design wheel

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We have compiled a YouTube playlist of the essential videos to watch to explain what permaculture is!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the latest permaculture videos.

Permaculture is a framework that helps people take action. 

The framework has three important ingredients:

Permaculture ethics from KT shepherd garden


The values and behaviours that are so important that we want to put them at the heart of everything we do. Earth Care, People Care, Fair Shares.

Woodland image

Lessons from nature

With 3.5 billion years of learning and experimentation, living systems are incredibly successful and give us so many different examples of how to live in a more harmonious way. Permaculture has turned some of these lessons into principles that make it really easy to apply them in everyday life.

Cultural emergence design workshop

A design approach

Taking time to observe what is going on around us, identifying our resources, getting people involved and finding a way to bring it all together into a plan of action that will meet our needs and benefit nature.


With this framework in place, we realise that there are already a huge number of relevant and well-tested approaches, tools and techniques that we can use to make positive changes in the world. A permaculture project will incorporate a wide range of solutions ranging from forest gardening and renewable energy to mulches and community lunches. Permaculture brings together a lot of common sense and has empowered people to make changes in over 150 countries around the world.

Permaculture is being applied in city flats, homes and gardens, community settings, schools and colleges, businesses and organisations, farms and smallholdings, whole regions and landscapes, and even at a national level, for example across East Timor in all of their schools.


Want to learn more about permaculture ethics?


Our partners at Lush Cosmetics have produced a series of short videos to explain permaculture ethics, featuring some of our members! Thank you to Lush and their video producer, James Atherton, for giving us the rights to show these videos on our website. 

Earth Care

People Care

Fair Share

Roots of Permaculture

The word permaculture is originally from 'permanent agriculture’ / 'permanent culture' and was coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, two Australians that worked together in the 1970s.

They were concerned about the damaging impacts of industrial agriculture, and after the oil crisis in 1973, also wondered what kind of agriculture could continue over the long term, after the oil had run out.

They were inspired by traditional agriculture and practices from indigenous cultures around the world, as well as the latest thinking in the science of ecology and landscape design.

A very important influence was Joseph Russel Smith who wrote ‘Tree Crops, A Permanent Agriculture’ in 1929 - one reason why trees and perennial plants play such an important role in land-based permaculture systems all around the world.

How do we define permaculture?

Permaculture is both deeply practical and really quite revolutionary. Because it involves so many elements, people describe it in different ways, which is fine - there is no single definition of Mathematics either!

“The development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.”
"Permaculture offers ways we can design human habitats, places for people to be, that work with nature."
“Permaculture is an approach to land management and settlement design that adopts arrangements observed in flourishing natural ecosystems. It includes a set of design principles derived using whole-systems thinking. It applies these principles in fields such as regenerative agriculture, town planning, rewilding, and community resilience.”
"I find it very difficult, like everyone else, to define permaculture because it covers all of human living."
People dancing at Festival of Permaculture

Join as a member

The Permaculture Association is the UK’s leading charity providing nature based solutions. Since 1983, our members have been at the forefront of regenerative agriculture, green community development, sustainable living and natural gardening.

Join as a regular member or professional to transform your house and garden, meet others, access our extensive project support materials, develop your skills and showcase your education, design or consultancy experience to others.

The world is in crisis, permaculture gives people the tools and confidence to respond. A better world is possible.

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