Carole’s background is in teaching – she took a Degree
in special educational needs in London. She has taught in residential
special needs units focusing on behavioral management, and in nursery
and primary schools, again with a strong emphasis on special needs.
She has also worked as a community development leader for a district
council rural art and sport project, and has twenty years
of experience as a trainer and workshop leader in Devon whilst
also chairing a charity promoting health and wellbeing of children
through play. Above all she has both a passion and a strong ability
to enable others to thrive.
Jonty’s interest began with a Degree in ecology and genetics
at Lancaster University. This led, through an interest in all things
to do with soil, to a five year apprenticeship in husbandry. He
was taught and mentored by a countryman called Walter Edwards,
who was brought up in Devon’s finest traditions of looking
after the land and all things on it. Jonty went on to run a successful
dairy herd for many years, and lately has taken on the task of
understanding and learning about how we can renew the practices
of husbandry today.
Prior to their move into the Husbandry School, Carole and Jonty
together set up and ran a 40-tutor Course Centre in Arts, Crafts
and Rural Skills on their farm in Devon.
Chris joined us in 2009 to take a major role in the design and
build of our beautiful hexagonal building – the heart of
the Husbandry School. Chris’s creative and practical input
was invaluable in achieving the stunning space that we have today.
I have been working at The Husbandry School for 2 years now. I
began on a casual basis and as my interest grew it seemed an
easy flow into getting formally qualified in this type of work – Carole,
Jonty and their amazing project have inspired me to start a degree
course at Bicton college in Horticulture and Plant Science.
I am now in my 2nd year and with one more to go I hope to become
full-time garden manager and help teach the bounty of courses
on offer at The Husbandry School. Jonty and Carole have made
it possible for me to remain employed for two days a week while
I study. This works well as i think it is important to have
a good resource for vocational work to put theory into pratice.
Without starting work here I wouldn't have discovered my love for
plants and the art of husbandry. It has led me down a path with
endless possibilities and Carole and Jontys inspiration, hard work
and focus has helped me to make real and valuable choices in my
life and to further my career ahead.
Working at the Husbandry School has really changed my life. It
is an experience I will never forget and I’ve loved every
minute of it. The skills I’ve learnt from Carole and Jonty
in the last two years will stay with me for my life. They have
taught me loads about being self-sufficient, growing and harvesting
produce and how to look after the land. I now would have the confidence
to become self-sufficient myself sometime in the future.
Carole and Jonty have now helped me find my own path by connecting
me to James Knight-Pacheco, a top quality chef and the Ashburton
Choosing the Husbandry School for work experience was perhaps the
best move my life so far has had. I often wonder how different
my life would be if I hadn’t been sent there.
Earth Skills Tutors
Vivienne Turner (Basketmaking)
I have developed many ideas with willow and recycled materials
to form sculptures which have been part of the Teignmouth Art
Trail. They were collaborative pieces and I was working with
students from Brixham Adult and Community Learning. For several
years I worked for Devon Artists in Schools teaching children
how to create willow sculptures. We made a variety of forms from
David and Goliath to Harvest Spiders and Ladybirds. It
is extremely rewarding working with children they have limited
boundaries with imagination and happily weave freely.
I regularly teach Adult Educational Classes
at Totnes. They are beginners courses and range from simple
fruit baskets to Christmas Decorations and Plant Supports.
Many of my students over the years have developed
good skills and techniques and now form a private group of
improvers which I teach once a month. We develop ideas and
hone skills, very often studying European styles of basketry.
In recent years my sculptures have been at
the NEC in Birmingham. Both basket and sculpture work has been
at the Chelsea Flower Show with two different exhibitors. Collaborative
pieces have been displayed at Warrington Shopping Center and
the Eden Project. One of my most recent pieces stands in the
grounds of Tuckenhay Mill, a willow lady depicting one of the
workers around 1880.
Creative Programme Tutors
Lucy Lepchani writes poetry for stage and for page, and also
short fiction, and life-writing. Her work has been published
in a number of magazines and anthologies.She has a working background
in a broad range of arts media, youth and community, and therapeutic
She currently works freelance as a visiting artist and writer in schools, theatres,
and for youth and community groups; and is also employed as a creative writing
and poetry tutor with the Workers Educational Association.