Frequently Asked Questions

What can i expect from the weekend?

 

What time does it start and finish?

Friday 9th September start time: 2pm
Sunday 11th September end time: 3pm
If you are able to stay on for a short while after lunch on the Sunday we would greatly appreciate help packing down the event. 
 

How do I get there?

All information about how to get to Hill End Activity Centre can be found here.
A shuttle bus will run from Oxford City Centre on Friday and Sunday. In addition, a shuttle bus will run in the morning and evening between Hill End and Vally Farm campsite for people staying in a campervan. 
 
Are dogs allowed?
Only assistance dogs are allowed onsite.
 

Is there disabled access?

The site has a network of paths that will be navigable by wheelchairs and other mobility devices. All main workshop spaces can be accessed by wheelchairs, except the Bushcraft Shelter. There are disabled loos in the campsite, in staff block by marquee, in Robinson dorm and in Blue Dragon (one of the venues). Some of the dorm buildings are not accessible by wheelchair due to the topography of site and age of buildings. 
 

What activities do you have for children?

We have a Children’s programme staffed by volunteers with appropriate DBS checks in place. The volunteers run an activity programme based around permaculture, crafts, outdoor education and games. 
 
Some of the practical hands-on workshops onsite are suitable for children as well as adults.
 
For younger children, Hill End is an activity centre with lots of outside space and opportunity to run about freely. They are very welcome to join the childrens programme and practical workshops but we understand younger children may need to dip in and out. 
 

Is there any childcare available onsite?

You can leave children 5 and over with our children's area staff during the times the children's programme runs. 
 
All children need to be collected at lunchtime and at the end of the day.- usually around 1pm and 5.30pm respectively. 
 
We don’t provide childcare for toddlers or babes-in-arms onsite. All children remain the responsibility of their parents/ guardians at all times.
 

My children need to eat earlier, can you provide food at different times for children?

Unfortunately, main meal times are set and cannot be moved. There is a cafe selling healthy snacks, soft drinks, etc, which is open throughout the day and into the early evening. We would advise you bring some extra food for children if this is likely to be needed.
 

Can I join online?

After 2 years of online events, we understand how much more accessible an online event can be. As a parent of two small children, personally, I have relished in ‘joining in’ virtually where previously I would have struggled to attend.
As an organisation, we have committed to one national face-to-face event and one international online event each year. In November, the EU Permaculture Community Forum will take place over a week featuring speakers from across Europe and this will be an online event. 
 
We are also planning a series of monthly online campfire sessions starting in early 2023 which will feature a range of topics and speakers and will be free to all members. 
 
For this year’s Festival of Permaculture, we are not able to offer a blended event with online sessions. It requires a great deal of logistical planning to capture in-person sessions when most of the workshops are outside or in a marquee. We are a small team and we just don’t have the capacity or the technical kit to offer blended sessions. 
Feedback from previous Convergences was less of a focus on ‘speakers’ and more of a focus on practical workshops. Our programme this year will reflect a hands-on, in-person, activity-based weekend. 
 

Is food included? When can we eat?

We provide the following meals as part of the ticket price.
Friday Dinner 
Saturday Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Sunday Breakfast, Lunch
 

Where do we eat?

Food is served from the appropriately named ‘Cookhouse’ which is situated on the main plaza at Hill End. You can choose to eat on one of the many picnic benches or tables provided or take food away. There is a large marquee in case of bad weather.
 
Eating together is a feature of Convergences and a great way to connect with friends old and new.
 
Meal Times are:
 
Breakfast: 7.30-9am
Lunch: 12.45-1.45
Dinner: 7-8.30pm 
 

What if I can't eat the food on offer?

When purchasing a ticket, please provide details of your dietary requirements and we will try to ensure this is accommodated for. All food is vegan though some meals have additional extras such as cheese available as an option. No meat is served onsite though you’re welcome to bring and cook your own on a camping stove if you wish.
 

Can I buy other food and drink if I want to? 

A cafe and bar are open throughout the weekend serving tea, coffee, soft and alcoholic drinks available to purchase. We also sell a selection of cakes, biscuits and healthy snacks to keep you going between meals. 
 

Can I bring my own food? Is there a kitchen available?

You are very welcome to bring your own food, however the kitchen will be reserved for use by our wonderful catering team. If you would like to bring a camping stove, this can be used in the camping area. 
 

What do I need to bring?

We will send out an attendee pack via email in August which provides a list of everything to bring with you. We ask that everyone bring their own plate, bowl, knife, fork,  spoon and mug as we think the best way to reduce waste is to reuse!
 

When can I arrive and set up camp?

If you have purchased a ticket you can arrive onsite from 2pm on Friday 9th September. Crew and volunteers are able to arrive earlier as per specific instructions provided. 
 

Are there any rules in the camping area?

No amplified music can be played in the campsite at any time. No drumming is allowed. There is a communal fire provided for musicians and we welcome you to bring instruments along and gather here.
After 9pm, please be respectful of other campers when accessing and egressing the campsite, especially after a night at the bar! 
There is a quiet camping area and a family camping area specifically provided for those seeking peace and/or those with children.
 

Can I bring a firepit?

We are afraid not. No firepits other than those provided are allowed at Hill End.
 

What entertainment is there in the evening?

After dinner there is space for wind-down and conversation. For people who like a little more action we have a range of evening entertainment from comedians to theatrical performances to DJs and acoustic music. See our programme for more information. 
 

Why do I have to pay for a campervan pass?

The camper vans will be parked at Valley Farm campsite. We hire an additional field as we are not able to park the campervans alongside the tents at Hill End. Valley Farm Campsite is 400m from Hill End but there is a shuttle bus provided to help you get back and forth.
 

I am having issues paying for my ticket, what should I do?

We have the option of paying by card payment or Paypal. If neither of these work, we can arrange payment by bank transfer. If you have any issues at the point of checkout please contact our support team.