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Sandro Cafolla 's Profile
Sandro Cafolla
Last Updated:
Crettyard, carlow, Ireland
Climate Zone:
Cool Temperate
Web site:

My Projects

(projects i'm involved in)

Ann Orr Conor Crotty Elena Parmiggiani Liam Phelan lily hodgins Richard Perkins Ute Bohnsack Yvette Murray
Geoff Lawton Graham Bell Kerry Given
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About Sandro Cafolla

I have worked as a 'self educated' self-employed horticulturist and wildflower grower mostly in Ireland, and as sustainable ecosystem designer since 1981. I heard about Permaculture in 1986 and new it expressed what I was into.

I have worked in all aspects of the nature conservation trading as Design By Nature (Ireland). I am well known as an innovator and have established many downstream areas of trade in the Horticulture industry.

Currently my business is commercial wildflower growing and I am considered an expert in establishing native ecosystems from our seed products. Planting to assist 'Biodiversity ' is a huge theme at present.

I have designed and landscaped hundreds of private and a few gardens and parks, all with some aspect of Permaculture for private and public customers, often the customer never heard of PC design, until after the design was finished.

My business premises operates from my home, and until recently was a commercial nursery, with the completion of my house renovations and barn retrofit, i am now starting to think about the garden, the fourth I have lived in. All are still PC's.

I was awarded an international PC Diploma and then Dan Hemenway/Bill Mollison verbal degree to teach teachers to teach Permaculture. As this was all before the degree course was made official, I never got the full degree paper.

I take a minimum wage and reinvest all profits. Hence why the business is well equipped and I have lived like a pauper. However having saved up recycled materials for years, i have recently completed a retrofit of my cottage.

I have conducted 5 full permaculture design courses to teach teachers to teach permaculture and taken part in 3 more.

I have given hundreds of permaculture lectures and given only a few PC courses.

"I will not just teach any course, the candidates must have existing skill bases and sharp focuses, we need activists not talkers"

If your are thinking of including me on your team, my experience also includes Sales, Marketing, Innovation, Project Management and Training, Self taught IT Skills: Digital Camera & Publishing

I have been employed as a consultant to many national projects, or supplied product and advice to:
The Government of Ireland: incl'
NDP, NPWS, Duchas, OPW, An Foras Forbirtha. DAF, DAFF, DAFFnF, ESB, Bord Gáis, Coillte, Irish Waterways, D.O.E. VEC. FAS. INTO, Bord Gas and the NRA all Irish state and semi-state Bodies
I have written technical papers and project for national authorities.
Works include roadside projects, parks, and other major works some of which are not listed below, instead, links are provided to the appropriate pages on my website

Public Sector Customers over 20 years: range from QVC TV to Many Irish Garden Centres, from Schools to Kew Gardens and the Eden project, from Vodafone to the New York Irish Hunger Memorial Garden.
In that time I developed entirely new hort processes, new products, and introduced thousands to horticulture and permaculture through public trades, shows and lectures.

All Ireland's leading Landscape Contractors and Architects are customers and many often regularly purchases from DBN and get advice on projects. I have slowly introduced PC without calling it PC.
and thus helped many landscape firms to go ecological. I then introduce them to Pc after the project.

We have provided our 'Educat' services to many firms and agencies, to assist in growing our products and managing the landscape for nature. Educat = Education catalogue.

I have not done too many complete PC designs, but those that have been developed and maintained since 1987 have helped introduce the concept to Ireland and trained many budding PC'ers

For the most recent updates and projects visit my website site. No link has been provided, but you can search for it in Ireland.
2020, launching new web site soon

CV extracts :
2010: Roadside roundabout trails start with wildflowers for Biodiversity

2009: Advise /teach Dublin City Council on Biodiversity for all its parks, seed also supplied.

2008: DBN sows largest roadside to date in Ireland for N8 Cullahill to Cashel.

2008: DBN sows NPWS esker Ridge Banagher, SSI, highely specilist conservation works for European Community and Irish Government

2006. DBN completes the first stage of the layout of 14 acres of landscape gardens at Ballintubbert House and Heritage Gardens, Co Laois. Open to public

2005. DBN Supplies Seed and advice to Kilkenny Bypass, and Flood relief Scheme.

2005. DBN Supplies Seed to Kerry Earth Project

2005. DBN Supplies Seed to UCD Belfield, Reed bed trials.2

2005. DBN Supplies Seed and advice to Tymon Park, Co. Dublin.

2005. DBN supplies Flora for Chelsea Flower Garden.

2004. DBN supplies seed to Sligo by-pass.

2004: DBN Supplies 2nd phase seed and design to M50 Motorway,

2004. Best New Product. Kildare growers trade show.

2003: DBN supplies wildflower seed mixtures to South Eastern Motorway.

Sandro address INTO teachers conference on Children and the Environment.

2003: DBN supplies, Plants to Kew Gardens Biodiversity Garden.

DBN supplies flora for a meadow for E.P.A. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown, Co Wexford.

DBN supplies flora for St Bridits Garden, Due open 2004,

DBN supplies flora for Duchas Newgrange, National Heritage Centre.

DBN supplies flora for Millennium Industrial Park, Naas.

DBN contracted to supply Luas line with site specific native local flora.

DBN start work on SEM50 collecting native flora and sowing embankments.

DBN supplies Duchas / Battle of the Boyne Field Second phase of project started 2001

June 2002 DBN attends opening of Irish Hunger Memorial Garden, to which we supplied advice, plants and seeds

DBN supplies flora for research project for UCD and Teagasc.

DBN supplied wildflowers and advice for the Award winning Celtic garden at The Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower show 2002

2002: Supplier to Battery Park City Irish Memorial Hunger Garden New York,

2001 update. ARLES National School wins National Schools gardening competition. DBN are the designers of the main feature in the school

2000 -2001; Sandro writes chapters in many publications such as Landscaping Landfill sites for the EPA.

2001 AND 2002: Client; Duchas: Supply seed mix for the Battle of the Boyne Heritage Fields

2001: Client; Duchas: Supplier of National Annual Gene Bank Seed Collections to Glenveigh National Park,

2001 Client; Duchas: Supply seed mix for Dundalk seaside reclamation and road project

Submissions; Green 2000, D.A.F. / Biodiversity, Cornflower Response.

2000: RTE Nationwide feature on business activities and saving species from extinction.

DBN attended many garden festivals in the 1990's to promote PC and ecological gardening

1999: Willow Design and DBN. Awarded Contract to Supply QVC TV St. Patrick's Day Irish Sales Day

Late 1990's design for Abbeyfeil public park. worked with community to develop riverside public park

Bord Bia (Horizons Food Marketing Trade Show 1997, with Images to represent Irelands 4 Billion food trade)

1997; Assisted European runner up 'Schools Wildlife Garden Project' with Cabinteely Girls School.

1997: Radio 1 Science and Technology Program on DBN and our roll in the business of Biodiversity.

1996: Products on Late Late Show Enterprise Program.

1996 Client; Old head of Kinsale Golf Course, after much debate we decided to take on a difficult job, under difficult circumstances, see the results for yourself, not properly maintained but species are surviving difficult conditions

1995 Client; Duchas: Sow roof garden, National Heritage Centre, Dunbonye, Co Meath at Newgrange. site left uncut


#1992: Co founder of Genetic Resources Trust, Irish Organic Growers & Alliance for Safety & Health. Anita Hayes of The Irish Seed Savers, Charlie Spillane and Sandro, Meet in Sandro's Home to prepare a talk on the importance of plant Biodiversity prior to the Rio Earth Summit The presentation (slides and a talk by Sandro) is brought to the Department of Agriculture. After the meeting the Genetic Resources Trust gets the official backing of the Department and the Trust is launched. The Dept' agree to move Sandro and all his plants into the Oakpark research station.

1990: Design By Nature Market Entry:

1988: Design By Nature Start Up. R&D Phase. National Collection of wildflowers is made of over 180 different useful species all tested in the gardens of many patrons

1988: Design By Nature find EEC grant for the conservation of species and notifies Dr. Tom Curtis (wildlife Service) about 118,000 ECU. Trinity Collage's Botanical Department gets the grant, at the start of the Irish Genetic Resources Conservation Trust.

1988. Design with Dr. M. Tuberty for the First Irish Blue Flag Award in Ireland for Killiney Beach, South Dublin.

1988; The Cornflower Response is Published with assistance from V.E.C & Mr. Steven Rekab of the Sage.

Following publication of RED DATA Book Design By Nature alert public to the decline of native flora in Ireland. Design by Nature publishes (The Cornflower Response), The Conservation and Utilisation of Wild flora. Our Document of intent to work with native flora.

Galway Arts Festival Meadow parade.

Avondale Bark mulch Product Designer.

Wavin (Ire). First European outdoor Industrial Safety and Health landscape design.

The Wildflower & Environmental Outreach Education Service
Design by Nature's Wildflower Education and Training Service Catalogue.
Launched at 7th March 1987 with European Year of Environment 1987.
Funded By E.U. Environmental Training. 1990-92. Initial funding through SAGE, City of Dublin VEC. 1988,
Talk attendance and Trainees to date ; 34,000 , at Gardening Festivals & Clubs, to societies, senior level D.A.F. staff and most universities and horticultural collages including ANCO, FAS, VEC & Teagasc and botanical students.

Awards won by clients helped by EDUCAT;
Winners of Nations in Bloom (under 10000 Category),
Ford Conservation Awards,
NI Amenity Council Best Kept Award,
Ulster in Bloom,
Britain in Bloom, AIB Better Ireland.
1st E.U. Blue Ribbon Beech Award 1997-98
& Queen Mother's Birthday award ,
Trade; Blue Ribbon New Product Awards 1995, & 96,1998;
member of team receives E.U./VEC Adult Education Teaching Certificate.

1987 European Year of the Environment
Hosted the first Irish Permaculture course with R. Webb. and R. Smith.
Tutor Dan Hemingway
Course 3 weeks, covered Permaculture Design, LETS. Aquaculture Design. Forestry, Sustainable landscape planning, Urban Gardening and much more. Introduction of Lets, wildflower growing, Permaculture & Green Cities To Ireland.

1986 Co founder of Irish Organic Growers. I resigned the day it started after 5 years working to promote it.

1984 Sandro and Rhonda Smith start selling organic compost and designing nature Friendly gardens.

1983 - Co founder of Alliance for Safety & Health. Sandro produces first ever report on the toxic chemical industry of Northern Ireland and identifies toxic dumps. Report presented at the first meeting of Alliance for Safety & Health at UCC.

1980 -1981 Anti-Uranium Mining activist.

1978 -1981 Anti-nuclear activist at Carnsore festival.


wildflower motorways

2013 - 2016 M9 Carlow By-Pass Motorway Project: During 2010, the NRA, Kildare Co Co and their agents returned to the landscape completion of the M9 Carlow By Pass Motorway.

Posted over 10 years ago (1 comments)

2013 update Cornflower response on irish TV and web cast. also Open Day on Farm

Our work is being featured on Irish TV and at 2013 Gathering Ireland

Posted over 11 years ago (1 comments)

The Anarchist Irish Ecological Permaculture Designer

Spotted By Bill Mollison and Sandy Percival in the early days, for my work. Richard Webb and I , Hosted the First Irish permaculture course in the early days.

Posted over 13 years ago (1 comments)
My Badges
My Permaculture Qualifications
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Dan Hemenway
Location: Dublin
Date: Mar 1986
Other course verified
First Irish Permaculture course
Type: Teacher Training
Teacher: Dan Hemenway
Location: Dublin
Date: Mar 1987
Other course unverified
Permacultre with Bill Mollison
Type: Teacher Training
Teacher: Bill Mollison
Location: Bristol City farm
Date: Jan 1986

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