I am a tutor at Coppicewood College Cilgerran, teaching adults as part of a small team: coppicing, green wood working, charcoal making, pole lathing and hedge laying – all with hand tools. I also set up and now run a Forest School called Earth play from Coppicewood & I recently have worked with a NEETs group for Tir Coed. I have a varied and rich history of community involvement and action. I was involved with community arts for 14 years and developed therapeutic and life changing work with a wonderful team specialising in work with people with learning difficulties. I also helped to set up a community forest garden, introducing school children and local people to this unique bio-diverse environment. People could come and connect together, learn, eat and be in nature – enjoying and experiencing nature’s abundance. We are now creating our second community forest garden. I have also managed a small charity for 11 years in human rights and campaigning.
Why are you drawn to this area of work?
Becoming sustainable and living in line with our wonderful planet’s resources is paramount for us all and it could satisfy an array of our human needs like: fun, empowerment, connecting to others, cooperation, communication, feeling valued and doing something meaningful. I have been a mentor enabling groups of people to become active participants in their local services, government and Welsh government contributing to policy and change. I have also trained as a person centred plannning facilitator and I have learned lots of techniques that can enable: voices to be heard, ideas to emerge, realistic plans to be created and made understandable by all (including the means to affect change locally). I want to be a part of a world where locally we can create and make things happen.
What is your vision for your region in 2050?
Lots of food grown locally and organically by local people. Forest gardens in every village. A large percentage of energy produced, stored and accessed locally. Woodlands planted and coppiced, people learning to maintain them sustainably for fire wood, wooden items they need and charcoal. The woollen industry invigorated. Development and use of other plants like hemp for materials. Lots of joined up education so children and adults learning about how to live sustainably, and to grow and make the things they use and need. Low cost, low carbon, very sustainable housing made from resources which could be local – fleece, straw, wood, etc and with big gardens. Reduction of all chemicals harmful to the environment. Excellent local and national government with excellent processes so that it’s not about individuals but welfare of the environment and people. Reduction in all pollutants. A cap on all activity which degrades the environment in any way. Empowered people.