Permaculture: a Natural Way of Life


Nim Robins, permaculture teacher, tutor and designer, writes:

For anyone interested in learning to live more sustainably, reconnecting to the natural world, getting their hands in the soil, or generally coming together to help make the world a better place, permaculture may be just what they are looking for. In simple terms, permaculture is a design system for sustainable living and land use. By observing the patterns and principles found in the natural world around us, we can redesign our homes, lives and communities to have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.

For those of us living in Pembrokeshire, our local permaculture group – Paramaethu Sir Benfro (Permaculture Pembrokeshire) – is very active and a great place to meet others interested in practising permaculture together. Every month we meet for a Helping Hands day where we take it in turns to visit each other’s homes or projects, and get our hands dirty with whatever tasks are needed most, while sharing great conversation, support and connection (and great cake too). Below you can see some notes from our recent Helping Hands day at Dot and Brian’s. This year we are also putting together some permaculture courses and film nights – for more info or to join us, please contact or search for “Permaculture Pembrokeshire” on Facebook.


An Account of Helping Hands Day – 21 November 2021

It was to be our second hosting of West Wales Permaculture Helping Hands Day and we looked forward with anticipation to sharing this time with people of diverse talents and personalities.

We use working with nature as a basic value in our approach. To this end last time we began changing a field to create an edible forest garden. Shelter is still needed so our task is planting more trees among the poor ash dieback trees at the foot of this garden and we needed more hedging. During the day 16 of us had a presence on the land. We planted about 60 native deciduous trees, mulching them with cardboard and hay, and dosing the roots with bio char.

Lunchtime and sitting outside round a fire we were treated to delicious pumpkin soup and a yummy vegan stew followed by brownies, pecan nut cake and tiffin supplied as a contribution by two of our team.

High winds meant only four of us trying to cut willow in the afternoon – soon going for a walk around the land instead due to the biting strong winds.

So the day was about working together, sharing skills – anything from walking round with the bucket to digging the incision for the tree whips, providing food, making a fire and most importantly of all providing the wonderful energy of sharing and affirmation that seems to come with working with nature’s energy rather than subduing it. For this contribution from everyone we are truly grateful. Many thanks.

Dot Jackson


Dot and Brian

Dot and Brian live on a smallholding in Pembrokeshire as elders of a family of 10, ages ranging from 12 to 76. They say: “We now plant trees for the benefit of future generations and work towards nurturing the soil, generally wandering round the fields and familiarising ourselves with the increasing wild flora and fauna that settle among us. We also find being beside the sea a magic place to be.”    





Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says " has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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