Online forest garden design course, by RakeshB

Umbellifer, white umbels of flowers

Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), a common edible UK native, can be incorporated into any design!

Rakesh B, who I met via the National Forest Gardening Scheme, is running an online forest garden design course, from 13 June to 19 July, on weekends

These are the details that Rakesh passed on to me, please do share 🙂💚🌳

To get in touch with him, email

  • 2 weekends introduction on how to design food forests
  • 4 weekends design your own forest garden + how to implement

9:00 to 13:30, Sat & Sun

Introduction to forest gardening

First 4 session (2 weekends)

  • Sat 13th & Sun 14th June - introduction

  • Sat 20th & Sun 21st June - design

  • See dates below

  • 4 hours per session plus half hour break

Imagine your garden looking as lovely as a woodland edge. Imagine that on top of looking wonderfully wild, it produces an abundance of nutrient dense food and will ultimately need very little digging, weeding, manual watering or pest control - all in harmony with animals and other beings (eco friendly and vegan). This is ‘an edible forest garden’.

Forest gardening is a way of growing food where nature does most of the work for you. Modelled on natural woodland, crops are grown in different layers from high and medium sized canopy to roots, ground cover and climbers. And its not just food and medicine you will get from the forest garden, there are many more yields.

Through careful planning plants are chosen which have beneficial effects on each other, attract beneficial insects and create a healthy biodiverse rich system that maintains its own fertility. Once established, your main task will be harvesting!

What to expect

This workshop is in 2 parts, the first part will give you the tools you need to design your own forest garden.

The second part will give you an opportunity to design your own place with the help of others. You will also learn how to implement your designs.

Dates & more details on what to expect

  • First 4 session (2 weekends) Introduction to forest gardening
  • Sat 13th & Sun 14th June
  • Sat 20th & Sun 21st June

This section of the course you will learn about the basics of designing a forest garden. You will get to understand

  • How to select the right plants for your environment
  • Where to place them to ensure they thrive
  • How to ensure you have the right nutrients cycling to ensure good crops
  • History of forest gardening
  • Why make a food forest
  • Layout of a forest garden
  • Multi-functional pathways
  • Creating abundance and resilience
  • Low maintenance food growing
  • Patterns in nature for forest gardens
  • Understanding and maximising edge

You can attend just the first 4 sessions as a stand alone course.

Work on real designs and implementation

Next 8 sessions (4 weekends)

  • Sat 27th & Sun 28th June
  • Sat 4th & Sun 5th July
  • Sat 11th & Sun 12th July
  • Sat 18th & Sun 19th July

This is where you start to make your own designs. You will:

  • Make maps and gather the right information to make a design
  • Identify your needs and the lands needs
  • Make a design for yourself or help someone else (if you do not have a place to design yet)
  • Learn how to implement your designs (where to start)
  • Make a succession plan (how the forest garden grows and matures by itself)
  • Think about any maintenance
  • Think about how you harvest your yields
  • Water management
  • Tree and plant guilds

You must have attended the first 4 sessions or have done an intro course with rakesh to join this part


To register for this course, please click on the ticket section below and fill in the form (make sure you hit the submit button, after which you will get an email confirmation). If you do not get an email confirmation, have any difficulty filling it in or have any questions please feel free to contact Rakesh

Lead Facilitator

The course will be led by Rakesh “Rootsman Rak” - experienced Permaculture designer, teacher and Forest Garden specialist, yoga teacher and homeopath. He has been growing food since he was a child, and has been designing and teaching edible landscaping, permaculture, forest gardening, etc since 2009. Rakesh has designed and implemented forest gardens from small-scale private gardens and schools, to farms, community gardens, communal nature gardens, as well as designing a forest garden on part of a 30-hectare ecovillage in Croatia.

Course Costs

We want this course to be accessible to all and are therefore working in a conscious contribution system, inviting you to pay what you can afford towards meeting the needs of the facilitator(s). We therefore invite those who can pay more to help those who cannot afford as much.

Please contact us if you have any questions about this.

Suggested contributions of between £10 and £40 per day i.e. between £40 and £160 for the first 4 session or between £120 and £480 for all 12 session. If you cannot afford this then PLEASE get in touch and we will work something out that is mutually beneficial.