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Advanced Permaculture 100 Hours Certificate Course


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Advanced Permaculture 100 Hours Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: BHT301
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Advanced Permaculture 100 Hours Certificate Course

Advanced Permaculture course online. Learn to design naturally inspired living systems. For people with prior experience in permaculture, this course is a more in depth and academically advanced study of various aspects of permaculture. It covers sustainable systems, how to determine planning strategies for a site, seasonal patterns, water management, earthworks, considering different climates, and comprehansive planning including preparing costings. This will give you a sound background in all aspects of developing and running a permaculture system.


Learning Goals:   Advanced Permaculture BHT301
  • Evaluate appropriate design strategies for a specific development site.
  • Explain the relationship between a Permaculture system and natural patterns occurring in your local area.
  • Develop strategies for the management of water in a Permaculture design.
  • Determine earthworks for the development of a Permaculture system.
  • Design a Permaculture system for the humid tropics.
  • Design a Permaculture system for a dry climate.
  • Design a Permaculture system for a temperate to cold climate.
  • Determine planning strategies for the development of a Permaculture system.
  • Prepare cost estimates for a Permaculture development plan.
  • Explain alternative sustainable systems practiced in various places around the world.


Lesson Structure:   Advanced Permaculture BHT301

There are 10 lessons:

1  Evaluating Design Strategies

  • Introduction
  • The need for sustainability
  • Low input farming
  • Regenerative farming
  • Biodynamic systems
  • Organic systems
  • Conservation farming
  • Matching enterprise with land capability
  • Polyculture
  • Integrated management
  • Permaculture planning
  • Observation
  • Deduction
  • Reading patterns
  • Analysis
  • Mapping overlays
  • Sectors
  • Zones
  • Design strategies and techniques
  • Undulating edge
  • Spirals and circles
  • Zig zag trellis
  • Temporary shelter
  • Small scale sun trap
  • Small scale sun shading
  • Pathways
  • Keyhole beds

2  Understanding Patterns

  • Understanding patterns
  • Know your land: evaluate a site
  • Weather patterns, soil pH, EC,temperature, water etc
  • Electromagnetic considerations
  • Herbicide or pesticide consideration
  • Land carrying capacity
  • Assessing land capability
  • Checklist of sustainability elements
  • Indication of sustainability
  • Log books

3  Water

  • Water supply
  • Water saving measures
  • Tanks
  • Dam and pond building
  • Edges
  • Construction; concrete, brick, stone,
  • liners, earth construction
  • Collecting rainwater
  • Recycling waste water
  • Using farm waste water
  • Town water supply
  • Well drilling
  • Pumping subterranean ground water
  • Pumping from natural supplies (eg. lakes, rivers)
  • Pumps and plumbing supplies
  • Water use: power generatyion, deisel generators
  • Fish culture: land and water, dams
  • Water plant cultureWater plants to know and grow
  • Seasonal changes in a pond
  • Sweage treatment: reed beds
  • Problems with water
  • Wating water and conservation
  • Swales and keylines
  • Keyline design

4  Earthworks

  • Site clearing
  • Levelling
  • Drainage
  • Solving drainage problems
  • Surveying techniques: triangulation, direct contouring, grid system etc
  • Levelling terms
  • Levelling procedure
  • Levelling a sloping site
  • Loss of soil fertility
  • Erosion
  • Salinity
  • Sodicity
  • Soil compaction
  • Soil acidification
  • Build up of dangerous chemicals
  • Improving soils
  • Using lime, gypsum or acidic materials

5  Humid Tropics

  • Climatic systems
  • Precipitation
  • Wind
  • Radiation
  • The wet tropics
  • Sources of humus
  • Mulches
  • Soil life in the tropics
  • Barrier plants
  • Animal barriers
  • Permaculture systems for the wet tropics
  • Garden beds
  • Tropical fruits to grow

6  Dry Climates

  • Introduction
  • Water storage and conservation
  • Dryland gardens
  • Dryland orchards
  • Planting on hills
  • Corridor planting
  • Overcoming dry soils
  • Drought tolerant plants
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Vines

7  Temperate to Cold Climates

  • Introduction
  • Characteristics of a temperate biozone
  • Cool temperate garden design
  • Useful crops for this zone
  • Crop protection
  • Soils in a cool temperate area
  • Growing berries
  • Orchards
  • Soil life
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Nuts
  • Herbs

8  Planning Work

  • Alternative planning procedures
  • The planning process
  • What goes where
  • Equipping the environmentally friendly garden
  • Barriers, walls and fencin
  • Gates
  • Rubble, brick and concrete walls
  • Retaining walls
  • Trellis
  • Hedges
  • Changing an existing farm to be more sustainable
  • Monitoring and reviewing
  • Contingencies and seasonal variations
  • Planning for drought
  • Excessive water

9  Costing

  • Property costs
  • Making cost cutting choices
  • Planning for the cost conscious
  • Likely costs to establish a garden
  • Socio economic considerations in farming
  • Production planning
  • Economies of scale
  • Materials
  • Equipment
  • Value adding

10 Sustainable Systems 

  • Other sustainable systems
  • Working with nature rather than against it
  • Minimising machinery use
  • Only use what is necessary
  • Different ways to garden naturally
  • Organic gardening
  • No Dig techniques
  • Biodynamics
  • Biodynamic preparations
  • Crop rotation
  • Bush gardens
  • Succession planting
  • Seed saving
  • Hydroponics
  • Environmental horticulture
  • Sustainable agriculture around the world
  • Integrated pest management
  • Cultural controls
  • Biological controls
  • Physical controls
  • Chemicals Quarantine
  • Controlling weeds without chemicals
  • Animals in sustainable systems
  • Chickens
  • Turkeys
  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Pigs

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Practical Assignments
  • Explain the evolution of a Permaculture system which is at least five years old.
  • Compare the suitability of three different planning procedures, for development of a Permaculture system on a specified site.
  • Develop a permaculture plan on a specified site, by using flow diagrams.
  • Illustrate the progressive development of one view of a Permaculture system, over three years, with a series of four overlay drawings.
  • Explain the relevance of patterns which occur in nature, to Permaculture design.
  • Explain the importance of observation skills in Permaculture planning.
  • Analyse the weather patterns of a site in your locality as a basis for planning a Permaculture system.
  • Compare different methods of water provision, including collection and storage for a specified Permaculture system.
  • Analyse the adequacy of two different specific Permaculture system designs, in terms of: water requirements, water provision, water storage, and water usage.
  • Explain, using labelled illustrations, the use of different survey equipment.
  • Survey a site, between one and four thousand square metre in size, that has been selected for a proposed Permaculture system, recording details, including: topography, dimensions, and location of features.
  • Prepare a site plan, to scale, of the site surveyed, including contour lines and the location of all existing features.
  • Distinguish between, using labelled drawings, different types of earthworks, including: banks, benching, terracing, and mounds.
  • Compare different methods for the provision of drainage on a site proposed as, or being developed as a Permaculture system.
  • Determine the factors unique to the design of Permaculture systems in humid tropical climates, dry climates, and cold climates.
  • Determine fifty plant species suited for inclusion in a Permaculture system in each of the climates above.
  • Determine ten animal species suitable for inclusion in a Permaculture system in each of the climates above.
  • Prepare a Permaculture design for each of the climates above.
  • Calculate the quantities of materials, showing necessary calculations, required in a specified permaculture plan.
  • Estimate the work-hours required, showing any necessary calculations, to complete each section of work.
  • Estimate the equipment required, showing any necessary calculations, to complete each section of work.
  • Determine suppliers for all materials, for a specified Permaculture development, in accordance with specific plans supplied to you.
  • Determine the costs of five types of different materials, for a specified Permaculture development, from different suppliers.
  • Determine the essential costs for services to establish a specified Permaculture system, such as: labour costs, sub contracting fees, equipment hire, permits and planning applications, technical reports, legal fees.
  • Compare the costs of establishing two different Permaculture systems, which you visit and investigate.
  • Explain three sustainable agricultural or horticultural systems, other than permaculture.
  • Differentiate Permaculture from other sustainable systems, including: Biodynamics, Organic farming.
  • Compare specified sustainable agricultural or horticultural practices from different countries.


Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Susan Stephenson and Andy Patterson . Your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout from one of these excellent teachers. Here are their credentials:

Bunch of yellow roses

Susan Stephenson
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction. 

Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world.
Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design.
In 2010, Susan authored a complete module for a Foundation degree (FDSC) in Arboriculture.
Susan holds the RHS General with Distinction. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.
Steven Whitaker course tutorSteven Whitaker
Diploma in Garden Design (Distinction) – The Blackford Centre, Gold Certificate of Achievement in Horticulture, Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture, Level 1 NOCN Introduction to Gardening, – Joseph Priestly College, BTEC Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Operations (Merit), Trainer Skills 1, & 2, Group trainer, Interview and Selection Skills – Kirby College of Further Education
Steven has a wealth of Horticultural knowledge, having ran his own Design and Build service, Landscaping company, and been a Head Gardener. His awards include five Gold awards at Leeds in Bloom, two Gold awards at Yorkshire in Bloom and The Yorkshire Rose Award for Permanent Landscaping. Steven has worked with TV’s Phil Spencer as his garden advisor on the Channel 4 TV Programme, “Secret Agent”. 
He is qualified to Level 2 NVQ in Amenity Horticulture and has a Diploma in Garden Design which he passed with Distinction. Steven’s Tutor and Mentor was the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Award-winning Garden Designer, Tracy Foster. He also works for a major Horticultural Commercial Grower in the field of Propagation and Craft Gardening. Steven lives in Leeds where he is a Freelance Garden Designer and Garden Advice Consultant. 


Excerpt from the Course


There are six ways to solve drainage problems:

1. Reshape the surface of the land so water flows somewhere else

Warning: don't divert water to create a concentrated flow onto your neighbours' property. You are legally responsible for problems you cause on your neighbours' property.

2. Improve the soil structure so it will drain more freely

Soil is made up of a mixture of organic matter (eg. compost or mulch) mixed with clay, loam and sand. If there is a high proportion of clay, drainage is likely to be a problem. Mixing organic matter, sand or loam will begin a slow but effective process of soil improvement. As micro-organisms move deeper into the soil, drainage and fertility will gradually improve.

3. Add soil ameliorants (e.g. lime)

Soil ameliorants are chemicals which cause clay particles to repel each other, thus opening up the soil and letting water in. They normally take months to show any effect, and they only work if the soil is kept wet.  Lime and gypsum are other alternatives, but these can have side effects (both increase calcium levels and lime changes soil pH).

4. Install drainage pits in low areas

A drainage pit is a large hole filled with sand or rubble. Water collects in the pit and gradually seeps away into the lower layers of the soil.  The hole is best to be long and deep, not square or circular if possible, and at least 1‑2cu. metres.

5. Install surface drains

Commonly called spoon drains, these are normally half pipes (or concreted depressions set along at the bottom of a slope, or at the edge of a paved area). Water runs into the spoon drain and is carried to a collection point (an underground pipe in the stormwater system or a drainage pit).

6. Install sub surface drains

These are pipes below the surface, which carry water to a collection point (e.g. agricultural drainage pipes buried below the surface and covered with a freely draining soil).



The first step in preparing a plan is measuring the site.


A simple, yet accurate, way to map is by triangulation, described below:

  1. First, establish an initial base line.  It might be the distance between two survey pegs marking one of the boundaries, or between two trees. The only requirements are that the base line be long, and marked at the ends by permanent fixtures.


  1. To fix the position of a feature near the base line (such as a tree) measure from two points on the base line to the tree.  The two dimension lines to the tree should meet an approximate right angle (excessively acute or obtuse intersections mean loss of accuracy.  Besides accurately fixing the position of the tree, you now have a new base line from which to plot other features.


  1. Finally, to plot the positions of the features on the base plan, use a sharp pencil compass to draw arcs from the two ends of the base lines, with radii corresponding to the measured distances.  For small sites, a scale of 10 mm to 1 m is appropriate.


Before you design your garden in detail, you should know the various levels and slopes with which you are dealing. The most useful way of showing levels on a plan is by contours.  A contour is a line comparable with the edge of a pond, because it follows a truly horizontal course.  If you picture your land with successive tidemarks each 30 cm higher than the last, you have a contour map with a vertical interval of 30 cm between contours.

Direct Contouring

Direct contouring is accomplished by sighting through a hand level (which will give an accurate, horizontal line‑of‑sight) and moving a boning rod about the site to find places (at various distances from the hand level) where the top of the boning rod corresponds with the line of sight.  These positions are pegged.  A line joining the pegs is then a truly level line ‑ a contour.  The operation requires two people, one sighting through the hand level and the other holding the boning rod in various positions.

The Grid System

In the grid system, the ground is pegged out at regular intervals.  No two points marked are necessarily level ‑ but this does not matter.  A calibrated rod is used instead of a boning rod, and the distance from the horizontal sight line to the top of each peg is recorded.  These distances are then used to calculate the relative level of each peg.  When the peg heights are marked on a plan, contour lines can be inferred from them and drawn in on a grid.


Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?Full time classroom based Further Education Courses - Approx. £5,000 per year - Part-time classroom based Adult Education Courses - Approx. £7.00 per hour - N.B. classroom tuition means you learn at the pace of the class. One-to-one private tuition - from £15.00 per hour - ADL one-to-one tution fees - From £340 per 100 Hour Course = Average of £3.40 per hour - N.B. one-to-one tuition is tailored to your own individual learning availability and pace.
Course StartBegin your learning at any time.
Course Prerequisite None - Our course levels are an indication of the depth of learning you should receive. They do not describe the level of difficulty.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Endorsed Qualification from TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation - Completed written assignments and final evaluation per course/module to be taken.
Course Qualification (Study Option B)Certificate of Attainment from ADL - Completed written assignments only - no final evaluation.
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
Course Duration and DeadlinesCourse hours given are a guide only. You will be encouraged to work at your own pace to learn as much as you can, with no assignment deadlines or end date by which you must complete your course by. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the Moodle online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed. They will also mark and grade your assignments, plus provide constructive and helpful feedback vital to your success.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Doing the job right using the correct knowledge and skills, leads to repeat business and referrals to friends, family and work colleagues. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to achieve this and grow your business.
Recognition of Your Course By EmployersWe aim to achieve the correct balance between your qualification being recognised and providing you with the in-depth learning, to empower you to succeed. If you can demonstrate that you have the level of knowledge and transferable skills necessary to an employer, you should stand out from someone who has only received a superficial understanding of what's required - Select study option A when enrolling, so an employer can check the status of the awarding organisation for your qualification on the Ofqual Register.
Recognition of Your Course By UniversitiesAs you will see on our Testimonials page, previous students have used their qualification from us to get into university. However each one will have its own entrance criteria and acceptance may also depend on your other qualifications and experience. We can approach up to three universities on your behalf with details of our course before you enrol, so you will know whether it will be accepted as part of their application process. Please complete our contact form and we will begin the process.
Designing Your Own QualificationBundle up your choice of related courses to form your own qualification. Our Advanced Certificates (4 courses), Diplomas (6 courses), Advanced Diplomas (8 courses) and Higher Advanced Diplomas (12 courses), are used to differentiate between the in-depth knowledge and skills you will acquire in your chosen area of study. e.g. Advanced Certificate in Turf Care Management, which includes individual courses: Turf Care, Sports Turf Care, Turf Repair and Renovation and Turf Grasses.
How Can I Enrol?Online by selecting your study option, learning materials, plus payment option and then clicking the Enrol Now button - By contacting us for an application form - By telephoning us on 01227 789 649 (International: 0044 1227 789 649). Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
How Can I Get a Pro-forma Invoice for my Employer?Contact us with details and we will email your employer an invoice. We will need: employer's name, address, telephone number, email address and contact name. We will also require your name, telephone number, email address, date of birth and the course and code you wish to enrol for.

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Previous Customer Experiences with our CoursesWoman leaping to the next level in her career development

"Fantastic Teacher. Well organised modules. Assignments force me to learn and research more so I can prepare well for exams. I really enjoyed studying via ADL.  I can now continue study at Ulster University which accept my certificate from ADL".    Level 4,  Advanced Certificate in Applied Science,  VSC001,  Stanislawa,  Poland.

Its with great pleasure I am announcing you my new job as 'Park Manager' for a 5 star hotel in Reunion Island.  Its definitely my courses with ADL (Botany, Agronomy and Trees for Rehabilitation) which were decisive for my nomination. Accordingly, my sincere thanks goes to all the ADL team.

"The course was a valuable learning experience as it provided me with the knowledge and understanding for me as a Careers Advisor. The feedback was very good from my tutor, and allowed me to  build upon my assignments that were marked. The comments were very informative  and very useful. Well written course material."  Andrew W, Careers  Counselling, UK

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Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.