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.


Andy Goldring is Chief Executive of the Permaculture Association, a post he has held since 1999. He is currently working on a series of international network building projects including: the European Permaculture Network; Ecolise (Transition Towns, Ecovillage Networks, Permaculture and other Community Led Sustainability initiatives); and the Permaculture Co-Lab – an initiative that seeks to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of local to global permaculture networks.

In 2018, Andy submitted an entry to the Global Challenges Foundation's $5M 'New Shape' prize, to develop his thinking about strategy for the global permaculture network. 2702 people entered and 14 made it to the final, including Andy.

Andy lives in Yorkshire and is an active teacher and designer and contributor to local initiatives including Leeds Love it Share It CIC, Feed Leeds and the Leeds Permaculture Network. He cycles to work, tends a small garden and lives with his family in a retrofitted Victorian terraced house.

Andy has worked on several projects and working groups with both Chris and Looby over the last 15 years. Looby collaborated closely with Andy when she was trustee and chair of the Permaculture Association between 2001 and 2006. Chris has been involved with the LAND project and international working groups.

I'm really looking forward to returning to Applewood again this year. A beautiful site, wild and productive, with wonderful people at its heart, Chris, Looby and family. I've worked with them both over the years and hugely respect their work, so its going to be very exciting to teach, learn and facilitate with them again within the realm of cultural emergence.

Andy Goldring

Since 2004 he has taught over 80 two-week design courses, something he has no intention of stopping. He feels that it's a privilege to have the opportunity to teach "something that can make a real difference in all our lives". In the spring of 2012 Permanent Publications published his first book 'Permaculture Design - a Step-by-Step Guide', which evolved from a set of design course worksheets. Aranya is currently writing a second book, about a subject he’s especially fascinated by, the application of systems thinking and patterns in permaculture design.

Learn Permaculture

Aranya has been collaborating with Looby and Chris over the last 17 years. We have been part of a leading teaching partnership, Designed Visions since 2004. We have co-facilitated many Permaculture Design Courses and Training of Teachers courses over the years. More recently Looby and Aranya have created a new course Learning the language of systems and patterns, which reflects their current specialisms and passions. Aranya will be back at Applewood in 2019 for an Observation and Mapping course.

Delvin Solkinson

Delvin Solkinson is a community gardener, student and teacher from British Columbia, Canada. Serving as the Diploma Program Co-ordinator for the Permaculture Institute includes supporting people to do advanced design work over 2-5 year periods. Currently living and working at CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, Delvin is in the art ministry where he co-facilitates the Visionary Permaculture program with his beloved wife Grace. They collaborate to create free learning and teaching tools, write articles and make videos.

Completing a PDC, Diploma and Masters Degree with Bill Mollison, Delvin has also done 13 advanced courses and 13 teacher trainings with Permaculture Pioneers across the planet. Life long learning included a PDC with Rosemary Morrow in Greece and Toby Hemenway in Portland as well as a Diploma through the Permaculture Institute.

Over five years he did an experimental Doctoral Degree with mentorship of Larry Santoyo and Delvin currently pursues a Post-Doc in Permaculture Education through the Permaculture Academy. Serving as a Field Mentor through the Permaculture Institute, Diploma Tutor with Permaculture Association and an accredited teacher through the Permaculture Research Institute, Delvin continues to learn and to teach.

A permaculture pilgrimage to the UK in 2015 included a Teacher Training, Dynamic Facilitator class, and Social Permaculture course with Looby Macnamara. This began a five year Diploma with her as a Tutor including returning to the UK in 2017 to take her Cultural Emergence Facilitator’s Training (FIT). Looby visited Canada in September of 2018 to co-facilitate a Cultural Emergence Effective Design (CEED) course with Delvin. Since then they have collaborated on cards, book projects, and videos. Delvin has taken numerous online courses with Looby and has been on the facilitation support team for online CEED courses.

Free resources, downloads, videos and podcasts can be found at and

Applewood shares permaculture in a positive and profound way, planting the seeds for visitors to bring inspiration and practical applications of permaculture home to their lives and landscapes. Exploring the new creative edge of permaculture design methods and process, Applewood shares both the visionary work of Looby Macnamara and the foundational work of permaculture pioneer Chris Evans in a balanced transmission that can help unlock peoples potential. Visiting and learning at Applewood has brought great joy, passion and evolutionary learning into my life. Learning from Looby and Chris has given so much benefit to my life and work, I feel a debt of gratitude for all the upgrades and unlocks that I have been gifted by my relationship to Applewood and the amazing community that works, plays and grows together there.

Delvin Solkinson
Gisele Henriques is a food security and livelihoods specialist with 15 years experience in, supporting the work of local organizations, social movements and communities in Brazil, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Indonesia and Timor Leste, amongst others. She is currently the resilient livelihoods adviser for CAFOD, supporting programs in resilient agriculture and livelihoods, particularly social enterprise and local economic development. She previously worked with CIDSE in Brussels, lobbying the EU and FAO where she was an active member of the civil society mechanism (CSM) of the UN Committee on World Food Security at the FAO in Rome. She has a Masters in Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley as well as an MA in International Area Studies with a focus on small holder food producers and appropriate technology adaptation in Africa. Gisele has been inspired by permaculture for the last 15 years, doing her Permaculture Design Course in Thailand with the Panya Project; and since, receiving her permaculture teacher training certificate with Rosemary Morrow. She actively participates in various initiatives in London and Portugal on permaculture and frequently weaves her permaculture skills into her development work.

Helena von Bothmer is a gardener and permaculture designer. She took her PDC course in 1992 and diploma in 1998. Since then she has been working with the project and operation at Kosters Trädgårdar, which she initiated with her husband in 1995. Helena arranges and co- creates permaculture courses (PDCs) in Sweden and Norway. And she is now eager to expand the venue and herself into the social field of permaculture.

Helena has completed the year long People and Permaculture Facilitator Training with Looby and Peter Cow. Through this course Helena and Looby have developed a deep friendship and mutual respect. Looby is delighted to visit Helena and her venue to co-facilitate together.


Jon Young is the founder of the 8 Shields Institute. He is an acknowledged expert on mentoring especially with respect to deep nature connection and culture. Jon was mentored himself by numerous Native Elders from traditional cultures of Europe, Africa and North America; he also has been mentored by practitioners of music, martial arts, life-coaching, health & wellbeing, and business. Jon is an inspirational storyteller who has been invited all over the world to share his vision of a truly regenerative and peaceful world. Jon is author of What the Robin knows, and co-author of Coyote's Guide to connecting with nature. Jon’s current projects are geared to manifest the vision of humans returning to balance with the natural world and one another.

 Jon and Looby have been collaborating since 2016. They have been working together to emerge new tools and wisdom with the Cultural Emergence toolkit. Over the last 18 months, Looby has also been mentoring the 8 Shields Institute to use the Design Web to support their restructuring and expansion. They have co-taught together with the Cultural Emergence Leadership Training, and online Cultural Emergence Design course and the Activating Cultural Emergence module in the US in 2018.

 The spirit of this land is healing

John Young
Maddy Harland co-founded Permanent Publications in 1990 and Permaculture magazine in 1992 which she still edits. She is author of Fertile Edges – Regenerating Land, Culture and Hope. Maddy helped set up The Sustainability Centre in 1995, a former Naval base, now a thriving educational charity on the South Downs in Hampshire, UK where she is on the Board of Trustees. Maddy is also a founder of Gaia Education. She is a Visiting Knowledge and Exchange Fellow of the University of Winchester and an advisor to Common Earth, a Commonwealth initiative to reverse climate change.  She has a passion for regenerative food forests and wilderness. Maddy and Looby have been collaborating with the publishing of Looby’s books and articles for many years. This connection has developed into facilitating together, in particular Maddy and Looby have a passion for creating safe, nurturing, empowering women’s spaces. More recently Maddy has been invited to contribute to the Cultural Emergence project as a wisdom keeper who has been deeply involved in developing and sharing tools for regenerative cultures as well as regenerative landscapes through her extensive work in permaculture.

Applewood is a very beautiful place, a rural retreat where I can relax, engage in deep learning and connect intimately with the natural world. I love the dynamic flexibility of working with Looby as it allows for a creative, emergent process where new understandings and insights can emerge for all involved.


Peter is an international Permaculture teacher, designer and mentor, with a specialism in social and personal regenerative design. He has been teaching and facilitating Permaculture courses since 2007, and now leads PDCs, introductory and specialised courses around Europe and the tropics. He is passionate about co-creating temporary immersive community learning experiences, and their power to transform and empower people - connecting participants to nature, themselves and the wider community. Peter is a cutting edge and heartfelt trainer and facilitator.

Peter has been collaborating with Looby since 2013, and they have run several courses together including Design immersion weeks and 4 year long People Permaculture Facilitator Trainings. They enjoy designing and developing new courses together that bring forth people’s gifts and allow their genius to shine.

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

Tomas has been working in permaculture since 1997. He is author of Forest Gardening in Practice. Over the years he has designed and helped to create private and communal gardens, commercial and amenity woodlands, wildlife reserves and ecological restoration sites. He has taught many courses in permaculture and related subjects, both in the UK and across Europe. He works in a participative way whether with a private client, a community group or a commercial or public sector client. Where possible, he integrates training into any consultancy, to empower people to make their own management decisions and take control of the maintenance of their site or project. Tomas has co-facilitated with Looby and Chris on Permaculture Design Courses and the Training of Teachers at Applewood. He lives close to Applewood Permaculture Centre and has plenty of connections both professionally and socially with Looby and Chris.

I always enjoy teaching at Applewood. It is a great site, and Looby and Chris are excellent hosts and trainers.

Tomas Remiarz

Barbara lives and gardens at Bogata Suma. Barbara has taken the year long People and Permaculture Facilitator's Training with Looby and Peter Cow in 2017. During this training she has completed many designs and is wildly enthusiastic about the Design Web and it's power for bringing direction and manifesting change.

She took her Permaculture Design Course with Rosemary Morrow and has participated in various other permaculture courses and workshops with Mark Shepard, Rakesh Rootsman Rak and others.

All this knowledge she uses in her life, on her homestead and future nut farm Bogata Suma.

For me Applewood is a magical place because of the transformations that happen here. There is an abundance of 'tools' to receive and to learn to apply.
I love to co-facilitate with Looby because she stretches my edges in a gentle way, and she helps me grow - as a teacher and as a person. What more do you wish for in life...

Barbara Scheltus

Anne-Marie works on the interface between agriculture and nutrition and is passionate about sustainable solutions for both. She works for international organizations on research, evaluation, design, documentation of nutrition programmes and policy. She is presently designing and implementing research to bring nutrition and sustainable agriculture together.

She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Physiology and Biochemistry in 1981 from University of Southampton, UK and her Masters degree in Nutrition in 1987 from the University of London. In 1992 she carried out a Permaculture Design Course in Devon, UK. In 2004 she completed her PhD in International Nutrition with Soil Science and Epidemiology from Cornell University, USA. She has been working as a Nutritionist since 1987 in a wide variety of roles. During the 1990s she taught Permaculture design in the UK and Czech and Slovak republics.

She has worked for the Universities of London, Bristol, Leeds and Cornell as research assistant or research fellow on Nutrition research. She has worked for Save the Children in Ethiopia and as an international nutrition advisor for Concern Worldwide based in London with a supportive role for Nutrition activities in 4 countries. She has acted as Nutrition Consultant for Action Contre La Faim, Save the Children, Concern Worldwide and World Vision. She as also consulted with the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition and the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

She has carried out quantitative surveys related to the causes and consequences of malnutrition in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Mali and has also developed a special sampling system for nomadic pastoralists. Recent consulting work includes programme and policy analysis related to nutrition and agriculture. She carried out a complex evaluation of Health Systems in Zambia in 2008 as part of a 40 strong team and her role was nutrition, health education and promotion and environmental health aspects. In 2017 she worked with a team of evaluators for FAO on a strategic programme evaluation of Strategic Objective 1 (reduction of hunger and malnutrition). Operational Research projects include nutrition-sensitive Conservation Agriculture in Zambia, Operational Factors in Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Programming in Zimbabwe and a policy analysis in Malawi on Nutrition Policy. She has recently carried out case study with the Himalayan Permaculture Centre ‘Exploring, documenting and developing sustainable approaches to improving nutrition in the global south’.


I lived in Birmingham for the first thirty years of my life, working in places which required constant contact with people though training, recruitment, student support, sales and marketing and public relations. I met my partner and moved to my dads hometown of Shrewsbury twenty five years ago after qualifying as a primary teacher in Education, Art and design. I taught at a local school for several years and ran rugby and gardening clubs (not simultaneously!). I really enjoyed the curiosity of young minds and the creativity demanded of me to provide an engaging and safe learning environment.

After having four children I returned to college to study Horticulture so that I could propagate and grow edibles and ornamentals in our mature South facing garden, where the soil is fertile and a wealth of soft fruits and productive apple trees thrive. I enrolled on a year long Garden Design course in London at the end of my Horticultural Studies so that I could further develop the design element of outdoor spaces. I worked as a garden designer for ten years veering towards an organic approach and planted at Chelsea Flower Show with Olivia Kirk to create healing gardens, (three silver-gilts and two golds). In 2015, I found a course which encompassed teaching, horticulture and design. It was a year long Practical Sustainability Course at Shift Bristol lead by Sarah Pugh. The PDC was part of this programme.

I came across Applewood Permaculture Centre; which was closer to my home, in early spring 2017and completed the Training of Teachers course, the year long Facilitators course and the Activating Cultural Emergence Course. I have co facilitated Permaculture courses in Bristol, Cornwall, Shrewsbury and Hereford. I am currently an apprentice of the Diploma in Applied Permaculture and, am now part of the team at Applewood and a member of the Permaculture Association.

For me Applewood has a peace. It feeds me in nature, companionship and spirituality. Applewood provides a care and connection to all who visit. It reaches out and nurtures. The shared food is wholesome and nourishing, the dormitories are comfortable and there are plenty of spaces outside and in for times of contemplation. My favourite place is at the top of the bank. I sit with my back against the fence; where the wild brambles grow, and gaze across the valley to the opposite side where the ravens gather amongst the line of majestic Douglas firs which dominate the skyline.

Collaborating with Looby, Chris and Tomas is a positive enriching experience.There is an authenticity which I appreciate and I feel grounded when working with them and the support they offer. Applewood facilitators encourage collaborative effective experiences: the areas outside and inside provide warmth, light, opportunity and laughter

Lucy Walton

With an NGO background since the early 1990s, my experience spans both humanitarian and development sectors in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa. It was this engagement with the on-the-ground realities of those affected by ongoing political instability, social division and shattered infrastructure that first drew me to agroecology.

Since co-founding GardenAfrica in 2001, I have been co-developing innovative plant-based health and livelihoods approaches with researchers and NGOs, and farmers and civil society organisations to explore strategies that stimulate localised economic opportunity while navigating social-ecological complexity and change. Over this time, I have also established a solid track record in collaborative project design, implementation, management and monitoring, evaluation and learning.

Research Interests

Equitable resilience; participatory action research; political ecology; peacebuilding; critical pedagogy; people’s knowledge; bio-cultural diversity; rooted networks & collective agency; gender & power; disaster risk reduction; generative approaches to climate change adaptation.

My research is interested in the transformative potential of agroecological processes in fragile environments and, more particularly, in the social-ecological processes and relationships through which communities of practice may be more able to mobilise and shape change on their own terms to reduce attendant vulnerabilities. This has included the potential of agroecology to address forms of violence by supporting social farming and deliberative democratic processes framed around the co-management of resources. It has explored the extent to which small ‘non-movements’ employ non-threatening, practice-based co-generative processes not only to shape physical landscapes, but to negotiate social change by re-forging networks based on principles of reciprocity and trust. My research interests also involve understanding how participatory praxis helps us to link the socio-cultural, ecological and political dimensions, and acts as a bridging concept between peace formation, disaster risk reduction and/or climate change adaptation on one hand, and equitable resilience and epistemic and cognitive justice on the other.

To read more about Georgina and see some of her articles follow this link

Chris Johnstone is a leading specialist in the psychology of resilience who for more than three decades has run courses supporting empowered responses to global crisis. He has worked closely with Joanna Macy in this, co-authoring with her Active Hope, a book now translated into ten languages. His most recent book, Seven Ways to Build Resilience, was published in April 2019.

By background, Chris trained and worked as a medical doctor, first as a GP, then for many years in a specialist mental health team treating people with alcohol dependence. He's taught and written about how insights from addictions recovery can be applied to sustainability, including contributing a chapter about the psychology of change to The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins.

Chris has been a permaculture enthusiast since 1994, and over the last dozen years has taught 'inner design' on permaculture trainings, including PDC courses and the Bristol SHIFT course. He lives with his wife Kirsty on a very smallholding in the North of Scotland, run as a micro-market garden growing cut flowers, fruit and herbs. He also runs online courses for resilience and wellbeing at

His personal website is at

"I'm delighted to be working with Looby, who I've known for many years through our shared enthusiasm for the people-care dimension of permaculture, and the planet-care dimension of life.

I love the concept and practice of Cultural Emergence, seeing this as an essential life-affirming choice we can become more skillful in making, supporting and expressing. I'm looking forward to our time together, and with all those who join us, at the PEACE course in 2020".

Elizabeth Westaway is an international public health nutrition specialist, who has worked, since 1995, as a practitioner, researcher and consultant in academia, non-governmental organisations and the United Nations on health, nutrition, food security and agriculture projects in emergency and development contexts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. She has a PhD in International Development from the University of East Anglia, UK and interests in community-based nutrition, healthy and sustainable diets, food systems, food security, regenerative agriculture, permaculture, livelihoods, poverty reduction and advocacy. Elizabeth is currently on the steering group of A People’s Food Policy and Nottingham Good Food Partnership

Georgie is a charity founder and consultant with seven years’ experience in the international development sector. She has previously worked with non-profits and fair trade social businesses in East and Southern Africa: focusing primarily on children’s education, female empowerment, entrepreneurship and sustainable development.

Georgie’s interest in permaculture sparked during an internship with Permaculture Magazine in 2007 and she has been a contributor to the magazine ever since. She has volunteered on permaculture projects in eSwatini (Swaziland) and Nepal and, in 2017, completed her PDC with Chris and Looby at Applewood. In the same year, she became a founding member of the Permaculture for Development Workers course and has subsequently supported the delivery of several courses at Applewood.

Having previously lived in eSwatini and travelled throughout East and Southern Africa, and in Nepal, Georgie is now based back in the UK. She is currently working with a local domestic abuse charity, while studying for an MA in Education, Gender and International Development from UCL. Her research focus is on the relationship between education, gender and climate chaos. Georgie has a specific interest in the people care ethic of permaculture and how this can be applied to help us to do development better.

Lachlan McKenzie (Dip. Permaculture) has been immersed in permaculture since completing his PDC in 1994 in South Australia. After many years practicing, designing and studying in Australia, Lachlan went to Timor-Leste in 2001, working for 5 years with Timorese NGO Permatil and consulting for International NGOs providing trainings (including PDCs), writing curriculums, developing work plans, creating educational materials and demonstration sites. This culminated in co-writing and producing the Permaculture Guidebook from Timor-Leste in three languages. An accompanying bi-lingual Permaculture Facilitator’s Handbook and permaculture educational DVD were created working with IDEP Foundation in Bali and post-tsunami Aceh, Indonesia.

Lachlan has also worked in Australia, UK, France and Portugal, volunteering with Permaculture Association Britain and working with school gardens, community gardens and teaching permaculture courses.. He is a founding member of the International Permaculture Education Network (IPEN) project and co-author/co-manager for the new Tropical Permaculture Guidebook.

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.