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Consultancy Design Project

*****New sites needed for Summer 2025*****

We have an exciting opportunity for land-based projects; who grow both from the land and the community that surrounds them. Our Consultancy Permaculture Design Project aims to provide a comprehensive design for the whole system - looking at how to build strengths and overcome challenges.

Shift Bristol are on the lookout for sites to base consultancy design projects, as part of our Practical Sustainability Course - These usually occur for three weeks from the beginning of June.

The aim of the design project is for students to observe and assess the current activity on site and then create an action plan/design of suggested improvements in line with the aims of your project. These may include methods for;

* Improving the health, fertility and structure of your soil and growing mediums.

* Alternative growing methods that will reduce the need for human interaction, and materials/resources being brought from outside the system.

* Alternative growing techniques that will protect the soil health, maximise your growing areas.

* Additional ways of increasing productivty and income generation; utilising what is freely/cheaply available from the surrounding area.

* Methods for improving resource efficiency on site, for buildings and energy usage.

* Methods for increasing engagement and participation of volunteers, and the different benefits this brings.

* Creative ways to communicate your projects aims to the wider community, to increase visibility and connection.

* Effective ways to improve the group dynamics of those involved within the project; looking at governance and decision making.

Students will then share their observations and suggested improvements with you; either by inviting you to the presentation day on 19th June, or with a follow up email/meeting. 

The caveat: Previous stakeholders who have volunteered their sites and time, regularly feedback that it has been an insightful and worthwhile exchange having the students work with them. This being said these design projects are organised as a learning opportunity for the students, and we cannot guarantee the end results of their efforts. Their design projects are reviewed by permaculture and regenerative agriculture tutor Caroline Aitken during the presentation day, and her recommendations will also be passed onto stakeholders.  

Site Criteria

* The land is an appropriate scale/size; minimum is a large allotment, maximum is a smallholding of no more than 5 acres.

* The project provides opportunity for several areas of improvement. We are looking for sites that are either establishing, facing struggle, or experiencing a period of instability.

* The project is set up to meet a need, and/or to benefit the local community that surrounds it. Ideally this would be a project that considers the ecology on site, works the land for cultivation, and engages with the community (inviting others on the land to share and benefit from the space). Or would like to in the future.

What we need from you and your site: 

* A student group of up to five students, will need access to your site on 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 18 June; between the hours of 9.30-3.30. They may not need all of these dates, and this will be decided between you and the group.

* Students will need to take soil samples from a handful of spots on site, to assess soil texture/health. This will leave minimal disruption to the land.

* Your time to meet with our students to conduct a stakeholder interview to find out about the aims of your project, insight into the use of the site at different times of year, and any limiting factors that they will need to take into consideration (budget, skills, labour etc).

* An area (preferably covered) for students to huddle and work on the project together in comfort.

* Access to a toilet. 

Things to note:

* We offer a selection of sites for our students to pick from. Sometimes there are more sites than design groups available, and therefore we can’t guarantee if you put your site forward you will be chosen. 

* We will let you know whether your site has been chosen or not on the 23rd May. 

Offering your site:

Please email with the following details;

* Name of project

* Name of main contact

* Contact details of main contact

* Location/Address

* A brief description of how your land is used and your wider aims 

* Any questions you may have.

We really look forward to hearing from you!