I have worked as permaculture landscape designer and teacher for over 20 years. In 2006 I started a landscaping business, Edible Landscaping (www.ediblelandscaping.co.uk). As a landscape designer I work with a range of clients from private householders to housing associations to design sustainable, outwardly producing, client specific landscapes that combine beauty with functionality. Over the past 14 years I have delivered courses with Cardiff University’s Lifelong Learning programme, (Designing your Edible Garden, Designing a Community Garden, Full Permaculture Design Course and Practical Permaculture Gardening). I manage a one acre small holding which is productive for the household but simultaneously through techniques and design, provides a haven for wildlife. I am a host with Wwoof and Workaway and provide full board and training opportunities for volunteers from all over the world in exchange for help with the garden. With volunteer help we produce leafy veg for the household and for a local restaurant 12 months of the year, fruit for 10 months of the year, a large amount of summer veg, our own wood for fuel and bamboo for structures and eating. We also keep free range ducks and chickens. I am a director of UpFront Gardens CIC, which was formed in 2016, together with Liz Court and Helena Fox. In 2018 we launched a three year lottery funded project in Grangetown and Splott wards, called Growing Street Talk. This has the aims of growing food and increasing biodiversity in highly built up urban streets by working with street communities to develop their front gardens and create connections between neighbours. For more information please visit – www.facebook.com/GST.TSyS.
Why are you drawn to this area of work and/or how have you helped community groups take their first steps to action in the past?
I enjoy working with people to help them achieve their aims.
Over the years I have helped a number of groups with designing their outdoor spaces.
A few examples include:
- Caerau Market Garden (https://www.facebook.com/Caerau-Market-Garden-613304102077728/ )
- Coeden Fach Forest Gardening https://coedenfach.org.uk/
- Chapter Arts Centre Community Garden https://www.chapter.org/community-garden
- Adamsdown Community Garden http://www.greencityevents.co.uk/case-studies/edible-adamsdown/
What is your vision of your region in 2050? What will have changed and how will we have got there?
I would like to see:
- Strong connections between the various groups in Cardiff and Wales (possibly through an umbrella body(s) – leading to more efficient and effective use of individuals & groups time.
- Lots of people growing some of their own food and / or creating spaces for wildlife.
- Communities and individuals having access to land to grow their own food if they wish to.
- No such thing as unemployment – everybody in gainful, sustainable and meaningful employment. Lots of social and green enterprises that provide incomes and employment.
- A strong public and sustainable transport infrastructure. Investment in new roads has ceased.
- More healthy and fit people needing less access to remedial health care.