Influences September ’16- February ’18

The summer is drawing to a close and I can feel autumn sneaking up behind me, so its time to re-direct my attention towards my Permaculture diploma. Writing up my designs is always a job for the colder months and I’m looking forward to cracking on with my diploma again with a hope of completing the last few design write ups over the winter and accrediting in the late spring 2018. So here is  a round-up of what has influenced my diploma pathway over the last year.

Training and learning

  • I completed my IPA in January 2017 (interim portfolio assessment) five of my 10 diploma designs were signed off by my tutor with minimum changes required. This was a big relief and very re-assuring that I was on the right track.
  • I am undertaking a wild food mentor online course with ‘Eat weeds’. Its teaching me more about how to identify and use wild foods. This is greatly helpful for my Forest school business, as I’ve began to include lots more foraging and campfire cooking activities.
  • I attended a two-day wild food course with a local expert. We went on wild food walks, foraged and learnt new cooking techniques. This was in the spring, I was hoping to do a further autumn course, but unfortunately it is fully booked – hopefully I’ll attend next year.
  • I signed up as a member of the ‘Radical self-love coven’ and have enjoyed a year-long online course into all things witchy. We’ve studied spell-work, numerology, crystals, feng shui, astrology and tarot. I’m loving it all.
  • I’ve been learning lots about the moon phases, women’s cycles and earth based spirituality. I’m a member of Lisa Lister’s ‘wake the witches’ group and numerous other useful forums.
  • I’ve attended some moon goddess training and would love to go on and learn more. I track the moon cycle and my menstrual cycle and am discovering some useful insights.
  • I’ve attended lots of doTerra essential oils workshops and use these oils everyday to support my health and general wellbeing.
  • I have attended four Forest school training days. Two general skills development days and an oils and balms workshop and a willow weaving day.
  • I’m still a member of the online group ‘The balance club’ This helps me to keep focussed on my health and wellbeing.


  • I attended the Permaculture AGM at Graceworks in November 2016
  • I attended the Permaculture diploma accreditation event for Sarah Spencer in April 2017 and I was on her peer review panel.
  • Tomorrow I am attending the Permaculture diploma accreditation event for Sam Woods and I am on her peer review panel.
  • I led tours around the allotment site where I run Muddy Boots allotment playgroup for the East Midlands and the Britain in bloom judges in summer 2017
  • I took part in numerous muddy runs
  • I attend zumba, yoga and gym classes on a weekly basis.
  • We took a three-week camping holiday in August


My bookshelf and bedside table are still filling up with books about spirituality, witchy paths, hypnosis, wild foods, goddesses, visualisation, female empowerment, self-love and of course gardening and love of the woods. I’m currently reading ‘The mists of Avalon’ , Lisa lister’s ‘Witch’ and Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ classic ‘women who run with the wolves’ My poor husband is a little freaked out!


  • I’ve been running Forest school every Thursday and monthly on Saturdays.
  • The allotment playgroup has been running March- October every friday.
  • I plan and prep my Muddy Boots work every Wednesday
  • In 2016 I started running Forest school birthday partiesand half term children’s Forest school events.
  • I ran a women’s forest school retreat day in June. I will be writing this up in more details as its to form my next diploma design.
  • I took Muddy Boots to a local festival, the edible forest festival in September where I ran campfire cooking events, an epic mud kitchen, den making activities and a reading tent.
  • My colleague Jodie has now set up her own Forest school, I’ve assisted her at this on a few occasions and am glad to be able to return the favour after she’s helped me ut so much over the years.

Influences June 2015-September 2016

When I started my permaculture diploma, I intended to write-up an ‘Influences’ post every six month. I managed it for a while, but then real life got in the way and I have been slacking. So I have resolved to do a brief round-up today of the major influences on my permaculture journey over the last 15 months.

Training and learning

I completed my Level 3 Forest School leader training in early 2016 and I am now fully qualified and running my own Forest School. I lead 2 or 3 session each week currently and hope to build up the business in years to come.

I attended 3 Forest School skills training days in addition to my level 3 course.

I attended a Forest Schools Derbyshire conference in late 2015

I attended the national Diploma gathering for permaculture diploma students in spring 2016

I attended a day-long essential oils introduction workshop in summer 2016

I completed my monthly blog write-ups about Bill Mollison’s principles throughout 2015

I completed my garden reflections based on the pagan calendar throughout 2015

I volunteered at another forest school in october 2015 and learnt lots


I helped out at the PDC in Leicester on various sessions during 2015

I attended a family samba drumming workshop at Soft Touch arts and took part in a parade.

I took part in a 10 KM Iron run event

The South Leicester food group that I set up continues to meet regularly and bulk buy foods together.

I am factoring in lots more time spent alone with my husband. This year we have been to gigs, the theatre and even has a weekend away in London together staying on a barge.

I am attending 2 yoga classes per week, using the gym and still running occasionally.


I have read and been influenced by far too many books to list here over the last 15 months! My collection of children’s books about nature, food growing, the seasons, woods and allotments continues to grow with each passing season.


Until July 2016 I had been teaching photography and art to a teenager on the autistic spectrum. We worked together to help her achieve her Bronze arts award. This work is currently paused while she transitions back to mainstream school, but I may take it up again soon with another student.

My Muddy Boots business is going very well. I am leading 8 sessions per month at the allotment and up to 10 sessions per month of Forest School. Most of my sessions are fully booked with a waiting list. Muddy Boots now operates as a business and makes me a modest income.