Tom Henfrey

Tom's head
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About me

PDC: Wilf Richards, Durham City, 2011

Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design: 2021

I am involved in pemaculture as a practitioner, diploma tutor, teacher of PDCs and other courses, writer, researcher and strategic organiser. Since 2020 I have been based in Portugal, where I am co-steward of a 1.5ha rural smallholding near the city of Tomar.

I approach permaculture as an integrated life practice that influences all aspects of my personal and professional life, an open-ended process of learning how to live well upon the Earth, as a unique expression of the endless creativity of the cosmos in community with other beings, all equally unique and precious. This takes the form of a lived spirituality of being in, with and as part of nature, brought into everyday life through the twinned practices of shamanism and permaculture, which I seek to apply in all of my work.

I am also a recognised researcher in the academic field of Human Ecology, author of several books and dozens of articles and book chapters on how human communities self-organise for sustainability, equity and resilience, including indigenous societies, ecovillages, solidarity economy and community initiatives. My academic work takes an action research orientation, embedded within grassroots movements and networks for social, economic and political change and employing permaculture design as a key research methodology.

Diploma Tutor Experience

Diploma Tutor Training (registration level): 2021

Diploma Tutor Training (assessment level): 2022

I am a tutor within both the Permaculture Association's Diploma programme and the Academia de Permacultura Íbera (Spain/Portugal). Along with other Portugal-based diploma holders and apprentices, I am establishing a Diploma College as a vehicle for connecting diploma training with other activities in the rich and vibrant national permaculture movement.

I prefer to work with apprentices who share my interest in pushing the boundaries of permaculture, at the same time as exploring our own edges, in search of new, ecologically rooted, social and cultural possibilities. Together, we'll share a mutually enriching co-learning experience through which you become the permaculture designer only you can be, in full expression of your unique gifts and ideas.

Diploma Tutor Skills

Main Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • Smallholding, allotment and garden design
  • Event design and process facilitation
  • Course and teaching designs
  • Life and project design (Zone 00)
  • Zone 000 permaculture and Sacred Activism
  • Permaculture and shamanism, including shamanic practices as design methodologies
  • Social-ecological research
  • International networking and strategic collaboration


English, Portuguese, Spanish

Educator experience

Training of Permaculture Teachers: Designed Visions, 2014 (including PTLLS Level 4)

Shamanic Teacher Training: Cadair Idris Centre for Shamanic Studies, 2018-2020

I am part of the permaculture teaching team at Keela Yoga Farm in Portugal, where I helped establish the PDC programme and have co-led several PDCs. In partnership with Keela and in the context of the Portugal Diploma College I am now co-developing programmes for post-PDC training for aspiring land stewards and design consultants.

I am also an experienced shamanic teacher, running shamanic journeying circles and workshops since 2016, along with several online introductory trainings in Shamanic Permaculture. I am also developing a programme of residential shamanic trainings for social change activists, including permaculture at PDC and diploma levels.