What’s on this page ?


*Venue, dates and times

*Course content

*Meet the team

*Fees and booking

*COVID and Plan B

*Contact info and links


The full Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) is accredited by the Permaculture Association of Britain. The PDC develops an understanding of permaculture ethics, principles, design processes and implementation techniques. Completion of the full PDC provides recognition as a Permaculture designer, and enables you to go on to study for the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.

NonStuff Industries has been running permaculture courses for 11 years. Former students have gone on to run their own smallholdings, food businesses, create gardens, build houses, and some have come back to help teach on the course. Our courses are interactive, experiential, friendly and inclusive, and students of all backgrounds and levels of experience are very welcome.

Venue, Dates, Times:

This year, we are running a blended course in which some online tuition is offered alongside the face to face days, practical sessions and site visits.  We are using a variety of venues including the Edinburgh Montessori Art School and demonstration site Willowburn Lea, Leadburn.  The site visits will include Graham Bell’s forest garden in Coldstream.  Please note, we will coordinate travel to external sites (where possible by public transport), but the cost of travel is not covered in the course fees.

Module 1 Jan 15th & 16th   
Edinburgh Montessori Art School both days  
Module 2 Feb 5th  & 6th 
Edinburgh Montessori Art School both days
Module 3  March 5th March 6th   
Edinburgh Montessori Art School  (Sat) Online via Zoom (Sun) 
Module 4  April 2ndApril 3rd 
Edinburgh Montessori Art School  (Sat) Online via Zoom then Echo Earth Care site visit (Sun)
Module 5  May 7th & 8th Willowburn Lea, Leadburn EH46 7BE plus Garden Cottage site with optional camp-over on the Sat night. 
Module 6 June 4 & 5 Willowburn Lea, Leadburn EH46 7BE both days with optional                                                      camp-over on the Sat night. 
  • Times:  9.45am – 5pm for face to face days. 9.45 am – 3.30pm for online with 1hr of homework to do when suits you.
  • Food: Please bring a packed lunch for yourself, or a dish to share with everyone else to create a varied and interesting pot luck meal. 

Transfering to Glasgow
Modules are scheduled so that if you know in advance you can’t manage one of these dates, you can transfer to the Glasgow PDC to cover the same course work. All info and dates are here:  https://lusialderslowe.wordpress.com/glasgow-pdc/

Course Content: 

The PDC runs over 6 weekends. Each weekend forms one of the 6 modules which cover the core curriculum of topics on the Permaculture Association certified PDC.

Module 1 topics include:

  • What is Permaculture? 
  • Ethics & Principles
  • Learning from Nature 
  • Design Process 
  • Zones and Sectors 
  • Input-Output Analysis

Module 2 topics include:

  • Observation tools 
  • Mapping 
  • Patterns in nature
  • Climate and micro-climates 
  • Trees

Module 3 topics include:

  • Soil 
  • Permaculture and organic gardening 
  • Forest gardening 
  • Practicals 

Module 4 topics include:

  • Design tools 
  • Design examples 
  • Social systems/contexts 
  • Built environment 
  • Resource choices 
  • Money 
  • Ecological footprint 

Module 5 topics include:

  • Visit established permaculture sites 
  • Water 
  • Practicals 

Module 6 topics include:

  • Final design project 
  • Design Presentation 
  • Next steps on your Permaculture journey
  • End of course party

Meet the Team:

The Edinburgh PDC 2019 is led by three main teachers, James, Nenya and Carole. There will also be feature sessions with guest teachers, practitioners, designers and specialists in their area. 

We aim for classes which are relaxed, fun and interactive, with a mix of information sessions, hands-on practical work, observation opportunities, creative project work and participatory ideas exchange.  

James Chapman completed his PDC in 2008, his Diploma in Applied Permaculture in 2010, and set up NonStuff Industries shortly after. James has many years’ experience living with and applying permaculture principles and ethics. He’s lived in a self-sufficient community, managed woodlands, built sustainable timber frame structures, and worked on a Community Compost project. James has also worked as a consultant, designing large and complex projects and community businesses.

In 2016 James and his family purchased a 7 acre mixed site at Leadburn, 10 miles south of Edinburgh, which is evolving into a permaculture demonstration site. He is a keen promoter of living and working towards a sustainable and regenerative future, and is one of Scotland’s busiest permaculture teachers.

Nenya Milne completed her PDC in 2012 and a Permaculture Educators’ course in 2014. She’s been practising permaculture since 2009 and started teaching in 2015. Nenya is currently working on her Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design and has been busy converting her small suburban garden into an edible paradise.

Nenya has a passion for unusual edibles, perennial vegetables and ‘edimentals’. She teaches Forest Gardening and leads plant walks and foraging excursions. At other times she works as a gardener and permaculture designer, propagates plants and grows fruit and vegetables.

Carole Egner has just completed her Diploma in Applied Permaculture and manages a diverse food growing and water project near Aberdour called Echo Earth Care. Carole has a background in research and also works for Living Water. She completed her PDC with James in 2013 and has taught on PDC courses since then. 

Elly Kinross will be your main contact when you are booking for the course, she is the administrator for NonStuff CIC.  Elly completed her PDC in 2009 at Monimail Tower, Fife.  Elly is a community educator who specialises in nature connection and sustainable food.  She has worked for Fife Diet, Earth in Common and is presently working for Penicuik Carbon Challenge. 


The course fees are on a sliding scale depending on your financial situation. The household incomes listed are intended as a guide; if you have savings or investments but a low income, please increase your fee accordingly. Also, if you are unwaged and your partner has a high wage, please use the average household wage.

Course feeAverage Household income / year
£630Average wage (Approx £27k/year) 
£750Good wage, or paying with funding or paying through a training budget. 

Grant Funding or Training Budget:
Those paying using grant money or as part of work-based training will be asked to pay the full fee amount.  You can request an invoice for the full fees. Email us contact.nonstuff@gmail.com.

What’s Included?

  • Fees include all face to face tuition, practical demonstrations and instruction, specialist facilitator sessions, links to videos and additional online content for personal study.
  • Fees include Permaculture Association certification and 1 year membership.

What’s not Included?

  • Travel expenses are not included in the fees. When travelling to field trips we encourage public transport or car share, depending on location. In the past this has come to approx £15 for the whole course.

To book your place…

  1. Fill in the online booking form 
  2. Read our cancellation policy
  3. before you make your payment
  4. Make the fee payment (your place is not confirmed until the fee has been paid). This can be done by bank transfer
    Bank transfer details:

Account Name:  NonStuff Industries CIC

Sort Code: 16 58 10

Account Number: 21118841

Bank: Triodos

  1. We’ll email you to confirm your booking, and to give you more information.

COVID and Plan B

Due to our insurance, we are asking the group to compelte a lateral flow test within 24 hrs of all face to face sessions. If face to face teaching becomes impossible due to restrictions we have provision for moving the course online.  There will also be the opportunity for postponing completion of the course until face to face teaching is once again possible.  

Contacts and useful links:
You can contact us with all course enquiries to contact.nonstuff@gmail.com or ring 07802 657665

    Other links of interest: