My background is in regenerating land, natural building and creative thinking. For 10 years I’ve been running training courses from my smallholding, drawing on the principles of wild thriving ecosystems to restore biodiversity, establish microclimates and create productive food systems. I enjoy to work with diverse groups, discovering common ground and effective practical solutions to the challenges of our times. I use the permaculture design process to encourage people to link their projects to the landscape and ecosystems around them.
Last year, I compiled all I’ve learnt through teaching and from the land, into a practical workbook, the Permaculture Design Companion, as a step by step guide for integrating people and places. I am fluent in a range of techniques to help us weave resilience into our plans, through ecologically sound choices, including different perspectives and by finding ways to maintain our energy and enthusiasm.
Collaborating with Renew is a great resource for grassroots groups to share knowledge and experience and cultivate shared understanding: together we are stronger.
Why are you drawn to this area of work?
I am drawn to this work because I am inspired by the power of good people making a difference in the world. All my adult life I’ve been involved in sustainability, from policy and campaigning, to food growing, repair of ecosystems and off-grid living.
I aim to share all I’ve learnt to help like minded projects thrive and I am keen to learn from other people on the same path. I’ve helped diverse projects incorporate permaculture design thinking into their activities, ranging from an artists co-op to Dublin City Farm. This has included designing and set up of a community garden, advising on educational materials, and writing successful funding bids to get projects started.
I’ve helped groups through report writing and research, e.g. articulating their wealth of experience and matching this to relevant policy objectives. I’ve loved working with a number of groups on finding common ground, identifying their strengths and skills and sharing this inspiration with other projects. Recently, I mentored the local Youth Climate Action Strike group to get a clear vision to communicate to PCC and advised on creative ways they might express their concerns.
What is your vision of your region in 2050?
My positive vision for 2050 is a world where communities and ecosystems thrive. We get there by valuing places, people and ourselves. Wildlife corridors will weave through town, village and countryside, reversing the tide of species extinction. Birds, mammals and insects cross the land unseen to find food and romance under the cloak of night. Fields are rich in diverse crops and agroforestry techniques retain our precious soils and water, whilst woodlands calm the extremes of weather. Trading is simple and flexible for local producers.