Permaculturists Must Be Prepared For Harsher UK Winters

Permaculture magazine
Wednesday, 6th July 2011

Expect more cold winters, say the experts. No problem, say those versed in permaculture...

Over the past few weeks more and more stories have started to appear warning of the effects of a dip in solar activity which could lead to further colder winters.

The BBC's Mark Kinver wrote this (based upon new research published in the journal Environmental Research Letters), giving a succinct overview of some of the reasons why our winter temperatures have been colder. The researchers predict one in seven of our future winters could qualify as 'severe'. Wrong kind of snow, anyone?

Before anyone says it, no, this doesn't disprove the science of climate change. What it does, however, is forewarn savvy permaculturists to ensure that they are following permaculture design principles in their homes, gardens and communities.

Take, for example, this inspiring passive solar gain and heat store solution from New Zealand. Currently in the depths of their winter, this home can remain warm with little more help than some good double-glazing, a solid mass floor and some clever design.

Permaculture is, by definition, an observational and forward-thinking process. It would be interesting to hear from people as to what solutions they found in the wake of the past few years more extreme weather. What preparations do you have in place for similar climatic conditions?

If you live in the UK, northern Europe or a temperate climate area of the USA which is likely to be affected by these forecast changes then The Earth Care Manual by Patrick Whitefield is a 'definitive' text which can help you positively prepare your home, family, garden and community in all sorts of ways. The book has just been revised and updated and packed full of examples of how to observe and adapt to changes. Download a free sample of the eBook version here.