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. The presentation at this year's convergence will be based on that work.

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.

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 is community gardener from Canada dedicated to bringing creativity to the permaculture movement by creating free open source learning and teaching tools. He has completed a PDC, Diploma and Masters Degree with Bill Mollison and has done more than 26 advanced courses and teacher trainings with Permaculture Pioneers across the planet. He is a Field Mentor through the Permaculture Institute and an accredited teacher through the Permaculture Research Institute and the Permaculture Association. Delvin first came over to the UK in 2015 to take a Teacher Training, Dynamic Facilitator and Social Permaculture course with Looby. Since then he has been doing his Permaculture Diploma with her mentorship in its third year. He returned in 2017 to do a Facilitator’s Training with Looby, the beginning of a year long design process, currently underway. Delvin and Looby have been collaborating with the creation of articles, videos and many media productions that are shared globally. Looby will visit Canada in September of 2018 to co-facilitate with Delvin on a Cultural Emergence Design Web course.

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.

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.

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.

Barbara Scheltus

"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."


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.

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.