Off the Contour #18 – The Regrarians Platform Outlined

Off the Contour #18 – The Regrarians Platform Outlined

Since 2006 Regrarians Ltd. originator and co-founder Darren Doherty has developed what since 2012 is called the Regrarians Platform. This determines the broad topics that we address as part of our global strategy, trainings, consultancies & designs. The genesis of Regrarians Platform lays with that great Australian, the late P.A. Yeomans, and his renowned ‘Keyline Scale of Permanence’ of 1958 (i). The Regrarians Platform was created to determine from the outset priorities of development, their respective permanence and the order with which one puts together a design. Regrarians have broadened each elements’ emphasis to beyond the physical realms, changed headings here and there to better reflect our change in emphasis, and added 9. Economy & 10. Energy to Yeomans’ Scale so as to now include elements of capital return & energy efficiency.

The Regrarians Platform also includes insights from many other great ecological design & decision making systems around the world. These include the work of people such as Allan Savory of the Savory Institute and the Holistic Management movement (especially Kirk Gadzia & the late Bruce Ward), David Holmgren and Bill Mollison and others in the Permaculture Design movement, plus the likes of John & Nancy Jack Todd, Sim Van Der Ryn, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Art Ludwig, Colin Seis, Charlie Massy, Jairo Restrepo, Dr. Elaine InghamEthan Roland & Greg Landau and many, many others.

Regrarians consultations & trainings (including the #REX & #ROC) follow a process based on the Regrarians Platform.

1. Climate we thrash out the ‘rules of the engagement’ with respect to the ‘climate’ of the humans involved in a project whilst generating an understanding of what activities the biospheric climate broadly allows us to do. Core ethics and Holistic Management Goal formation and decision making come to the fore in this study of the climate of a project’s proponents.

2. Geography involves an analysis of aerial, topographic and other mapping together with a rounded understanding of the geography of the area of the project to bring a localised context to its enterprise.

3. Water makes things possible and we spend a lot of time on water in our consults & trainings in order to bring ‘Water under Control’ (ii) making it ‘Do its Duties’ (iii) and leave in a better condition than when it arrived.

4. Access is something that people often don’t get right whether it be on the largest or smallest and the analysis of 2. Geography and 3. Water helps us define these arteries of movement and their engineering.

5. Forestry systems are broad in their type and we see nearly all economic landscapes as being part of forest complexes of a myriad of natural and created forms and in the Regrarians Platform these are defined (as are their placement) by points 1-4.

6. Buildings are often expensive pieces of infrastructure that require detailed planning and engineering however in the Regrarians Platform the integrated placement of these structures is very much determined by the points above it on the scale. The placement of

7. Fences as relatively fixed infrastructure has been a hallmark to our domestication of so many species, particularly livestock. The historic costs and application of this infrastructure has been both high and fixed and now with the advent of electric fencing has revolutionised our ability to manage landscapes, following much more natural patterns of topography and animal behaviours.

8. Soils are a great focus however we need to take care of the whole to support the foundation and we spend a lot of time on determining the most cost-effective treatments for soil regeneration out of the many that exist.

9. Economy is especially driven by analysis of 1. Climate and 2. Geography along with all of the other points on the Regrarians Platform scale. This analysis and the planning that comes from it drives the economic engine of the various capital (iv) flows that, like soils, are fragile and yet found the basis to regenerative development of the whole.

10. Energy systems are vital pieces to driving all of the elements that drive any system. Regrarians places a lot of store organising a foundation of energy systems that regenerate rather than atrophy however we do this mindful of the cost-benefits to doing so though this is always changing for the better we need to be realistic with what various energy processing systems can do and for how much.


Concerns the various climates of an enterprise, be they Human or Biospheric. Effectively these climates create ‘the rules of the game’ in the application of the Regrarians Platform.


The ‘board game’ in the Regrarians Platform. The Geography of a place implies it place in the region along with the physical elements with which it interacts and includes topography, demography & geology.


The water an enterprise has available to it is relatively fixed. We should be concerned with how we make the best use of what’s available and use the Climate & Geography (& capital) as best we can in order to maximise the use of this critical resource.


Roads, Tracks & Lanes are very permanent features in landscapes. Their placement defines our movement and should integrate the all of the elements we use these connective pathways with.


Perennial woody plant systems are vital, productive and overarching elements in any landscape. Their assemblies can be complex in their outcomes & their placement is critical to support & provide for other systems.


An array of structures on any holding are necessary to make the artificial sedentary production systems that humans call agriculture possible. Placement and design should follow that of other elements especially Climate, Geography, Water & Access.


How we subdivide our landscapes should follow the lines of other more permanent elements. We should concentrate our efforts on using the most flexible of fencing infrastructure in order to accommodate the changing opportunities and yields that occur in the landscape.


Easily destroyed and fortunately easily created, soils are the foundation to the economy of life. Management is the critical to the development & maintenance of soils. The soil’s protection is enhanced by considering other elements, particularly Water, Forestry & Fences.


The analysis of the market & access to it has never been easier. The difficulty remains in the terms of trade, particularly with regards compliance, though slowly the tide is turning as humans are incredibly enterprising, adaptable & difficult to quell.


Nothing is as fleeting as a photon of light and the primary role of humanity must be to enhance photosynthesis at every opportunity & encourage its positive side-effects, with nearly all energy system that humans access originating from the sun.

i. Yeomans, P.A., The Challenge of Landscape, 1958, Keyline Publishing, Sydney, Australia
ii. Yeomans, P.A., 3CR Radio Interview, 1979, 3CR, Melbourne, Australia
iii. Mollison, Bill, pers. comm., 1995, Tyalgum, Australia
iv. Roland, Ethan & Landau, Greg, Regenerative Enterprise, 2013, New York, USA (in print)

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