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Elizabeth Waddington

Permaculture and Sustainability Consultancy

Permaculture design, sustainability advice and environmental consultancy for individuals, businesses and organisations.

News and Inspiration

Case Study: Caribbean Eco Village

Co-operation and community are key to creating a thriving and healthy future for all. Starting with a single property, with an eco-home and organic, sustainable permaculture garden, a project can grow to incorporate a number of independent homes and gardens sharing resources and working together to combine modern sustainability practices and traditional village life. TheContinue reading “Case Study: Caribbean Eco Village”

Case Study: Maryland Permaculture

This design shows the expansion of existing vegetable growing areas and productive spaces into the existing lawn of a Maryland property. It has been developed with reference to the location and site, and the client’s requirements, using permaculture design methods. Located in the Coastal Plain region, almost entirely dependent on groundwater for its water supply,Continue reading “Case Study: Maryland Permaculture”

Earth Day Inspiration

What should you do to celebrate Earth Day, invest in our planet and take action? There are, of course, a great many things that you can do – and not just on Earth Day. Remember, caring for people and planet should be something we all do year-round. But Earth Day is an opportunity to hitContinue reading “Earth Day Inspiration”

Case Study: Public Park

This case study shows my design for a new public park in England. The site is currently a large grassy area, used in part as a play area for local school children from an adjacent school to the north but otherwise little used. The goal is to turn this area into an asset for theContinue reading “Case Study: Public Park”

We Stand Together

These are dark and disturbing times. I’ve thought for a while about what I wanted to say about the tragic atrocities the Russian military is currently perpetrating on the people of Ukraine. While, living elsewhere we can sleep well, without threat, in our homes and plan our spring gardens, I am sure I speak forContinue reading “We Stand Together”

Case Study: Cambodian Project

This month has been a little different to many for me because rather than working on a number of smaller designs, I have predominantly been working on the next stage of the large project in Cambodia which I shared before. Above, you can see a portion of the planting plans for the North Valley areasContinue reading “Case Study: Cambodian Project”

Making a Living From Land

Many homesteaders, smallholders and hobby farmers dream of making a living from the land they tend. For some, a higher level of self-sufficiency is the only goal. But others dream of turning their property into a successful business. Seeking Solutions for Land Through my consultancy and design work, I can provide help to my clientsContinue reading “Making a Living From Land”

Getting Back to the Roots

I recently wrote a brief article for Treehugger: Why We Should Think About Roots. In this piece, I look a quick look at why it is so important to delve deeper, both when thinking about gardens and garden design, and when trying to live a sustainable life in general. We can learn a lot fromContinue reading “Getting Back to the Roots”

Updating Traditional Cottage Garden Style for Your Specific Location

Certain styles of gardens are perennially popular around the world. The English cottage garden is one typical example. But achieving a certain style does not mean copying the design exactly, down to the specific plants that you choose. So good design often means updating traditional garden styles with native plants – to make them moreContinue reading “Updating Traditional Cottage Garden Style for Your Specific Location”

Case Study: Senegal

This is a design for a small property in Nguerigne, Senegal. This is a property of around 2,400 sq m, currently almost entirely bare and exposed except for one baobab tree. It is level, sandy and dry. This region is close to the intersection between the Sahel, and the West Sudanian savannah – in anContinue reading “Case Study: Senegal”

Rewilding On A Range of Scales

When we talk about rewilding, we are often talking about doing so on a landscape scale – over broad areas. Large scale conservation, ecosystem restoration and rewildling are certainly important. But it is also important to consider smaller scale rewilding schemes on individual properties, and even in individual gardens. I’ve had a very busy startContinue reading “Rewilding On A Range of Scales”

Happy New Year!

Hello all! I hope everyone is enjoying a good start to 2022. I am now back at work and refreshed after a break. We had a sustainable Christmas at home with family and then a few days away up north staying in a remote cottage in Assynt, further up north here in Scotland, to getContinue reading “Happy New Year!”

Merry Christmas!

I am going to be finishing up with some projects over the next couple of days, and will then be off work between the 24th and the 3rd as we enjoy spending time with guests, relaxing, and spending time in the garden and on our barn conversion project, with a few days away in aContinue reading “Merry Christmas!”

Christmas Crackers

One thing I really dislike about Christmas are the cheap Christmas crackers that people buy which are made from plastic-coated papers, nylon ribbons and other non-recyclable elements, and which come with tacky plastic gifts, paper hats and cheesy jokes inside. Many people love to have Christmas crackers on their Christmas tables, and for many, ChristmasContinue reading “Christmas Crackers”

Planting For the Long Term

Often, gardeners and farmers will focus on plants which provide yields in the short term. They will grow annual fruits and vegetables, and, perhaps, plant fruit bushes and fruit trees which will yield only a year or two after planting. But great gardens and farms seek to provide for people and wildlife not just inContinue reading “Planting For the Long Term”

Where and How to Grow Herbs

From a sunny windowsill where you can grow herbs year round, to dedicated herb gardens outdoors, from annual polyculture beds in a kitchen garden, to fabulous forest garden schemes, there are plenty of options when it comes to herb cultivation. I recently shared some of my tips for starting a herb garden on Treehugger: MyContinue reading “Where and How to Grow Herbs”

Case Study: Eco Build Garden

This case study demonstrates a garden plot around a planned eco build on the south coast of England. The design aims to ensure visual amenity and appeal while maximising food production and making best use of resources on this small site. The site is approximately 250 sq m in size, located between farm fields andContinue reading “Case Study: Eco Build Garden”

Sanding Reclaimed Floorboards

Today I had a day off work and we have started lightly sanding the reclaimed floorboards that we’ve laid in the upstairs of our barn conversion. We absolutely love the variation and patina, so won’t be sanding down to a fine finish. We are just sanding to achieve a reasonably smooth finish. This character isContinue reading “Sanding Reclaimed Floorboards”

Make Giving a Habit

Today is ‘Giving Tuesday’ – a time when many charities and non-profits with have a fundraising push and a day on which many people choose to donate. I would, of course, urge anyone to give what they can to the causes they believe in. But charity should not be only about one-off donations on specificContinue reading “Make Giving a Habit”

Giving Thanks

I know that many in the United States will be celebrating with family and friends, and I hope that celebrations will go well. Of course, not everyone feels that this holiday is an occasion for celebration. It is important not to be blind to the historical realities behind the polite fictions that are a partContinue reading “Giving Thanks”

Barn Conversion Decisions

We’ve pretty much finished laying the reclaimed flooring in the upstairs of our barn conversion. And this weekend was a time for some crucial decisions. For years now, we have slowly been slogging away – largely on things that will not actually be seen once the build is finished. So far, our decisions have largelyContinue reading “Barn Conversion Decisions”

Taking a Bird’s Eye View

Whether literally enjoying a bird’s eye view with the modern technology of a drone, honing in with online mapping, or simply using the imagination, taking a bird’s eye view of a site can help us see the bigger picture. It can help us to filter out some of the detail that might confuse us whenContinue reading “Taking a Bird’s Eye View”

Never Stop Learning in Life

Whether we are talking about learning more about the natural world or sustainability, or gaining the skills we need to live better, we should never stop learning in life. All too often, we think about education as something which ends when we leave school, college or university. But the life-long pursuit of knowledge, and keepingContinue reading “Never Stop Learning in Life”

Sustainable Christmas Gifts

Though it may be too early to think about Christmas or other mid-winter festivals just yet, my mind turns in November to what I might give to friends and family. The reason that I often start to think about this in November is that I usually make gifts. Of course, planning and making gifts takesContinue reading “Sustainable Christmas Gifts”

Good News on Beavers in Scotland

With all the depressing news at the moment, it is good when we do have something positive to cheer about, and I was delighted to hear the news that the Scottish government has granted Scotland’s first edge-of-range beaver translocation licence to Argaty in Perthshire – an environmentally sensitive farm already home to the award winningContinue reading “Good News on Beavers in Scotland”

Who is Showing True Leadership in the Climate Crisis and Who is Not

While not surprised, I have been disappointed by the showing by many ‘world leaders’ at COP26. Voluntary agreements announced thus far may sometimes seem positive on the surface, but massive loopholes and vague language most definitely remain. The draft of the Glasgow decision text has laid out the next steps nations will take to tackleContinue reading “Who is Showing True Leadership in the Climate Crisis and Who is Not”

Philosophy of Sustainability

As a philosophy graduate, I have a strong interest in the philosophical questions surrounding sustainability and the climate crisis. I did not pursue a path in academia, but I am strongly of the opinion that intellectual thought should not be the preserve of ivory towers. We should ask ourselves the big important questions in ourContinue reading “Philosophy of Sustainability”

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