Graham Wood - Educator Profile


So a bit about me - for over 20 years I'd been a Management Consultant specialising in Business Process and Sustainability where I was unknowingly applying the permaculture ethics and using very similar methodologies and tools.
In 2012 on my 60th birthday I started to think about what I'd do when retired from work. This got me to thinking about my life style and things I'd like to do with our land if I only had the time. Over the following 2 years there were several embryonic half baked ideas on what I'd like to do, but then in 2014 I was introduced to Permaculture, resulting in doing a PDC and then onto my journey to getting a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design.
As a result since 2014 I've been working full time as a Permaculture Designer in the domain of social resilience, building sustainability, and facilitating localised grass roots change.

I’m lucky enough to have 2 acres next to our home in rural Cheshire UK that’s known locally as Acres Wood. Its where I was able to teach my three sons and their friends to hunt, fish, forage and learn basic survival skills, and now somewhere I can experiment with the practical application of permaculture. For me Permaculture can be seen as a tool-kit that you can use to make a positive difference to the world around you, and can use the best from many disciplines to achieve our aims, in that way I've successfully used the high tech through to "old country law" with good effect, just because I don't understand why and how it works does not stop me from using it.
So for me thinking in permaculture terms the localising of ethical food is more than just improving animal welfare, increasing availability and shortening supply chains it should also be about our own resilience from self-sufficiency as a local community across all elements of food production and consumption, and to include our fuel and water for the if and when major change occurs.

I've always wanted to help build in sustainability and resilience to our local area so I've taken on the role of change agent, coach and mentor of green small business start-ups, and managing implementation of sustainability projects using permaculture methods.
I'm interested in helping people into "right livelihoods" and establishing local green businesses, also in integrating Aquaponics with Permaculture and engaging schools and young people in where food comes from and how they can grow their own in urban areas.
I also teach Aquaponics courses and promote Aquaponics as a viable solution to be used in urban agriculture and the drive to localise ethical food production with Sustainable Green business.
What is a Sustainable or Green business, its an enterprise that has minimal negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society, or economy—a business that strives to meet the triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit all living in harmony. Enabling us to live in a regenerative environment (MORE than just sustaining, going further and THRIVING) people, planet, and profit must be balanced.
So for me a Permaculture Business is a financially viable trading entity that fulfils a real community need, delivers social benefits and has beneficial, or at least neutral, environmental impacts.
Well as I often say “if you're not part of the solution, may be you're the problem!”

Qualifications and skills

Certified Qualifications:

  • AET (Award in Education and Training) - Adult Education Teaching Certificate - 2015
  • Diploma in Advanced Permaculture Design - 2015 ongoing
  • Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) - 2014
  • Design of Sustainable Business - 2003-04
  • Business Process Modelling (lATS1 & ATS2) ARIS – 2001
  • Business Process Simulation (Advanced) ARIS – 2001
  • PRINCE2 Managers – 1997
  • First Aid at Work - 1995
  • ISO9000 Auditor - 1994
  • MBTI (assessment use ATK) – 1993
  • Food Safety Cert - 1992
  • SDI Psychometrics diploma - 1992
  • Activity Based Costing (Exec Course) – 1990
  • Management Cost Accounting (Exec Course) – 1989
  • Laboratory Technology C&G - 1969-71

Many short courses including:

  • Introduction to Keeping Chickens - 2018
  • Limits of Lean Agriculture – 2017
  • Commercial Aquaponics Design & Business Planning #4 – 2016-17
  • Small Farm Profitability – 2016
  • Forest Garden Design - 2015
  • Portrait Photography - 2014
  • Aquaponics Theory & Practice #L4 - 2014
  • Lean Canvas Business Modelling - 2014
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse Design - 2013
  • e-Ccommerce for New Business - 2013
  • Hydroponics for Food Production - 2011
  • Digital Photography - 2010
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse Design - 2009
  • Plant Propagation (RHS) - 2007
  • Therapeutic Massage (Intro) - 2005/7
  • Aromatherapy & Essential Oils (basics) - 2004
  • Emergency First Aide - 2001
  • Manufacturing Excellence (advanced ATK7) – 1992
  • First Aid at Work - 1990
  • Self-Sufficiency - 1976-77


Skills, technical expertise and areas of interest: 

Skills, technical expertise:

  • Aquaponics Design (I also run short courses on this)
  • Facilitation and Project Management
  • Edible Garden Design and implementation
  • Creating sustainable and resilient livelihoods (I also run short courses on this).
  • Mentoring start-up businesses
  • Emergency First Aide
  • Growing edible and useful perennial plants
  • Vermicomposting
  • Hedge-laying
  • Scything
  • Woodworking
  • Archery
  • Cider and Wine Making
  • Blacksmithing
  • Coracle Building
  • Hunting and Trapping
  • Basic Butchery
  • Upcycling - how to reuse almost everything
  • Building Construction & Maintenance
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse Design

Areas of Interest:

  • Uplands water management
  • Permaculture and mental illness
  • Mental Health First Aide
  • Agroforestry
  • Transition Towns
  • Dyslexia
  • Food Forest
  • Producing and harvesting food naturally
  • Woodland management
  • No dig gardening
  • Low maintenance and low cost gardening


Areas of Permaculture Design Experience: 

Teaching Introduction to Permaculture courses incorporating an extra module on Aquaponics in Permaculture.

Designing an edible garden for our primary school.

Community resilience and sustainability via Transition.

Variety of Permaculture and enterprise development projects.

Reablement - getting patients out of institutionalised hospital care and back into their own homes.


Teaching Information
Offering teaching in the following geographical areas
Being based in Cheshire I mostly run a wide variety of courses at C.A.S.T - Community Aquaponics Smallholding & Training Facility. I've also taught on PDCs in North West England and North Wales. But I'm willing to travel almost anywhere in the UK if the engagement is interesting and worthwhile. ----------------------------------

Please contact me for details.

[email protected]