Introducing Our Collaborators

Having been involved in the permaculture movement for decades we have many friends who we work with. And we are fortunate to be able to collaborate with many highly experienced and respected facilitators from around the world. We are very grateful to them for all the shared wisdom, storytelling and laughter.


Starhawk is the author of The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups and 11 other books.  She brings forty or more years of experience with horizontal, co-creative organizing, facilitating, and teaching, a lifetime of experiences sometimes wonderful, sometimes horrific!  Her special interests are in working across the lines of diversity, and in helping groups learn the communication tools and interpersonal skills to navigate conflict.

Starhawk has co-facilitated with Looby a Social Permaculture course before the International Permaculture Convergence in 2015, with 50 people. They worked together again facilitating the Activating Cultural Emergence course in California in 2018. And this year we are happy to welcome Starhawk to Applewood Permaculture Centre to continue the Cultural Emergence journey.

So honoured and happy to be able to join you in this beautiful and nurturing place


The Applewood team

We are pleased to have the support and expertise of Emma and Mary as our cooks.

Emma Gorbutt has over 20 years of experience catering for vegetarian, vegan and specialist diets. From her early days working for Fiddleheadz, a French based vegetarian restaurant in Hull, to co-owning and running the Purple Penguin Vegetarian, Vegan and Organic Cafe which toured the UK, she has interspersed this with cooking delicious food at squat cafes, actions and camps. Emma has been vegan for over 24 years and has a wide knowledge of cooking great food for Gluten Free and other dietary restrictions and loves to cook with seasonal and locally grown ingredients. She is also happy to cook with dairy and eggs when needed and is most known for her wide repertoire of cakes and flapjacks!

Emma has recently taken on the additional role of Course Administrator and providing office support for Looby and Chris. She has done a variety of admin, financial and project work since 2001 for organisations such as the Permaculture Association, Scarman Trust, West Devon Borough Council and most recently for Earthworm Housing Co-op.

"I really appreciate my time here cooking at Applewood. Having access to home grown and wild foods right out side the shepherds hut kitchen, listening to bird song and experiencing the peace and tranquillity of cooking, so close to nature, makes my time here truly special. I take great pleasure in creating nourishing and nurturing food to support course participants in their learning and relaxation at Applewood. The connections that are created by sharing food, conversation and laughter last far longer than the meal itself, and I love being part of that experience.  I am excited to have broadened my role here at Applewood, to help grow and support the work of Looby and Chris. I love being part of our close knit team and that I get to work in such a beautiful place only 20 minutes up the road from where I live at Earthworm Housing Co-op. I am proud to be a part of Applewood and look forward to meeting the people I book onto the courses held here."


We would also like to think all the amazing, visionary photographers who have come on Applewood courses and whose images we have shared on our website. Thanks to Dana Wilson, Pete McCowen, Kathleen O'Hara and Olly Boon.