COVID-19 and the Permaculture Association response

Updated 1 April 2020.

We know that this is a worrying time for many people and we want to help. At this time of crisis, permaculture holds a strong and simple message about the values and ways of working we need to get through it: Earth Care, People Care, Fair Shares.

It's time to look after each other, think about what we really value, and see how we can come out of this stronger and more resolved to create a world that really works for every person and all of life.

The Permaculture Association is continuing to provide all of its existing services with the exception of book sales (the office is now closed and we are all home-working) and events, which will be under review until we know more about how long this pandemic will last.

Useful links and resources

If you are not sure what you need to do, there are some really useful resources available:

General information on the virus and what to do from the NHS and Government.

For elderly people, their families and carers

If you are concerned about your finances

Support for businesses and employers

HMRC Coronavirus Tax Helpline:​ 0800 015 9559​ ​

For social enterprises

For self-employed

From ACAS

For small charities and similar groups

For farmers and growerswanting to develop new markets

For community gardens (see bottom half of page in particular)

For event organisers

If you have anything to add please send it through.

Special notes for permaculture educators, growers and projects

We have been unable to find any specific advice for adult educators or projects running public gardens (if you have a link please share it). We are aware that TCV has now ceased all volunteer activities and given the UK Government’s announcement as of 23 March, all non-essential activity should cease.

If your business needs people on site to function (e.g. horticulture) then follow the government’s guidelines on rigorous and regular hygiene and distance guidelines i.e. 2 metres, and ensure that anyone that shows symptoms does not come to work or volunteer. We still need to grow food and we have sought guidance on this area from Defra and will share what we find. See links above for financial support options.

We are aware that working in home gardens and on allotments has not been prohibited, as long as you follow the basic guidelines of physical distancing of 2m (unless gardening at home with members of your household.)

If you have upcoming courses or have already started one, the most important thing is to talk to your students as soon as possible. You could do this with an online meeting and discuss options together. Usually, it makes sense to postpone rather than cancel courses or events, with refunds offered for people unable to change dates.

Looking after ourselves and others

At this time, it's really important that we all look after our health - mental and physical - and look after each other too. It's good to focus on the things we can do, rather than on every news update. Take regular exercise. Talk to a friend, colleague or family member and ask for help if you feel you are struggling.

If you are feeling well and have time to help, then there are many brilliant local groups popping up. It's great to help and a brilliant opportunity to talk to people about permaculture and the kind of future we want.

Support for members

One of the things we are good at at the Permaculture Association is online working, it is one of the areas that we can use to support members. We host regular Educator Monthly Online Gatherings (MOGs), now extended to every 2 weeks. Building on the success of those calls we will be hosting:

  • Online calls for LAND Centres, groups and projects to share and discuss challenges and how we can respond.
  • A series of online calls for members (perhaps by region) to share ideas and mutual support.

If you are not a current member, you can join the Permaculture Association today.

Please support our work with a donation

Covid-19 is going to put the Permaculture Association under a lot of pressure. Events will be postponed and it will be hard to push some of our existing plans while everyone is focussed on COVID-19. We were planning a donations drive before COVID-19 came along. It looks like it will now be essential. Watch out for our ‘£20 more in 2020’ campaign, or get in early by helping with a donation now if you can!