Henbant, for people, place and planet*

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Matt's Permaculture Diploma

I would like Henbant to be something really special and I do sometimes get a bit worried that it could become just another smallholding, for this reason and many more, I'm studying for a my Permaculture Diploma (you can read more about this on the Permaculture Networks website).

I think doing this will force me into a more structured way of thinking about what we do here and how we do it. I'm studying with two inspirational tutors, Chris Dixon and Hannah Thorogood.

Through my diploma I need to do ten designs, these will mainly focus around Henbant but some will be more about making sure we live well as a family and some will be more about trying to create a stronger permaculture community in North Wales.

Permaculture diploma timeline



Through observation of natural systems permaculture shows us how to design places, spaces and communities for 7 billion people to live on the planet sustainably! Applying the ethics and principles results in reduced carbon footprints and positive impacts on the earth and it's inhabitants.

Central to permaculture are three ethics: care for the earth, care for people, and fair share. They form the foundation for permaculture design and are also found in most traditional societies. Here are the 12 principles of permaculture as described by David Holmgren.

  1. Observe and Interact – “Beauty is in the mind of the beholder”
    By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and Store Energy – “Make hay while the sun shines”
    By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield – “You can’t work on an empty stomach”
    Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the working you are doing.
  4. Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback – “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children of the seventh generation”
    We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well. Negative feedback is often slow to emerge.
  5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services – “Let nature take its course”
    Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce No Waste – “Waste not, want not” or “A stitch in time saves nine”
    By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design From Patterns to Details – “Can’t see the forest for the trees”
    By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate Rather Than Segregate – “Many hands make light work”
    By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use Small and Slow Solutions – “Slow and steady wins the race” or “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”
    Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and Value Diversity – “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
    Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”
    The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change – “Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be”
    We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing and then intervening at the right time.

Applying Permaculture at Henbant

We want to use Permaculture design methods and principles in much of what we do here at Henbant,

 Our yurt and Geo Dome

New yurt on

Made by us from a roll of canvas and a tree we have our yurt and and geodome ready for you as a prefct hide away

Read more here

Nearly Wild Camping

bell tent
                  with sunset at henbant wild camping

We've joined forces with a brilliant initiative to encourage people to camp off the beaten pitch

Read more about Camping at Henbant here

“Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us. Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.” 
Bill Mollison, Introduction to Permaculture

Courses at Henbant

We want to start teaching all the things we believe in here next year, we have space for forest schools to wool crafts to organic gardening

Please get in touch if you can help

Matts Permaculture Diploma

In order to try and formalise a lot of our plans here at Henbant and to get into a position that we can teach permaculture ourselves Matt has signed up for the Permaculture Diploma, have a look at his ideas and all our plans for the farm here

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Live simply so others may simply live.

Henbant Bach Farm, Tain Lon, Clynnogfawr, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL54 5DF. 01286 660761 matt at henbant.org