Forest Gardening

Ref: C3672979

In this course you will learn how you can combine trees, shrubs, herbs and vegetables to create colourful, productive and nature-friendly gardens. This concept can work on any scale, from a backyard or allotment to public spaces and farms. We will go through the basic process of designing, establishing and maintaining a forest garden. You will learn to assess the potential and limitation of a given site, how to choose appropriate plants and lay them out in a pattern that benefits the plants and yourself. We will also discuss how to convert a conventional garden, orchard or meadow into a forest garden. Examples will be given of edible and multifunctional landscapes in private gardens, community spaces and commercial enterprises, and we will discuss strategies to make the approach work in all these situations. The course will be a mixture of theory, practical and design activities.

Course aim

This course introduces the ideas and practice of forest gardening, which you can apply in your own garden.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain the basic principles of forest gardening
  • Design and create a home scale forest garden
  • Plan the deveopment and maintenance of a home scale forest garden
  • Find resources for further learning
  • Begin to apply the forest garden concept in neighbourhoods, public spaces and small-scale enterprises

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You will have the opportunity to design your own space and get feedback from the tutor and peers. We will also carry out practical activities at Constable Fields Community Garden.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • You have the option to develop your own forest garden design and receive feedback from the tutor and peers.

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • Come dressed for outdoor activities.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • A number of courses on forest gardenng and permacultrtue are available. Thre are also many books and online resoruces that will be introduced during the course.

Download full Course information sheet

Forest Gardening


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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