Children in Permaculture (CiP) project

Children in Permaculture training part 2,
Gatehouse of Fleet, Scotland
September 2017

Children in Permaculture (CiP) will be hosting a training course for educators in September 2017. This course is intended to be the second part of the CiP training, the first part of which was held in Slovenia in May 2016 led by Carolyn Nuttal and Janet Millington. In this second part we will familiarise ourselves with the CiP pedagogy, curriculum, session plans and activities, and be engaged in peer-to-peer learning as we lead sessions with children at the local school.


Book your place here

Aims of the course
The main aims of this course are to:

  • Build skills in engaging children in permaculture

  • Learn from peers how they lead permaculture with children

  • Find out from other educators some activities/techniques which have really engaged/inspired children to learn about permaculture.

  • Understand the CiP pedagogy, see it in action, and use in a supportive environment

  • Increase confidence in using permaculture with children

  • Develop skills in teaching adults about engaging children in permaculture

  • Learn about including the wider community such as parents, teachers, non-teaching staff

  • Understand how permaculture can improve and enrich education and outdoor learning

  • Learn some top tips for designing school grounds with permaculture

  • Connect with other people from around Europe who are working with children using permaculture.

Who is the course for, what would I need to do in advance?
The course is primarily for people who are currently working with children (aged 3-12 years) using permaculture, and/or who are teaching adults to work with children. The setting of your work could be in schools, kindergartens, non-formal groups (such as after school grounds) or informal groups (such as home education).

In addition, by September you should have:

  • experience engaging children in permaculture in an age-appropriate way.

  • completed a Permaculture Design Course

  • attended the Outdoor Classrooms training course with Carolyn Nuttal and Janet Millington, either the 6 day course in Slovenia (in May 2016) or any of the 2 day training courses (which were held in Finland, England, Scotland, and Slovenia).

  • read the CiP pedagogy and session plans

  • tested one or more of the CiP session plans with a group of children

  • written activities/ session plans following our format which meet the CiP pedagogical guidelines (which you have used with children and will be put on our website).

Outline content

The training will commence on the Sunday with a tour of the town and woodlands, and introductions to each other, the course and some content.

On Monday participants will learn about the history of the primary and nursery schools, their philosophy, and educational approach. Children and teachers will be the host and give a guided tour in the premises of the school, playground, outdoor classroom, peace garden, and other growing areas. Participants will be able to ask questions of the children and teachers at the school, and vice versa.

During the rest of the week, participants will lead sessions with children which will be observed by other educators. There will be more than one session happening concurrently (in different locations) to enable all to observe without there being too many adults to affect the group dynamics.

After sessions with children, the educators will meet to discuss the theory and rationale, to reflect, evaluate and feedback, in order to enable double-loop learning.

Sessions will:

  • Include ways children can learn about the ethics and principles of permaculture.
  • be innovative, demonstrating ways that the CiP curriculum can be taught with children.
  • be aligned with the CiP pedagogy (including being child-led so plans may change!).
  • integrate the teaching of basic skills (maths, science and literacy) whilst fostering multidisciplinary learning.
  • be developing innovative curricula and educational methods.
  • May include cultural exchange (in which pupils and educators learn about the language and/or culture of the visitors).

The sessions will be held in Gatehouse or Twynholm School grounds, or the local woodlands. You will be given much more information about the children, schools, the grounds and other facilities once you have booked to enable you to plan your session, if you would like to lead one.

On the final day there will be time to hear from the other groups, feedback and award certificates.

On the Friday evening, a final event will be held to say farewell and exchange cultural traditions, such as dress, music, dance, song, food and drink.

Sunday 17th September to Saturday 22nd September 2017. Depart on Saturday 23rd September.

On Sunday 17th September we will start at 2pm with a tour of Gatehouse of Fleet town and woods, introductions to each other and the project and a delicious dinner. Given the poor transport connections and distances from other places, it may be advisable to arrive to Scotland on the Saturday.

Monday to Friday we will be working in the schools all day.
Friday evening there will be a party.
Departure on the Saturday 23rd September in the morning.

Breakfast will be self-organised, or organised with your accommodation provider.

Tea, coffee, fruit and snacks will be provided at the school.

Lunch will be provided at the school as part of the standard school meals. You will be given a menu in advance of the course and asked to make your selection for each day.

Dinner will be provided in the local Mill on the Fleet visitor centre or the Masonic Lodge (local pub). Both are excellent cooks who provide delicious meals and are expecting most of the food to be vegetarian (with some meat options).

Please let us know any food allergies, intolerances and preferences in advance.

Accommodation is not included in the price.
Below are a few places suggestions of places which you can book yourself. I’d recommend booking as soon as possible because there is another international conference happening during the same week in the same small town.

There is a campsite right next to the school called Anwoth Holiday park. The cost is £16.50 per night per tent. Pitches have electric and a communal water point. Toilet and shower block. There are 13 sites available for camping (ibook it in advance).

Bed and Breakfast
The Bobbin Guest house have 1 Twin Room, 3 Double Rooms and 1 Family Room
£35 per person per night includes breakfast. 5 minute walk from school.

The Ship Inn is right next to the school. Cost is £647 for 7 nights for 2 people in a twin room. Price includes a full Scottish breakfast (sausage, eggs, toast, cereal, tea/coffee etc).

Suggested prices, if the price poses a problem for you, please get in touch.

Course Fee for self funded places in Euro. Early bird prices are available until 14th July 2017.

If you alive and work in: Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey:Full Price €344; Unwaged/ Early bird prices €270.

Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia
Full price €470
Unwaged/early bird €333

Belgium, Germany, France, Finland, United Kingdom, Iceland
Full price €624
Unwaged/early bird €410

Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands,
Austria, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland
Full price €678
Unwaged/early bird €437

All About Gatehouse of Fleet

Gatehouse is a small town of about 1,000 people. A rural community between the sea and the hills. About 1-2 miles to the sea, and similar to the hills. Nestled in woodlands and fields which are mostly for sheep and cows.  This is our community’s website: It has information about nearby beaches, hills, woods, forests, standing stones (Cairnholy), castles, places to visit etc.

Shops in Gatehouse: I’ve been asked what shops there are. So, on the main street there is a Boots chemist (which can get any prescription/pharmaceutical needs), a small local shop with post office (chocolate, newspapers, small things you might need), Galloway Lodge (nice cafe and shop for more expensive gifts, gluten free food, local niche stuff etc) a Spar shop (which is a bit bigger… like a tiny supermarket), a public toilet, a kilt shop, a niche wooden toy/ arty shop, Franca Bruno’s shop (hippie clothes and earings and art), the Mill on the Fleet visitors centre (has a museum, cafe, art gallery, amazing book shop, art), a library (open 3 days a week for a few hours), a hairdresser, and a book shop.

Location of Gatehouse: In SW Scotland. 2 miles from the sea. 2 miles from some lovely hills. There is lots of wildlife around here: buzzards, red kites, lots of little birds (chaffinches, robins etc), deer, red squirrels, badgers, occasional pine martens.

General tourism in the area
“Town: Situated on the Solway Firth, the small, country town of Gatehouse of Fleet is a peaceful place, decorated in pretty pastel colours. Set in the gorgeous Dumfries and Galloway countryside and within five minutes drive of beautiful sandy beaches, there is also a loch and the opportunity to try river fishing. Founded in around 1760, the town was originally a mill community and today a visitors' centre set in the former bobbin mill - Mill on the Fleet – tells the story of Gatehouse's cotton spinning days. The town now boasts several shops, including a baker, butcher, grocer, bank and post office whilst a number of the pubs also serve food and welcome children.” from here.

“All around Dumfries and Galloway you will find evidence of its rich archaeological, historical, literary and artistic past in its earthworks, standing stones, towers, castles, abbeys and other monuments. Whithorn, on the southern tip of the Machars peninsula, is the seat of Christianity in Scotland; Lochmaben was the birth place of Robert the Bruce; Dumfries provided a home and resting place for Robert Burns; Thomas Carlyle was born in Ecclefechan; Kirkpatrick Macmillan invented the bicycle near Thornhill; Sanquhar boasts the oldest active Post Office in Scotland and J M Barrie conceived the well-loved story ‘Peter Pan’ in Dumfries”. From here


No matter how you start, your final leg of the journey will be by bus.
From London you can catch the bus. Unfortunately I’ve just discovered that this bus is no longer stopping in Gatehouse of Fleet (though you could always ask if they wouldn’t mind dropping you off at the road-end, it would depend on your driver), otherwise you get off before Gatehouse, in Castle Douglas. Go to this website:
The bus leaves London at 22:30 and arrives in Castle Douglas at 9am. You can then catch a local bus (number 500 or x75) at 9.55am to Gatehouse of Fleet (arriving at 10.20am). There are nice cafes in Castle Douglas for you to spend that 50minutes.

Wherever you arrive from you normally come to Dumfries, and then catch a bus (number 500 or x75) to Gatehouse of Fleet. This is the timetable. Please note there are less buses on Sundays than Monday to Saturday.

Our nearest city is Carlisle, in England.  From there you can catch the train to Dumfries, and then a bus (number 500 or x75) to Gatehouse of Fleet. I recommend Loco2 as a website as it can give you travel from wherever you are to Carlisle and seems to generally give the cheapest fares. You can book your Eurotunnel part of the journey 4 months in advance, and the rest of the journey 3 months in advance. If you leave it longer than 3 months it might get a lot more expensive, so put in your diary now to buy the ticket exactly 3 months before your planned departure date, and again 3 months before your planned return journey (it doesn’t seem to be cheaper to get return tickets in my experience).

Bicycle: There is a lovely cycle route called the number 7 which goes through Gatehouse of Fleet, from Sunderland (near Newcaslte) to Inverness, passing through Carlisle, Dumfries, Gatehouse of Fleet, Ayr, and Glasgow. See this website for more info.

Plane: The nearest airports are at Glasgow Prestwick and Glasgow International. There are also airports at Edinburgh, Newcastle, and more. Once you have worked out which airport is best for your start location, you need to come to Gatehouse of Fleet. To find out how to get here from that airport I’d recommend this website:
From Glasgow Prestwick it could take 3.5 hours (depending on time of day and connections). From Glasgow International airport it could take around 4 hours (depending on time of day and connections). The route is normally:
Airport to Glasgow city centre (Central or Queen St station)
Glasgow Central station to Dumfries by train
Bus from Dumfries to Gatehouse of Fleet (number 500 or x75)

From Edinburgh airport:
Airport bus to Edinburgh city centre (Haymarket)
Train from Edinburgh Haymarket (or waverley) to Lockerbie. (This is cheaper if you book in advance).
Bus from Lockerbie to Dumfries.
Bus from Dumfries to Gatehouse of Fleet.

Contact us:
Book your place here:

For more information, please contact  Lusi Alderslowe:
  Skype: lusi.alderslowe
  Telephone: 00441557 814810


Resources about engaging Children in Permaculture

CiP are delighted to announce the publication of a survey of resources about engaging children in permaculture. With 314 resources including books, websites, lesson plans across 5 languages anyone interested in the field of outdoor learning will find some useful information within. Check it out here.

We have also publisehd case studies about engaging children in permaculture in 6 different countries around Europe. You can download and read them here.

Outdoor Classrooms: A Permaculture Education with Children with Carolyn Nuttal and Janet Millington

Outdoor Classrooms

Three teacher training courses were held in Britain with two in London and one in Gatehouse of Fleet, Galloway, Scotland. Feedback from a teacher who attended the training in Gatehouse was "It was the best training course I have ever done!" Delighted with the success of this course led by international experts Carolyn Nuttal and Janet Millington, teachers across the country are now deepening the permaculture education of children throughout Britain.

To learn more about the other training courses, check out the dedicated Children in Permaculture website.


Children in Permaculture in the press

We have been delighted to read articles in the local press about this innovative project, in

The National: Australian permaculture experts help equip Scottish children for challenges of climate change.

Learning for Sustainability Scotland: This month's newsletter highlights Children in Permaculture

The Galloway News article on 26th May included a double-page spread entitled "Aussies' visit was a g'day"

About the Children in Permaculture (CiP) project

CiP is an innovative project of international cooperation bringing together key educators (from different schools, nurseries, practices and countries) in order to cross-fertilise, share and synthesise ideas, which will strengthen the capacities of all involved.

Children in Permaculture is a 3-year project funded through Erasmus+ Key Action 2: School Education, which started in September 2015. The partnership is across 5 countries: UK, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Italy. The lead partner is the Permaculture Association (Britain), and the other partner in the UK is Gatehouse School.

This international exchange will develop, test, adapt and implement practices in permaculture education with children. It will:

  •     develop a permaculture curriculum suitable for children
  •     create well designed materials for educators
  •     collect and create an open education resource
  •     foster a cohesive society through learning with people from other countries and cooperation between formal and informal education settings
  •     share best practice and new perspectives on designing kindergartens and schools, and promote better outdoor learning experiences for children.


There is lots more information about the partners, the intellectual outputs and more on the dedicated website: