Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (ScotLAND Centre)

LAND Region: 
ScotlandCentral and Eastern Highlands, Moray
LAND Project Type: 
LAND Centre
Areas of Activity: 
Culture & Education
Culture & EducationPassing on knowledge
Land & Nature Stewardship
Permaculture ethics, principles, design

About our place

We are Black Isle Permaculture & Arts (BIPA), a Permaculture smallholding and business on the Black Isle, 13km north of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. Run by Clive and Julie, we offer eco tourist accomodation, courses, workshops and volunteering opportunities covering a variety of topics focusing on sustainable living, such as Permaculture design, organic food growing and preserving.

We welcome visitors by appointment, and hold open days, courses and workshops throughout the year. In 2020 we aim to offer eco friendly holiday accommodation in our woodland camping huts. Please contact us if you’d like to visit or look out for details of events on this site.

What is our Permaculture smallholding

In August 2015 we  moved to a bungalow nestled in a 2.5 acre garden and woodland and are developing an organic Permaculture project for food, wood fuel, habitat, well-being, abundant foraging, leisure and education and livelihood.

We are a domestic micro-smallholding where we are able to live a creative, sustainable and resilient lifestyle by the Permaculture Principles of People Care, Earth Care and Fair Share: a place where people can visit, stay, learn from and be inspired by an example of an organic smallholding incorporating a home based economy and resilient business plan.

We have used Permaculture design to create a place where we can live in a harmonious ecological balance which provides us with many of our needs: food, a comfortable place to live, a livelihood, but also habitat for wildlife, and a place to share what we are learning. We have meadows, forest gardens, mixed woodland, a kitchen garden growing vegetables, salads, herbs, fruit, six free range hens and wild flowers to encourage insects and pollinators. We use organic and no dig methods to create healthy soil, working with closed loop systems so nothing is wasted, either through composting, wormeries, mulching, materials reusing and wood processing for fuel.

On-site, we have built a compost toilet and a Yurt for use during events and workshops, and two eco camping huts for guests wanting a sustainable, Permaculture inspired holiday. We have used natural and organic materials to eco renovate the bungalow and installed renewable energies such as solar PV, solar hot water and biomass heating, as well as energy efficiency measures to reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint. We have an arts and crafts studio where we work to create artwork and handmade products.

We are also involved with a community initiative in Muir of Ord called MOOFood, which aims to reduce carbon emmissions, food waste and social isolation and create a healthy community and food culture through growing, sharing, and educating. We have planted a Permaculture designed orchard of 50 fruit trees, planted incredible edible inspired veg, salad, herb and fruit beds, installed a community fridge and have an education programme with the local school and community groups.

We welcome visitors by appointment, and hold open days, courses and workshops throughout the year. See our Facebook page and website for details. We are also hosting volunteers in 2020 via our WWOOF profile.

Number of people text: 
Clive and Julie live and work at BIPA
Contact Name: 
Clive
Number of people involved: 
2
Telephone number: 
01463 871 171
Many of the techniques and ways of working we use here are a shift in attitude from conventional agriculture or gardening, for example, active observation of ecosystems and foodwebs and making minimal intervention, slow solutions such as scything meadows seasonally rather than regular mowing, harnessing the benificial properties of ‘weeds’ and at the same time reducing time spent weeding, shifting from maintenance to harvesting (grass is a harvest which is used to make compost), no dig gardening and soil/fertility building through mulching, planting of nitrogen fixers and dynamic accumulators, and so on. It is more than just gardening as it takes in all aspects of our lifestyles such as housing, community, social equality, transport and food production. For us, as a LAND project, growing food, fuel, soil and sustainable production of resources, increasing biodiversity and habitat, circular cycling of materials, zero waste and energy efficiency are some of the key areas of focus, but we are also involved with community projects such as Transition Black Isle Seed Swap, Grow North and the MOO FOOD community orchard. We decided to become a ScotLAND Permaculture demonstration site so we can show people practical examples of how it can be applied and learn along with us. We are using Permaculture Ethics and Principles to guide how we live. The three Ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share are in the centre, and the 12 principles surround them Earth care is a main driver of our design, and we use organic and no dig techniques, composting and mulching for soil health, diverse types of trees, shrubs, plants, fruit, and vegetables, land stewardship and habitat creation through ecological methods, sensitive observation and minimal changes, water saving and harvesting, and regenerative growing practices. People care – we are creating a healthy environment, a relaxing, calm place to live, work and stay, inviting visitors to learn, providing opportunities for volunteers, demonstrating the potential of Permaculture to the wider community and improving food and environment in area, for example Transition Black Isle seed swap (http://www.transitionblackisle.org/) and MOO Food community food project (http://moofood.org/). Future care – using local, ethical and ecological services and goods, living within sustainable limits and minimising our consumption (e.g. growing food, reducing travel and commuting, making crafts, furniture, art, and produce) offering affordable workshops, open to share knowledge and experience, putting our time, energy and resources into positive local projects.
Project start date: 
August, 2015

Please call in advance or email

Site Design Map
Kilcoy Farm The Warren
Muir of Ord, Highlands IV6 7RX
United Kingdom
Highlands GB