Paul Lynch Permaculture Teacher Experience and Qualifications Ireland

Paul Lynch permaculture designer Ireland
Hill Walking in Kerry : )

Ansa Permaculture Design is the product and continuation of my life-long work and passion for sustainability and design in Ireland.

I grew up in and around Macroom in county Cork in the south of Ireland. I’ve always been creating and designing, while also being interested in the natural world and environmental issues. After many efforts to combine these interests, I discovered that there were reliable methods already developed for designing with nature. So began a permaculture design learning and teaching journey that I’m still on.

In 2016 I began providing a permaculture design, drone mapping and orchard care services across southern Ireland, mostly in Cork, but also notably in Kerry, Limerick and Clare, with some more outlying projects in further afield counties.

My home is an evolving testing site for permaculture design and over the years has featured vegetable growing, rainwater harvesting, stream water abstraction and filtration, drone mapping, fruit tree grafting for nursery establishment, grafting to mature trees, plant propagation from cuttings, seed saving, hot compost, solar PV power generation, pig & chicken tractor systems, natural building, forest garden guilds and sheet mulching. In good garden years I supply a veg box each week some of my neighbours, or feed the volunteers who come here to help and learn.

Interests & Languages

I’m into boat building, swing dancing, juggling and, most importantly, table tennis. I’m a fluent Irish speaker and run some courses in Irish. I’ve lived abroad for periods and speak French and Spanish fluently with an intermediate level of German.

Teaching and Learning Permaculture in Ireland

After completing two PDCs, the first in 2010 in Devon and the other one in 2015 in Kinsale, I set up my design practice. In 2019 I completed a permaculture teacher training course (TPT) and in 2021 completed a “Train the trainer” course which is a State certified teaching qualification. I teach in-person introduction to permaculture courses and specialist courses on design, orchard care, hot-composting and other topics. I’ve been honoured to co-teach the design component of two PDC courses, which were wonderful experiences. I’m available to guest teach on PDCs in Ireland and abroad. I’m on the Certified Teachers Register on the UK Permaculture Association which means I can teach and certify full Permaculture Design Courses. The immersive experience and sense of community that can be built on a good PDC is a wonderful thing.

Most of my formal educational and professional background is in engineering and design, and I make the most of these skills in the design service. I studied mechanical engineering specialising in design at the University of Limerick in Ireland and after graduating worked in medical device R&D engineering, engineering drawing, renewable energy, environmental education & training and energy research and publication.

Formal Qualifications

B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering, University of Limerick, 2004
PDC with Aranya, Devon, 2010
PDC at Kinsale College, 2015
City and Guilds chainsaw course, Coillte, 2016
Permaculture Teacher Training Course, Bulgaria 2019
Train the trainer course, online, with DCM Learning 2021
Many other courses related to natural building, orchard care, grafting renewable energy and growing.

Permaculture, Drone Mapping &  Keyline Design in Ireland

I’m interested in Keyline Design and use it as the fundamental starting point for all bigger permaculture projects. To that end I use a drone for mapping to generate maps with low-interval elevation contour lines. Its a fast way to get a good overview of a project and be in a position to begin Keyline designing.

I find that with good surveying, elegant designs ideas end up calling out for attention, so I concentrate on diligently going through the various permaculture analysis tools to build up visual overlays of the site characteristics before designing. When designing I do my best to marry the characteristics of the site with the needs of the inhabitants. I find it very interesting that the most well endowed sites are the most difficult to design, whereas heavily constrained sites are generally the easiest.

Permaculture Orchard Care in Ireland

In 2016 I began providing an orchard care service which consists mainly of winter and summer pruning with occasional grafting. I maintain a small fruit nursery where I graft local and resistant varieties of fruit to supply my design customers and neighbours. Some interesting grafts include pear to rowan and medlar to hawthorn. I’m also keen on hardwood cuttings, using willow water to aid root development. In the winter I also supply this service to design customers, along with bare-root planting.

Natural Farming, Fukuoka, Forest Gardening and Seedballs in Ireland

Over the years I feel I’ve developed an affinity with apple trees and try to treat them holistically. My feelings and thoughts on orchard care ( and many other subjects) align closely with the teachings of Fukuoka who has been a long standing inspiration. Where possible my primary goal in orchard care is to develop a natural tree shape that is more likely to result in a healthy tree. There are more details about my orchard work here.

In 2022 I began making seedballs en-masse and plan to direct seed orchard guild plants. I find the potential for direct seeding shelterbelts or native woodlands in overgrown areas an exciting prospect, and have begun doing this on the border of one of my client projects.

When I have them, I am very keen on combining mob-grazing of poultry with gardening for mutual benefits and to that end have supply self-built mobile poultry systems to design customers.

Hazel and willow weaving Ireland

West Cork hazel currach fishing Ireland
Fishing in a self-made hazel currach with my friend Siobhán in West Cork Ireland

I love weaving and building with hazel and willow. I use weaving skills I originally learned in traditional Irish basketry and currach (traditional Irish boat) building to make living woven terraces and other structures.

There is a weave called the Buinne Béal or mouthwale which as far as I know is unique to the Boyne currach and donkey creels of traditional Irish Basketry. I use a version of it in my living woven terrace retaining walls made from the local hazel and willow growing all around us.

Permaculture, Architecture and Off-Grid Renewable Energy

I am a designer at heart and have a love of beautiful, functional architecture. I consult the “Pattern Language” architecture book on every design and use the patterns in designing and building lean-tos, sheds and other structures. At my home I integrated a new lean-to roof for the outside deck that also houses the new solar PV panels that power my home and office.

This design is a good example of the permaculture principle which states that each element of a design should serve many functions.

In this case the new roof provides:

    • Electrical power

    • A new covered space that is used for:
        • Drying clothes and harvests

        • Outdoor classroom

        • Outdoor social and dining area

        • Yoga and stretching area

        • Seedball making

    • Rainwater harvesting

    • Some protection to the house from weather

Sustainable renewable energy is about so much more than electrical power therefore I also use hot compost seasonally for heating water for showering and have built a functional rocket-stove bath. At the moment I’m building a hot water system powered my summer time excess solar electricity backed up with a wood fired stove. Long term I would love to build a waste to biogas system.