I am a wife, mother of two adult children and nanna to Bodhi. I grew up in a rural village in Hertfordshire 20 miles north of London. I was lucky to have access to nature being surrounded by fields and trees. My parents were conventional farmers as was my grandfather. I missed the opportunity to be part of this experience being the youngest of my siblings.
My life was shaped by a violent, dysfunctional family, poor education due to bullying and struggling to learn, mental illness as a teenager and social exclusion as a result. I never settled into a career, not having any qualifications. Whilst having a young family I went to college part-time, gaining several qualifications and became a Mature Students Officer. I later became a victim of domestic violence which was to become another milestone in shaping my life. I started work in further education as a facilitator and lecturer, supporting and teaching marginalised groups and young offenders.
For most, these events would have sealed the story of their life. I recognised these challenges as being the symptoms to the current social system which is suppose to support us all. It is these issues and the source which perpetuates them, which have become the focus for my work as an activist, permaculturist and a permaculture eduator.
In 2009, whilst being on the committee of a local transition towns group, I discovered permaculture. Being part of this group was a step towards a more sustainable way of life. In 2010 I was made redundant from my further education role. This lead to a change in paradigm and in 2011, whilst still living in Hertfordshire, my husband and I bought a small plot of land in Devon. Here we developed our land-based skills and started to put into practice the theory of permaculture.
I attended my first permaculture course in Brighton in 2012. I took my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), in July 2013 with Aranya at Ourganics in Devon. My group experience led me to want to learn more about social Permaculture. I started my Diploma In Applied Permaculture Design in October 2013 and attended my first social permaculture course in November 2013.
In 2015 to 2020, I spent 5 years teaching permaculture and living off-grid in North West Devon, running a LAND (Learning and Network Demonstration), learner project and plant nursery called Wishtree. This was an experimental, small holding project, demonstrating applied permaculture design.
Living at Wishtree shifted my life into a different paradigm, changing and developing a strong sense of psychological resilience . During this time we set up a social enterprise, called North Devon Permaculture CIC, delivering permaculture education to individuals, preschools and community groups. Living off-grid came to an end when COVID affected our income and a family member indirectly died as a result of COVID itself. This left a vulnerable, elderly relative needing to be cared for. Regarding all of this, we adapted to change, sold Wishtree to another permaculturist, moved location and renamed the social enterprise to Wyld Edges.
We now teach permaulture education in urban settings, with community groups and organisations. Our new LAND learner project is a called Plot 163b. (Please see the LAND learner listing for more details)
I am an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person, the medical term is Sensory Processing Sensitivity).
YMHFA (Youth Mental Health First Aider)
Mental Health Peer Support (Trained with MIND)
I openly talk about my anxiety and depression and use permaculture to help me cope with its affects, this I translate into my teaching and how it can support Personal Resilience.
I am an Earth Protector, have signed up to the Stop Ecoside campaign.