Permaculture Design Course (PDC)

Abundance on 4 acres

2024 is our 11th year of the fully accredited* Permaculture Design Course at Carraig Dulra.


The course is taught using a ‘blended’ learning model:

  • A total of 10 days onsite at Carraig Dulra focussing practical hands on & design skills.
  • A wealth of specially curated pre-course, learning resources which will remain available to you after the course.
  • 2 Online group sessions with tutors and co-participants guiding you through pre-course learning at home and in your own projects.

* UK Permaculture Association Accredited

Read what previous participants have said about this course

PDC Schedule 2024

Online session 1 with tutors and other participants (7-9PM) 30 May 2024

1 weekend (2 days) onsite at Carraig Dulra

15-16 June 2024

Online session 2 with tutors and other participants (7-9PM)

27 June 2024

1 full week (8 days) onsite at Carraig Dulra

13-20 July (inclusive) 2024

The Carraig Dulra Permaculture Design Course (PDC) embraces head, heart and hands-on learning, offering a transformative and immersive educational experience.

Over the past 11 years, together with participants’ feedback and ideas, we have consciously crafted a course that responds to the needs of the participants and the emerging current issues.

The 2024 blended model offers all of the outcomes of any PDC plus an integrated ‘learning pathway’ structure and a community of practice which together help bring the learning to action in your own projects and life.

The carefully designed education environment of Carraig Dúlra, the tutor team and course content will empower you to apply Permaculture design to your own garden, household, farm, business, community project and your own life path.

FAQ available here


The interconnections of our carefully chosen tutor team provide a diversity of perspectives from living examples of “Permaculture in practice”.

Their years of experience and wisdom weaves together with all the Permaculture theory and design you would expect from the core curriculum of an accredited PDC.

We work with the tutors listed below and are always open to hearing from new and emerging tutors -we especially love to see past course participants coming back with contributions from their projects and experiences.

We understand the value of diversity in the teaching team and we value all of the skills needed in living in regenerative community, to this end we highlight and compensate equally the ‘technical’ and the ‘social’ skills needed for resilient and ethical communities and landscapes.

Course content

Onsite, we focus on practical and community skillls development as well as design skills & techniques.

So you can expect to be exploring design frameworks, communication, reflection & organising, as much as food growing, water works and soil!

We facilitate hands-on experience in:

Social Permaculture - Design Practice - Organic Growing & Seed saving - Compost systems - Forest Gardening - Natural Building & Crafts
Working with Water - Woodland Skills - Foraging and Making Natural Products - Upcycling and DIY skills - Local & Seasonal food - Community development skills - ….. & More depending on the group!

Local site visits

We also visit, case study and engage with other local projects at differing stages of their design and implementation. These experiences of applied Permaculture design in various contexts support your understanding of the core concepts from many angles. Exposure to these techniques, information, and styles of Permaculture will provide you with a rich toolkit for your own future projects.

Click here to find out what some of our previous course participants have to say and what they are up to now…

Experience Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share in action!


The cost for the course is €1,200. This can be paid all at once or as a series of payments.

If you have the means to do so, we invite you to make a contribution beyond the course fee, which will be used to help fund participants who could not otherwise afford to attend (particularly those who are not eligible for the social welfare grant).

For those on Social Welfare in Ireland, there is a grant available directly from your social welfare office which covers up to €1000 towards the cost of accredited training.  If you are not eligible for the grant and are unemployed/in a low income household, please get in touch, as we may have contributions which could reduce your costs.

The fee includes:

  • All online and on-site in person tuition & materials
  • All learning resources, course workbook etc
  • Free camping onsite during the practical onsite dates
  • Meals during the week long residential, and the weekend session
  • PDC certificate (Accredited by the Permaculture Association UK)


Our intention is that this PDC is designed to be as accessible as possible to all in its learning style, affordability, and ability level, and to all ages. Please get in touch with if you have accessibility queries and she will work with you to try to meet your needs.

FAQ available here


Click here to find out what some of our previous course participants have to say and what they are up to now…

FAQ available here

Experience Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share in action!



You will be immersed in a supportive and nurturing environment centred around community (people care) and ‘earth-care’ living and we encourage a ‘participants not passengers’ approach where we  can experience shared community living, learning, and laughing! We maintain a small PDC group to remain in sync with the natural capacity of the site and to facilitate and explore the human side of Permaculture.


Carraig Dúlra’s beautiful location offers the opportunity to retreat into the wild Wicklow hills to connect with nature. It reflects and demonstrates what 10 years of applied Permaculture research and design can create on a ‘marginal’ parcel of land, supporting and supported by the local community and together regenerating a beautiful and productive landscape.

Applied Permaculture & practical skills!

Visible projects at Dúlra demonstrate working in synergy with nature and natural resources and these include:
Food forest - Organic ‘no-dig’ annual vegetable garden with examples of polycultures - Herb labyrinth, spiral and pollinator garden - Swales, pond and water management systems - A cob and straw bale barn with a reciprocal and green roof - Wood fired cob bath - Sauna, and off grid bath house - Wood fired cob pizza oven - Heritage Irish apple orchard - 1.5 acre native woodland, hedges and shelterbelts - Living willow structures - Top bar beehive and natural beekeeping - Greenhouse with annuals, hot beds and cob perennial beds growing apricots, kiwis, olives, figs, grapes, South American root crops and more. - Pallet built Tiny House in progress - Accessible technologies: water ram pump, composting toilet, rainwater harvesting….


The Carraig Dúlra PDC is fully accredited by the UK Permaculture Association Britain (P.A.B). This means that our course content and schedule has been confimed to cover all of the essential core curriculum of any international PDC.

On successful completion of the course you will be awarded an internationally recognised Permaculture Design Certificate that enables you to begin to develop your practice as a Permaculture design consultant, or educator through both your own practice and with the option of continuing your professional development via a Diploma in Permaculture design, or an apprenticeship with another designer.

Social Welfare funding

Carraig Dúlra is an approved training provider with Irish social welfare. Irish residents in receipt of a social welfare payment may be eligible for a training grant for the PDC from their local social welfare office of up to €1000. Get in touch with us and your local office as early as possible as processing these grants can take time. Email to begin processing your application.

Book below

Please contact us for more information or if you have any questions about our fee scale.

For information about refunds, transferring your booking, etc. please see our Course Booking Details page.  Note that no refunds can be made within 30 days of the first course session, but you can transfer your course place to another person if you notify us at least a 3 days before the first session of the course begins.

For some fundraising ideas for your course fee, see How to fund my PDC?

If you have the means to do so, we invite you to make a contribution beyond the course fee, which will be used to help fund participants who could not otherwise afford to attend (particularly those who are not eligible for the social welfare grant). 

To do this, add your deposit or full course fee from the list below to your shopping cart, and then go back and also add a PDC Sponsorship to your shopping cart.  Or contact us if you prefer.

Thursday, 30 May, 2024
€ 10.00

Mike Cahn

Mike comes from an IT and business background, and has particular interests in local food, DIY skills, natural beekeeping, bushcraft and technology that people can understand and emergent self-sustaining human systems.  He is involved in the construction and maintainence of most of the non-living systems at the farm, including the Ram pump, water collection systems and outbuildings.

For over 10 years he ran a local website/IT business exclusively using a community built "open source" system for its work, and was active in the Irish open source community.

As an educator, he has taught primary school children in rural Vermont, high school teachers learning about computers in the classroom when it was a new thing, high school students aboard an environmental education schooner in Long Island Sound, college students under the original author of the BASIC programming language, business people and Irish Travellers. 

At Carraig Dulra he teaches DIY skills,  bushcraft and natural beekeeping, and will launch into long explanations of ram pumps at the drop of a hat.

He is keenly interested in local food, and has started several different projects to bring people and their food closer together, including an ethical/organic market in Wicklow Town, an organic wholefood buyers group, a local food box (OOOOBY), and an ethical/organic shop in Glenealy, Co Wicklow (which also became a hub for other like-minded people). 

Suzie Cahn

Suzie Cahn runs a Garden and Permaculture Design business and is also a Director of Carraig Dulra teaching farm.

She says that she is one of the lucky people, in an increasingly urban world, who have been able to develop a deep connection with nature through a frequently unstructured natural childhood by the sea and in the Irish countryside. She was exposed to a Steiner based community living through a strong family connection with the Camphill movement. (Her Grandmother was a founding parent of Camphill in Ireland) Without knowing it at the time, throughout her teens she was got to experience to bio-dynamic agriculture, eco-building and intentional communities and working with the natural landscape. She is a mother, Permaculture Designer and Educators, and an Artist and a Art Therapist working with nature, evolving into an Eco Psychologist.

Suzie says her passion is reconnecting adults, young people, families and children to the learning, healing and creativity found in both nature and art.

She has grown produce for her family since she had her first tiny plot on which to do so and has brought an organic and wildlife community garden and teaching programs to schools and community gardens. She gives workshops and lectures on many topics and in many settings: Hospice Foundation, art therapy training programs and others. She set up a local group called Wicklow Community Gardening Group in 2006 which carried out its aim of developing community gardens throughout county Wicklow. She has served on several boards: CREATE, community rep Wicklow County Partnership, and currently GIY.

 She loved the family's six months WWOOFing on the road in Europe in her beloved 1971 VW camper in 2005 "Living inside other peoples lifestyles was amazing and so helpful in choosing what to do ourselves after what I called our 'mid-life crisis gap year.' After twenty years trying to live an ethical, eco life and to spread that ideal, we needed to recharge. It was becoming harder not to give in to hopelessness in the face of massive global environmental crisis' such as GMO, loss of bio diversity, global warming, and unimagionable levels of pollution from everything we do, even from our attempts at healing ourselves through medicine, not to mention running out of oil! "  In 2014 the family went off again, this time driving a van (to be donated to the Mongolia Charity GoHelp) across England, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan to Mongolia. She says "this time the trip was about reminding ourselves of our easy lives in Ireland even in "austerity" and contributing what we could to permaculture and education projects and a children's charity along the way." 

Suzie hopes that her work and that of Carraig Dúlra continues to inspire and support people and communities developing personal and local resilience under the permaculture umbrella ethics of earth care, people care and fair share.

Suzie's blogs can be found at:


James Carroll

Designer maker James Carroll creates hand crafted furniture pieces from his workshop in the Wicklow mountains. He has an intuitive instinct for seeing the potential beauty in items and materials often discarded or passed over by others.  He works in green wood as well as recycled items.

Using traditional Irish craftsmanship executed to the highest standard, he brings these pieces to life. Through meticulous attention to detail, combined with quirky and original finishing touches, he infuses a sense of energy to these pieces and gives them back their soul.

Orlaith Murphy

Orlaith was one of the first participates in Carraig Dulra’s organic garden complete course in 2006. A keen allotment grower, Orlaith has a level 3 diploma in Horticulture from the RHS. She also has completed courses in Forest Gardening and most recently Geoff Lawtons Permaculture Design Course.

She is currently teaching organic gardening with the VEC in North Dublin and Tallaght and has a passion for cooking sumptuous meals with her home-grown produce. Orlaith brings an infectious enthusiasm for the Kitchen Garden lifestyle to the course.

Wendy Nairn

Wendy Nairn has in excess of 30 years extensive practical experience growing vegetables both for resturants and for her own consumption. A wonderful enthusiastic experienced and incredibly knowledgeable teacher, she is also a founder and committed member of the organic movement in Ireland. Wendy is passionate about producing fresh nutritious vegetables using sustainable wildlife friendy methods. She teaches a number of courses in county Wicklow where she is well know for her extensive knowledge of organic sustainable methods of growing.

Hannah Mole

I bring a unique skillset to my design and teaching work as I draw on:

  • 10 + years of applied Permaculture design practice across Ireland, working on public and private land and community based projects, both solo and in collaboration with other organisations.
  • 20 + years of practical experience that comes with co-managing her family farm in Roscommon,  including the development of multi-functional woodlands, permaculture-designed food production systems, various animals, my tiny home and lots more....   plus 2 years volunteering at an established Permaculture farm in France.
  • Additional learnings from skill-specific trainings such as Regenerative Agriculture, Forest Gardening, Organic Market Gardening and Commercial Organic Seed Production to name but afew.

I offer a Permaculture design consultancy service, my Permaculture design experience so far encompasses household, garden (-staple crop food production, edible landscapes, community gardens), small-medium scale farming (human scale, animals, vegetable crops, woodlands) personal (using permaculture to guide personal focus, reflection, efficiency, business/livelihood), community network building, and appropriate scale shelter (low impact, low cost, high efficiency).

I'm currently expanding my work from a self employed sole trader towards a locally based community of practise which can scale up the quantity and breadth of Permaculture design work we can offer together while also providing live learning opportunities and potential pathways to regenerative livelihoods for others.

I have been teaching Permaculture in Ireland since 2010, in that time I have been working with community groups, land owners & individuals, facilitating workshops with those who want to learn how to use permaculture to improve the eco-efficiency of their landscapes, work & lifestyles.

I love the richness of collaboration and my courses bring together tutors, practitioners and various folk who together weave a diverse web of learning for participants as well as forging new connections and nurturing local resilience and relationships.

I use a creative teaching style, exploring Permaculture through interactive action learning, challenges, hands on practical projects, investigation, reflections & games.

I am also a tutor for people doing a Permaculture Diploma via the UK Permaculture Association.

Community is important to me, I'm involved in local community initiatives such as a seed saving collective, transition towns group and an ecological gardening group. I'm also involved in the national informal and grassroots Permaculture network in Ireland and I've been privileged to host the annual All Ireland Permaculture Gathering at our farm as well as being active in the core organising team.

I did my first PDC in the U.K with Designed Visions in 2009, while living and working on a permaculture farm in France. I later did an advanced design course with D.V.  too, and in 2010 I returned again to successfully completed a 'Training of Permaculture Teachers' course following which I did some apprentice teaching on Permaculture Design Courses in the UK.

I was awarded a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design from the UK Permaculture association in summer 2015.

My website is

Instagram and Facebook: earthcare_permaculture_ireland

Gareth Conlon

Gareth's expertise includes working with groups and permaculture in a development context.  He has a Masters degree in Development from Kimmage Development Studies Centre, with significant field experience in Africa. Gareth has been working with Development Perspectives since 2008, and brings fresh insights into permaculture's role in the development arena.

Dave Beecher

Dave Beecher

Dave grew up on his Grandmother's dairy farm in Co. Cork, Ireland, which later became a suckler herd.

After a career in structural engineering, spanning Ireland, Australia and Canada, he spent a year working in International Disaster Relief, during which he realised that he wanted to address the issues at a causal rather than symptomatic level so he returned to Ireland to immerse himself back in agriculture. This time taking a regenerative approach to mitigate both carbon emissions and the impact of climate change as well as addressing general human and environmental health.

Dave has studied with/worked alongside Zach Wright, completed Hugh Lovell's advanced course, and the 5-day course with Jairo Restrepo at Ragman's Lane Farm (Biofertilisers and a lot more), has completed a year long course with Jim Cronin in Market Gardening, is just completing Elaine Ingham's 'Life in the Soil' course, and naturally has explored much other related material too.

Dave has taught all over Ireland and with Regen.AG in the UK.

He is currently a member of the Danú Farming Group which has been awarded funding through the European Innovation Partnership programme and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland to carry out a 5-year Biological Farming Transition Programme.


Joanne Butler

Joanne Butler

Joanne Butler is coordinator and facilitator at OURganic Gardens in NW Donegal.  She has been growing food for her family for over 10 years and involved in community gardens since 2013.

Joanne currently holds talks in growing your own food at OURganic Gardens and in the community gardens around Donegal. She is also Chairperson of Donegal Community Garden Network, a member of Community and Gardens Ireland and involved in the Environmental PPN and NW Organics.

Joanne did her PDC in 2016 at Cloughjourdan and is now eager to get a more hands on approach to Permaculture and sustainable living.

Margaret Connolly

Margaret grew up on a small farm near Carraig Dulra. She is a local historian, and has uncovered details of the lives of the surrounding area from the 17th century up to the early 1970s, when the close-knit farming community that lived in the townland disappeared in less than a generation.

Ciara Brehony

Ciara is an artist with a particular interest in community work as social sculpture. Over the last ten years in particular she has been involved in a number of projects that have looked at how we feed ourselves, how we educate our children, and how we house ourselves. The People Care ethic of permaculture is her particular passion.

She is a founder of Common Ground Bray, a local co-operative, community-based group dedicated to promoting a co-operative, mindful and ecological lifestyle, with a particular focus on food sovereignty and how we feed ourselves.

She is also a founder of the Wicklow Democratic School, Ireland’s first democratic school for self-directed education, and Common Ground Community Led Housing, whose vision is of a new paradigm for housing, living and working in Ireland.

Steve Golemboski Byrne

Steve Golemboski-Byrne owns Lackan Cottage Farm with his wife Claire, and has lived off grid for 12 years. With a diverse background that ranges from software engineering to construction, he's used his experience to advise on a wide range of off grid projects across Ireland.

His approach has always been to experiment and develop systems at Lackan in order to inform his teaching, and to offer others the chance to see working examples, especially of energy related projects.

Now he and Claire continue to offer learning opportunities at Lackan, and Steven's company Off Grid Kit specialises in consultancy and supply of off grid energy systems.

Steve Finnerty

Steve is living off grid on a 1.5 acre homestead in Tipperary. He is a vegetable grower on an organic farm close to home and also runs a small business, Sustainable Living Solutions.

Steve did his PDC at Carraig Dulra in 2018 and completed the Holistic Teacher Training course in 2019.

Steve has a wide range of practical skills from growing food to tiny home building.