active network of over 1400 people. The network is used for sharing resources, tools and ideas and generally practicing common sense living.

Sarah is self-employed as a teacher and consultant, full-time single mum, Lead tutor on the Practical Sustainability Course and Director of Shift Bristol. 

Sarah will be exploring and explaining existing community gardens and work in Bristol undertaken by the citywide permaculture community, as well as other inspirational projects she has visited in North America. She will be running a participatory session on designing in social/educational/community/political considerations into edible landscapes.


Niels Corfield, founder of Edible Cities

Niels Cornfield in an urban garden talking with pupilsNiels Corfield has been studying sustainable agriculture for over 10 years. He has practical experience with agroforestry, growing and nursery management. He is an advisor specialising in soils and whole farm design.

He is a advisor, educator and designer, working to create sustainable/regenerative landscapes and farms in the UK and Europe. He has a diverse skill-set and can tie together disparate elements into a coherent system using cutting edge- and best practice techniques.

Niels is the director of Edible Cities, a successful urban design consultancy, education and nursery business. Creating productive and ecological low maintenance edible landscapes since 2008. Niels runs long courses in Bristol and works on projects across the country. 

At the Edible Ecosystems Dayschool, Niels will be leading participatory design sessions using case studies and projects drawn from the attendees present. 

Niels' session will cover the design skills and knowledge to transform your garden or green space into an abundant, edible landscape, that’s full of food, friendly to wildlife, looks good and needs little maintenance.

He will look at how to get more out of your space by using vertical growing and training your plants for optimum production in a small space. Learn to identify microclimates and make the most of them as well as how to create new microclimates to increase productivity, even in shade.

Tickets Now Available:

Only 15 places now available.

All Dayschool tickets include lunch and refreshments through the day. Dayschool tickets do not include film screening. 

Limited subsidised places available by request. Please email us for details.

Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective

Screening 7.30pm, arrivals from 7.15pm

Following on from the day of workshops and discussions is a screening of the US-made film, Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective.

Costa Boutsikaris, the Director, is touring the UK screening the documentary and filming episodes for a new series titled Woodlanders. 

Costa will be introducing the film and running a Q&A session on it's productions and issues and projects featured in the movie.

Inhabit is a feature length documentary introducing permaculture: a design method that offers an ecological lens for solving issues related to agriculture, economics, governance, and on.

For those familiar, it will be a call to action and a glimpse into what's possible - what kind of projects and solutions are already underway. For those unfamiliar, it will be an introduction to a new way of being and a new way of relating to the Earth. For everyone, it will be a reminder that humans are capable of being planetary healing forces.

Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices. During the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2013, film makers Costa Boutsikaris and Emmett Brennan documented over 20 sites in a range of rural, suburban, and urban environments.

Find out more via 

About the Director

Costa is a native of the Hudson River Valley in New York. After traveling around the Northeast US for a year learning more about this design philosophy and living at permaculture sites he was inspired to make his first feature documentary.

In 2012, after finishing a Permaculture Design Course in NYC and graduating from film school, Costa raised funds on KickStarter to convert a diesel van to run on waste vegetable oil. The money was also used to buy an 80 Watt solar panel to create a renewable energy film vehicle that could allow for mobile editing and camera charging. 

The following spring Emmett joined on and the two set off on a 4 month journey, visiting around 22 permaculture sites. Filming wrapped in the Autumn of 2013 and by April of 2014 Costa and Emmett launched a new Kickstarter campaign to raise money for editing/post production. After 8 days they surpassed their goal of $18,000 and eventually raised over $35,000 total.

Event supported by Permanent Publications and Shift Bristol

Permanent Publications

Permanent Publications logoPermanent Publications will have a range of books and magazines on display and available to purchase at the event, including copies of Tomas Remiarz' new book on forest gardening. 

Established in 1990, Permanent Publications publish inspiring, practical information that encourages people to live more healthy, self-reliant and ecologically sound ways of life.

They produce the world’s most innovative range of permaculture books, including titles which instruct on: sustainability, practical solutions for the home, garden & community, education, politics, economy, woodlands, food and cooking, and people. The range includes introductory level texts alongside groundbreaking and world leading titles by the likes of Ben Law, Patrick Whitefield, Mark Boyle, Sepp Holzer, Rosemary Morrow, Martin Crawford and Stephen Barstow.
They have won many awards including a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for our “unfettered dedication to promoting sustainable development internationally”.
They also publish the well known and important Permaculture: practical solutions for self-reliance, a print and digital magazine read worldwide.

Shift Bristol

Shift Bristol began in 2010 with the first Practical Sustainability Course. We are a not for profit Community Interest Company, managed by a small but perfectly formed team of voluntary Directors.

We’re passionate about sustainability, particularly the practicalities, economics, and social dynamics of community led responses to global problems. We’re also excited to be operating outside the bounds of ‘normal’ education and we love exploring an alternative learning environment where passion, creativity, collaboration, confidence and exploration are more important than ticking boxes and passing tests.

We work with over 40 amazing tutors, practitioners and experts on our courses. We act as a hub for sharing ideas between a range of disciplines and points of view. We collaborate with schools, community groups and organisations around the city and our ever expanding network gives us the opportunity to create some dynamic educational events.