Projects and LAND Network
Becoming a LAND Centre
What is a LAND Centre?
We are undoubtedly living in turbulent times and we need positive change to happen quickly. Many people are hungry to know what part they can play, but don't necessarily know where to start.
A LAND Centre is a place that people can visit to experience permaculture principles and techniques in practice. The key aim of any LAND centre is that after visiting, a person will have a basic understanding of what permaculture means and is inspired and able to apply it to their own life and community.
Realistically, only a limited number of people will have the resources and inclination to do a permaculture design course. LAND centres have the capacity to make permaculture design and practice accessible to a far greater range of people.
Our LAND Centre network showcases over forty diverse permaculture sites around the uk, which range in scale from domestic gardens and allotments, to community gardens and orchards, to established food forests and large scale regenerative farms. Look at our new, interactive Projects and LAND map to get inspired and to plan your visit.
What does LAND Stand for?
LAND stands for Learning, Action, Network and Demonstration, but what does that actually mean?
- Learning- LAND Centres are centres of learning. Whether this is informally through a site tour or a chat with your LAND Centre host, a volunteering opportunity or formal courses. See our courses and events listings to find out about learning opportunities in your area.
- Action- LAND centres are places where you can see how we 'do' permaculture. This will hopefully inspire you to take action where you live and work and as part of our wider permaculture comunity.
- Network- LAND Centre hosts are also committed to being part of a wider network of permaculture learning and activism. In order to become a LAND Centre, you must be willing to participate within our wider projects and LAND network, sharing your knowledge, feedback and resources with others. Many are also hubs of permaculture activity within their own communities and are well networked with other environmental and social change groups in their area.
- Demonstration- LAND Centres are permaculture demonstration sites. Do you want to learn how to build the ultimate composting toilet, see an effective guild in a productive food forest or understand what a 'small and slow solution' might look like in practice? Check out our LAND Centre profiles to find the place that will inspire you with your next permaculture project.
Why Become a LAND Centre?
Are you passionate about permaculture and want to share your knowledge with others? Do you have a garden that demonstrates permaculture principles in practice, a productive food forest allotment, a regenerative farm with multiple income streams or the worlds most impressive compost toilet?
Becoming a LAND Centre is primarily an act of service, because you have knowledge and resources that could inspire others to practice permaculture in order to enable better earth care, people care and fair shares in the world.
However, there are also many tangible benefits for you in developing your project or garden to become a LAND Centre. These include;
- Your site mapped on the Permaculture Association website as a recognised place of permaculture practice.
- Attract more visitors and volunteers
- Raises the profile of your project for funding and partnership working
- Lends more credibility to your courses and events
- Becoming part of an active, supportive network
- Support to develop your site to better meet your project aims
- To draw inspiration from the visitors and volunteers that visit you
If you are an applied perrmaculture diploma apprentice, developing your site into a LAND Centre can be an excellent focus for your diploma designs plus you will have the additional support of your diploma tutor to help you.
Watch this video to find out why permaculture educators Looby Macnamara and Chris Evans wanted Applewood Permaculture Centre to become part of the LAND Centre Network.
How do I Become a LAND Centre?
Step 1- Is to get really clear on your intentions for wanting to become a LAND Centre. Download and complete the expression of interest form at the bottom of this page and send it to the projects network development officer so we can advise you on how to begin your LAND learner journey.
Step 2- Become familiar with the LAND Centre criteria, as these map out what you are aiming for in order to achieve LAND Centre status. Use the LAND Criteria self assessment document at the bottom of this page to map out what you have already achieved at your project and the areas where you feel like you may need more support. It is important to note that as all LAND Centres are different in their size and scope, the criteria are to be seen as learning goals to support you in the development of your centre and are not rigid. Your LAND tutor will work with you to design your LAND learner pathway as is relevant to your project.
Step 3- Arrange an initial assessment with a LAND Tutor. This will take place ideally on your site, though some tutors may be willing to do initial assessments online. Initial assessments take approximately three hours and will involve you and your tutor looking at what stage your site is currently at and what areas need to be developed in order for you to become a LAND Centre. We will support you to find a LAND tutor who either lives near you or has a specialism in your area of development when you apply.
Step 4- Work through all of the suggestions that you have agreed with your LAND Tutor. You may choose to do this independently, with a peer group or with further support from your LAND or diploma tutor. It is good to consider at this stage how you can evidence that you have met the criteria.
We really welcome a creative approach to this process. Do you have a site map? Do you have designs for elements of your site, courses or open days you are planning to run or a succession plan? Can you make some short videos demonstrating how you apply permaculture principles and techniques on site? Have you mapped other projects or organisations that do complimentary work in your area? What resources have you developed for people visiting your site to help them understand what permaculture is?
Step 5- Arrange a final assessment with your LAND tutor, once you are confident that you have met all of the criteria. This will take two to three hours. Some tutors advise having an informal online check in before the final assessment to make sure that everything is in place.
Step 6- The final assessment documents will go to the LAND advisory board for verification. This is to ensure that all LAND centres are assessed fairly and to make any final clarifications or amendments before you officially become a LAND Centre.
Step 7- It's Celebration time! We recommend hosting an open day to celebrate your new LAND Centre status. Your profile listing on our website will be updated to state that you are a LAND Centre and your achiement will be celebrated in our newsletter. There will be lots of opportunities for you to participate in the projects and LAND network, support other emerging land centres and to continue to develop your site.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Pre-requisites to becoming a LAND Learner?
In order to become a LAND learner and begin your journey to becoming a LAND Centre you must:
- Be a current project member of the Permaculture Association
- Add your project/ site to the Projects and LAND Map on the Permaculture Association Website.
- Have completed a permaculture design course or have equivalent relevant experience.
- Have public liability insurance (for small domestic centres this may be covered under your home insurance), we can support you in finding this.
- Complete your expression of interest form and return it to the projects development officer.
How long will it take?
This depends entirely on what stage of development your site is currently at and the amount of time and energy you have to spend on the process. Some projects may already meet all of the criteria and can move very quickly through both assessments. Other projects may have several areas that they wish to develop before feeling ready to be an official demonstration site. We aim to support you through the whole process in two years, however some of you may wish to take longer, especially if you are developing your LAND Centre as a part of your diploma. Your LAND tutor will be able to give you an idea as to how much you need to do in order to complete the process.
What will it cost?
We currently don't have funding for the development of new LAND Centres, so there will be some associated costs. This is why we want you to be clear at the initial expression of interest stage that becoming a LAND Centre is going to be of benefit to you. Initial assessment will cost you approximately £100 for three hours of LAND tutor time plus travel expenses and a small fee for administration (tbc). Your final assessment will cost approximately £100 plus travel expenses. You may also wish to arrange some extra LAND tutor support along the way. LAND tutors currently charge £30-35 per hour.
What support is available?
We are currently developing a new LAND Learner online programme, which will take you through each of the criteria on a month by month basis. As a part of this we will be setting up peer support guilds and a monthly gathering where you will get the opportunity to ask questions and discuss your progress and challenges with other LAND Learners. There will be an accompanying projects knowledge bank and toolkit to help you. You can contact our project network development officers for Scotland, Northern Ireland and England & Wales for support with your application, mapping your projects, to find out about the LAND learner programme and general questions about LAND. For additional support with the development of your project, you may wish to pay for additional LAND tutor time, or independent, specialist support from our network of diploma tutors and educators.