The 12 Principles of Permaculture design – Week 1

Over the next few weeks, our Estate Manager Lewin Nicholas will be sharing the 12 principles of Permaculture design.

Principle 1 – “Observe and Interact”

Actively observing ourselves, and the natural world around us aids us in stimulating our natural curiosity and learning. By identifying our patterns of behaviour, preferences, contradictions and habits we are in a better position to begin to interact or intervene with the world around us.

We spent much of the first year here at Combe Grove observing the land, the wildlife that inhabits it and learning about the unique context that Combe Grove has. By increasing our understanding through observation we can make better design decisions and design solutions that are appropriate to our context.

The potential for species-rich wildflower meadows and implementing a management plan to encourage this is a fine example of this principle in action. For the first year, we observed some wildflower species trying to survive amongst unmanaged rank grass that hadn’t been cut for several years. Because of our location and the underlying geology, we understand we have calcareous grassland so the potential to develop species-rich grassland is very high. Therefore our second year has involved managing the grassland accordingly.

by Lewin Nicholas