Permaculture Design Course

Permaculture training that includes collaborative design and practical skills sessions.

Course learning goals


Practice observation and surveying techniques; learn to read and make maps, select and use tools for site analysis and evaluation; integrate climate-specific ethics, principles and strategies to create innovative design solutions and experience various interactions of group design processes.

Climate and relief

Adapts design strategies to climate patterns; observes, improves and creates microclimates; adapts design to slope, elevation, orientation and local climate patterns.


Understands the natural water cycle and the effects of human intervention. Uses earthworks to harvest rainfall, recharge depleted groundwater and prevent erosion. Learn to use and reuse water responsibly, including greywater solutions, constructed wetlands and aquaculture.


Understands the living and non-living aspects of soil and how proper human management can maximize soil productivity and health. Knows strategies and practices techniques that increase soil fertility and resilience in different climates and at different scales of use.

Living Landscape Management

Understand the basic principles of ecology: succession, nutrient cycling and energy flows, behavior of complex systems. Select appropriate solutions for intensive and extensive landscapes; Understand the benefits of multiple yield systems at different scales, including diversified gardens, agroforests, agrosilvopastoral landscapes and managed forests.

Social and economic applications

Understand the appropriate technologies and techniques for sustainable human construction and society, including: natural building, energy-efficient home design, community and decision-making strategies, cities in transition, ethical livelihood creation and micro-enterprise, solidarity/social economy, local/alternative currencies.

The teaching team

Lesley Martin

Lesley has been teaching permaculture for over 20 years. In 1995, while running an organic farm in the UK, she completed her PDC with George Sobol, who was also her permaculture diploma tutor. After 2 years of study and training, she became a Permaculture teacher, working for government and adult training institutions in Great Britain. In 1998, she moved to the Monchique mountains. She began designing and implementing permaculture at Quinta Vale da Lama.

Hugo Oliveira

Landscape Ecologist and Permaculture Designer. Co-founder of Orla Design and regenerative design consultant. Researcher @ Center for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Change ( He has a master's degree in Ecological Design Thinking from Schumacher College and is completing a PhD in Interdisciplinary Landscape Management at the University of Évora. He has been actively working with Permaculture as a designer, trainer and researcher since 2006, mainly in the field of Ecological Landscape. He has received training in Australia, Asia and Europe.

Patrícia Pereira

She has developed her professional career in environmental and regenerative learning, participatory facilitation and co-creation of learning communities. She has been facilitating Permaculture learning experiences since 2009 in various contexts: local farmers in East Timor, young activists in Macau, teachers and schools in Portugal. She has been part of the teaching and coordination teams at Novas Descobertas Association since 2013, co-creating and leading several annual courses and workshops; including the PDC and the Permaculture Teacher Training. She is also a facilitator for Orla Design with the aim of supporting the development of initiatives that contribute to enhancing nature-based patterns, regeneration and deep collaboration.

All the details

For Whom

Those over the age of 18.


October 5-19, 2024

Registration Deadline

September 17th, 2024


At Quinta Vale da Lama - in our activity area - Campo do Vale.
See how to get to Campo do Vale - Quinta Vale da Lama


English, with translation into Portuguese of specific and/or technical terms when necessary.


650€ Complete
(Including all meals and camping)

550€ Partial
(non-residential, includes lunch only)

For scholarships and other information:

Price Includes

  • The curriculum of the 72-hour Permaculture Design Course, presented by a diverse and experienced team of teachers and certified by Lesley Martin;
  • 2 days of extra content offered by the team of teachers and guests; including collaborative design methods and tools and site visits to Quinta Vale da Lama and other local projects;
  • Social permaculture in practice throughout the course experience; including community decision-making methods, group facilitation tools and knowledge sharing;
  • Ethically sourced vegetarian food from our own production and local sources. 3 meals a day (only lunch for non-resident participants), plus snacks and tea/coffee during breaks;
  • Access to our site's facilities, including prepared and shaded camping areas, hot showers, indoor toilets and cafeteria, as well as Wi-Fi, charging stations, course library, tools and teaching materials.


9:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00. Optional evening sessions.
Sample timetable - Click here to see.

Contact us

Patrícia Pereira
+351 926 681 773*

* (Call to fixed mobile network)

What people say about the PDC

"I came to this course looking for more knowledge on how to work with the land in a regenerative way. I found this and much more!"

Charlie McCallum, Tavira, Portugal

"This is the place for anyone looking to do their PDC; not only for the wonderful places that surround you, but also for the quality of the teaching and the way it is shared, all the resources and the team that supports this experience."

Teresa Henriques, Cartaxo, Portugal

"Doing a two-week CPD can be intense, as it's a lot of information in a short period of time, but the team knew how to keep the space and look after everyone! I would recommend this PDC to anyone, anywhere, who wants to live a more connected life!"

Jim Groot, Netherlands

"Without a doubt, a phenomenal program! Between the stimulating learning environment, the practical application of permaculture principles in real-world situations, and meeting and connecting with other permaculture enthusiasts in the region, this course has greatly contributed to deepening my understanding, the ability to implement immediately in my own situation, and broadening my knowledge base so that I can continue to spread this knowledge to others."

Shana Ritter, Odiáxere, Portugal


Permaculture Design Course