Teachers

Our course locations vary greatly climatically, culturally and geographically. On site we have people with specialist knowledge to share with students. This could vary widely from medicinal plant knowledge in natural forest environments to alternative economics to how to build traditional clay ovens, rocket stoves or eco-buildings.

George Christofis – Lead Facilitator

Born and raised in SE Asia, George’s appreciation for nature was honed over years of long and thoughtful observation of the subtropical country parks of Hong Kong, where he was involved with the environmental movement from a young age. He has been studying permaculture for the last 10 years, having found in it a brilliant framework for environmental action. In 2014 he started the teaching group Circle Permaculture which partners with farms and ecological education sites to run well-organised Permaculture Design Certificate courses. He is on the Certifying Teachers Register of the Permaculture Association UK. Aside from teaching, he is a long term practitioner of yoga and meditation, a poet and songwriter, slackliner and avid hiker.

George Christofis – Lead Facilitator

Born and raised in SE Asia, George’s appreciation for nature was honed over years of long and thoughtful observation of the subtropical country parks of Hong Kong, where he was involved with the environmental movement from a young age. He has been studying permaculture for the last 10 years, having found in it a brilliant framework for environmental action. In 2014 he started the teaching group Circle Permaculture which partners with farms and ecological education sites to run well-organised Permaculture Design Certificate courses. He is on the Certifying Teachers Register of the Permaculture Association UK. Aside from teaching, he is a long term practitioner of yoga and meditation, a poet and songwriter, slackliner and avid hiker.

Candela Vargas Poveda – Teacher

Candela studied biology at the University of Granada, and holds a Masters in Nature Management from Copenhagen University, which she received for her thesis on Forest Gardens Design and Implementation.. She is a cofounder of FFIRN (Food Forest International Research Network), and has been a member of the board of Permaculture Denmark for 5 years, and is the president of REPESEI, As well as having been a volunteer coordinator at a pioneer urban garden in Copenhagen, Byhaven 2200, Candela has been involved with many other projects such as Seed Pop Up, Gift circle, and other Environmental / Cultural collectives. She is a L.A.N.D advisor and has taught permaculture in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Italy and Spain. She has recently returned to the Iberian peninsula where she is working on the permaculture networks PI and REPESEI. She loves gathering wild foods, doing acroyoga, and singing her Permaculture songs.

Wallace Toughill – Teacher

Gibraltarian Wally had lived and worked on 3 continents before the age of 25, when he took his first Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in 2012. Since then he has dived into the world of Permaculture in Portugal and Spain, as a volunteer, intern, student, implementer and teacher. In 2013, he completed a teacher training course held by Rosemary Morrow and in 2015 completed a 10 week farm-scale Permaculture and Regenerative agriculture internship at Ridgedale Permaculture, Sweden. He lives and works at Cherry Pond Quinta and is currently working towards an International Diploma in Permaculture Design, through Gaia University. Wally sees Permaculture Design as mankind’s best chance for a brighter future and enjoys nothing more than sharing his knowledge and experience with others. He is also a keen music lover and instrumentalist.

Wallace Toughill – Teacher

Gibraltarian Wally had lived and worked on 3 continents before the age of 25, when he took his first Permaculture Design Course (PDC) in 2012. Since then he has dived into the world of Permaculture in Portugal and Spain, as a volunteer, intern, student, implementer and teacher. In 2013, he completed a teacher training course held by Rosemary Morrow and in 2015 completed a 10 week farm-scale Permaculture and Regenerative agriculture internship at Ridgedale Permaculture, Sweden. He lives and works at Cherry Pond Quinta and is currently working towards an International Diploma in Permaculture Design, through Gaia University. Wally sees Permaculture Design as mankind’s best chance for a brighter future and enjoys nothing more than sharing his knowledge and experience with others. He is also a keen music lover and instrumentalist.

Katrin Schwere – Teacher and host, Ekbacka Gård

Hamburg native Katrin has been living permaculture for decades, and is a master homesteader, passionate teacher and vegetarian chef (with a particular knack for foraging and food preservation). She is a mother of 5, and with her partner Bo has fostered over a dozen children. Hearts don’t come larger. She has worked her farm Ekbacka Gård for over a decade with the help of the wwoofing community, and is involved with the Swedish Permaculture Association and transition movement. As well as this, she enjoys native American healing ceremonies, free dance and reiki. 

Luke Manders – Teacher

We each have our own path to healing ourselves and the earth in which we live; Luke’s medicine is delicious, vital food. In his words: “Nutrition is a universal need that bridges any culture, penetrates the hearts of billions and unites nearly every creature and kingdom on the Earth.” Luke completed a degree in Economics at the University of Sussex, where he was introduced to permaculture. He realised the need to tread more lightly upon the Earth, and so laid roots within the sphere of ‘alternative living’ and regeneration, especially while imbedded at Sunseed Desert Technology, an ecovillage based in Spain. He has been coordinating a community forest garden project called Rodmell Food Forest (www.rodmellfoodforest.org) since 2018 and dreams to invigorate and brighten, using permaculture, cooking and indigenous traditions to illuminate the way.

Luke Manders – Teacher

We each have our own path to healing ourselves and the earth in which we live; Luke’s medicine is delicious, vital food. In his words: “Nutrition is a universal need that bridges any culture, penetrates the hearts of billions and unites nearly every creature and kingdom on the Earth.” Luke completed a degree in Economics at the University of Sussex, where he was introduced to permaculture. He realised the need to tread more lightly upon the Earth, and so laid roots within the sphere of ‘alternative living’ and regeneration, especially while imbedded at Sunseed Desert Technology, an ecovillage based in Spain. He has been coordinating a community forest garden project called Rodmell Food Forest (www.rodmellfoodforest.org) since 2018 and dreams to invigorate and brighten, using permaculture, cooking and indigenous traditions to illuminate the way.

Wendy Howard – Teacher

Wendy Howard grew up in the UK at a time when rural self-sufficiency was still the ‘norm’. She studied biology and ecology at university in the 1970s but never finished. The linear reductionist approach, the overspecialisation, and the absence of the very thing which distinguishes the life sciences – life! – felt instinctively wrong. It led her into a lifetime’s autodidactic study which eventually, several careers and 3 children later, came full circle back to the land.

For the last decade she has been custodian of 2 hectares of Portuguese mountainside where she’s regenerating soils, land and buildings and developing the site as an off-grid permaculture demonstration and education project. Following the catastrophic wildfires of October 2017 which devastated the entire region, she has been working with a local team to help address the wider scale environmental destruction in the area while trying to restore the damage to her own project.

Rory Egan Curtin – Teacher

Rory Curtin grew up on an island off the North Atlantic Coast of the U.S. before moving to India at 15 to attend the United World College of India. Here, she realized the value of subsistence farming practices and subsequently dedicated herself to promoting sustainable agriculture initiatives worldwide. As an undergraduate studying Botany at College of the Atlantic, she pursued farming opportunities everywhere from South America and The Caribbean, to Sub-Saharan Africa and the Himalayas. While managing greenhouses for Conservacion Patagonica and establishing a gardening program at the Mosoj Yan girls’ shelter in Bolivia, she realized the importance of pursuing a Permaculture Design Course, and did so in collaboration with the Third Millennium Alliance in the Ecuadorian cloud forest. Rory holds her MA in Global Public Health from New York University, where she focused on urban food security, refugee agriculture, and started a rooftop garden at the UPCO school in Accra, Ghana. Her current graduate research at Columbia University focuses on the social and ecological effects of globalization and mechanized agriculture in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, India.

Rory Egan Curtin – Teacher

Rory Curtin grew up on an island off the North Atlantic Coast of the U.S. before moving to India at 15 to attend the United World College of IndiaHere, she realized the value of subsistence farming practices and subsequently dedicated herself to promoting sustainable agriculture initiatives worldwide. As an undergraduate studying Botany at College of the Atlantic, she pursued farming opportunities everywhere from South America and The Caribbean, to Sub-Saharan Africa and the Himalayas. While managing greenhouses for Conservacion Patagonica and establishing a gardening program at the Mosoj Yan girls’ shelter in Bolivia, she realized the importance of pursuing a Permaculture Design Course, and did so in collaboration with the Third Millennium Alliance in the Ecuadorian cloud forest. Rory holds her MA in Global Public Health from New York University, where she focused on urban food security, refugee agriculture, and started a rooftop garden at the UPCO school in Accra, Ghana. Her current graduate research at Columbia University focuses on the social and ecological effects of globalization and mechanized agriculture in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, India.

 

Liselotte Willemijn – Teacher

Since a young age Liselotte has been exposed to many different cultures and landscapes. This opened up fascination and deep respect for the living and breathing world around her. While finishing her studies of Anthropology and Ecology at the University College Utrecht in 2013, she set off to Costa Rica to conduct research for her thesis. This is where she fell in love with a simple way of living, in balance with nature, combining more recent expertise with ancestral knowledge. In 2016 she sat the PDC course in Sunseed where she subsequently ended up coordinating for a year. Seeing the transformation in people, their habits, and their way of living, inspired her to keep sharing knowledge and the importance of raising consciousness, using Permaculture as a tool to move forward.

Travels through South America in 2014 to 2016 and experiences in the Netherlands and Spain, all led to a desire to share this vision of a more sustainable way of life. The various homesteads and educational projects gave her experience in diverse elements of community living, eco construction, gardening, baking, seminars, preservation, natural cosmetics and medicinal plants. Currently she is enrolled in the International Permaculture Diploma with Gaia University, with the intention to expand global networks and create diverse holistic eco-social alternatives to living.

Apart from the wonders and expansive world of Permaculture, she is an animal lover, passionate baker, practices yoga and meditation and loves the art of dance!

Graham Bell

Graham Bell is an internationally known and respected teacher of Permaculture and several underlying disciplines including Forest Gardening and Food Preservation.  He has dedicated his working life to helping others achieve the skills to live sustainably.


His reputation is built on thirty years’ experience and having worked on five continents and in many different climates and social conditions.
Appointed as the first diploma holder in the UK and arbitrator for new diploma holders in the UK by Permaculture founder Bill Mollison in 1990, he has unrivalled experience in the discipline.  Currently he is Chair of Permaculture Scotland and the UK Education Working Group.


He is a qualified electrician, has a Master’s degree in English language and linguistics, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Royal Society for the Arts Commerce and Manufacturing and the author of two books on Permaculture (The Permaculture Way and the Permaculture Garden) and a very large number of articles.  His knowledge of plants and trees is legendary.   Having taught from the Arctic Circle down to Middle Eastern deserts and sub Saharan Africa his knowledge and experience is adaptable to most situations. He is primarily interested in helping others in confidence and self-reliance with their own work. His own home garden is a mere 800 sq metres (0.08 hectares) which produces 1.25 tonnes of food a year (pro rata 16 tonnes a hectare) 500 trees and 5000 plants for sale, half the household’s energy needs, a soft living room and an amazing teaching space which welcomes (and feeds) a thousand visitors every year from all over the planet (literally).

​Graham is a mentor for George and Wally.

Graham Bell is an internationally known and respected teacher of Permaculture and several underlying disciplines including Forest Gardening and Food Preservation.  He has dedicated his working life to helping others achieve the skills to live sustainably.


His reputation is built on thirty years’ experience and having worked on five continents and in many different climates and social conditions.
Appointed as the first diploma holder in the UK and arbitrator for new diploma holders in the UK by Permaculture founder Bill Mollison in 1990, he has unrivalled experience in the discipline.  Currently he is Chair of Permaculture Scotland and the UK Education Working Group.


He is a qualified electrician, has a Master’s degree in English language and linguistics, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Royal Society for the Arts Commerce and Manufacturing and the author of two books on Permaculture (The Permaculture Way and the Permaculture Garden) and a very large number of articles.  His knowledge of plants and trees is legendary.   Having taught from the Arctic Circle down to Middle Eastern deserts and sub Saharan Africa his knowledge and experience is adaptable to most situations. He is primarily interested in helping others in confidence and self-reliance with their own work. His own home garden is a mere 800 sq metres (0.08 hectares) which produces 1.25 tonnes of food a year (pro rata 16 tonnes a hectare) 500 trees and 5000 plants for sale, half the household’s energy needs, a soft living room and an amazing teaching space which welcomes (and feeds) a thousand visitors every year from all over the planet (literally).

​Graham is a mentor for George and Wally.

Graham Bell