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Permaculture Weekend With Alfred Decker at Slieve Aughty Centre

Updated: Apr 8




  1. Permaculture weekend in Slieve Aughty Centre - 9th, 10th, 11th February 2024

We were delighted to welcome everyone to the first of our CELT SPRING 2024 Workshops and Events to a Permaculture Weekend with internationally renown Permaculture Designer and Educator Alfred Decker,  which took  place at the Slieve Aughty Center over the weekend of 9th, 10th, 11th February 2024

We welcomed this opportunity to collaborate on the first event of the year with the Galway County Public Participation Network, as part of their PPN Community Climate and Environmental Training Programme, who co-funded the workshop, enabling a large number of people to avail of the training, who otherwise may not have had the opportunity.

We had an excellent uptake of this training and fully booked out within days. We received extremely positive feedback in our evaluation sheets, highlighting the value and benefit recognised by everyone receiving this training. 


Permaculture is a holistic design system based on living systems and the ethics of People Care, Planet Care & Fair Share, with an emphasis of using the natural in house ecosystems to meet the needs of system.. ie using trees for shelter, mulch, biomass, etc 

The training created a stimulating and inspiring opportunity for community members from Galway and surrounding counties, exploring together how Permaculture and Forest Gardening can be more recognised in supporting an environmentally friendly and sustainable way of living. Following One Planet Living guidelines, and permaculture design principles and practices can help us transition to a more sustainable way of life and an opportunity to explore the regenerative approach of Permaculture Design. 

For more info on our Guest Educator Alfred Decker and his work please visit - https://12pdesign.net/alfred-decker/

For more info on the PPN work please visit - https://www.galwaycountyppn.ie


Many thanks to Galway County PPN for joining us in providing this training, addressing and supporting the implementation of the SDGs and the transition to one planet living and low carbon developments here in Galway, and supporting communities education and progress in meeting our local and national climate and biodiversity targets. 


A key element of the training highlighted the key role Permaculture has played over many decades in promoting Forest Gardening, Food Forests and Fruit Guilds as key aspects in the permaculture and regenerative approach to farming and sustainable local food systems, and how to create sustainable and biodiverse ecosystems.

During this engaging weekend we also had the opportunity to explore the beautiful, creative gardens of the Slieve Aughty Organic Garden which serves the Slieve Aughty Centers cafe, and where nature thrives in harmony with human cultivation. Over the weekend our facilitator shared valuable insights on the principles and benefits of forest gardening, the role of trees in sustainable horticulture, as well as practical tips on how to create your own thriving, low maintenance food system. 

Key to the Permaculture systems is learning about nature's own regenerative processes and the fascinating science behind the resilience of wild plant communities and native forests and woodlands and how we can replicate its successes in our own food systems, discovering how forest gardening mimics natural forests, fostering biodiversity, while also providing a sustainable source of food, fiber, medicine, and beauty.


The course participants wished to form an ongoing community What's App Permaculture circle to keep in contact and continue to share learning and resources in this area and Celt are delighted to continue to engage and support this group of participants with future educational opportunities. If you would like further information please contact info@celtnet.org


This event was kindly co-funded by Galway County Public Participation Network and supported with the kind assistance of core funding by the IEN and by Department of Agriculture, Forestry & The Marine under the Forestry Promotion Programme. 


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On the opening night of our Permaculture Weekend 9th Feb we also hosted a talk by CELT tutor and Forester Julius Silvan Brummelman 


The Presentation was on the new Forest Establishment types with a particular focus on Agroforestry (Silvopasture) and the Native Tree Area Scheme, under the Forestry Promotion Grants from the DAFM .. 

 Also, other afforestation types such as Native woodland and CCF Establishment, were addressed as part of Ireland's new Forestry Program for the 2023-2027 period. 


Presented on 09-02-24 at the Slieve Aughty Centre, Co. Galway


0:00 Personal Introduction

2:14 Presentation Content

3:05 Agroforestry introduction

5:36 Silvopasture

23:38 Other Afforestation Types & CCF Transformation

33:55 Native Tree Area Scheme

41:40 Deer fencing

45:10 Afforestation Q&A

1:04:00 Site-specific Afforestation Plan (Objectives of the Landowner) 

1:07:02 Silvopasture with Horses (or Cattle)


Credits due to Eugene Curran &  Jim McAdam for using some of their slides from the Irish Agroforestry Conference. Find out more about agroforestry at: https://www.irishagroforestry.ie/



Julius included an emerging vision for nature and strategy for developing a Site-specific Afforestation Plan for greater biodiversity and tree cover at the Slieve Aughty Center, with added information regarding the possibility for a regional or neighbourhood approach if neighbouring farmers and landowners, including Coillte, could join together on creating a regional vision for the restoration of Tree Cover to the area. 


Please see here a link to the presentation on Agroforestry & Grand-aided Afforestation type on our CELT YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/cMasheF2Ix0


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