The Crew

Who are we and how did we get here?

Carole and Jonty

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. Jonty and Carole also teach the husbandry courses available at the school, including Introduction to Husbandry, Foundation in Husbandry and Devon hedge laying and stone walling. Carole also teaches the felting course.


Rebecca took up her head grower role in November 2022 and is passionate about caring for land, growing good food for local people and feels so grateful to be doing this for The Husbandry School, where she continues to be inspired by and learn from the land and people that share it.

Rebecca has a varied background in the arts, events and hospitality management before driving off in her home-on-wheels, and volunteering on farms in Ireland and Greece - where she really caught the growing bug, finding so much hope and joy in growing delicious food in a regenerative way. She went on to do a full growing season training with Mora Farm in Cornwall before moving to Devon to work with Teign Greens CSA.

Outside growing, Rebecca enjoys foraging, cooking, writing poetry and loves being in/on/by the sea, feeling lucky enough to be able to catch a glimpse of it from the Husbandry School hill.


Rachel joined the Husbandry School in 2020 as a Volunteer and became part of the Reengage ReInspire team in early 2021. Rachel is our School Coordinator, splitting her time between office support for our Reengage work as well working 1:1 with our young people across STEM and creative subjects.

Prior to arriving at The Husbandry School, Rachel has worked in several practical & advocacy roles in community development in the UK and abroad, including social prescribing, primary care, and access to basic resources as an engineer.

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys hiking, swimming, singing in a local choir and working on her garden.


Skye joined the grower team at the start of 2023 having completed her Permaculture Design Course two years previously. She usually works alongside Rebecca growing our delicious veggies but for the moment is looking after her newborn child!

Before joining the Husbandry School, she was growing in kitchen gardens and went on to set up a community supported no-dig market garden. She is passionate about holistic and ecologically sound land stewardship along with local food systems and food sovereignty.

When Skye's not in the garden you'll find her out on the Moors playing about on bicycles or in the kitchen cooking up feasts.


Lizzie joined the Husbandry School in 2019 and teaches cookery and a wide range of craft skills.

She has lived in the South West for the past 30 years and has experience within education, hospitality, retail, ceramics and gardening. She enjoys many and varied arts and crafts, from ceramics to knitting and outdoor pursuits from sailing to long coastal walks.

She's passionate about education through outdoor, practical and creative pursuits, building confidence, inclusivity and community.


Jez joined the Husbandry School in September 2022 as a mentor, after a long and varied career in the Royal Marines Band service as a musician playing Trumpet, Cornet and Violin.

Jez has worked with young people in various settings for the last 19 years, as a registered manager of children's homes, and in various other youth work roles, including currently managing a drop in Youth facility for a small local charity.

Jez loves walking, dogs, cats, playing the guitar, and spends a lot of his spare time getting his grandchildren into all kinds of mischief.


Leah joined the school in September 2023 to work as the school administrator and a 1:1 Mentor focusing on Animal Care.

After completing an Animal Management Diploma at College, Leah briefly worked in corporate events for 2 years before deciding to make the change back to animal care and being a farm worker. Over the past few years Leah has been working on various livestock farms as a shepherd or herdswoman with sheep and cows up and down the UK and even travelling to New Zealand to work in the woolsheds and learning how to shear sheep.

She says “The first time I saw a lamb being born changed me. It’s something I believe all of us should experience. Learning where our food comes from has always felt of great importance to me. I feel privileged to be able to give students the opportunity to do just that.”

Since moving down to Devon from Leicestershire earlier in the year, her hobbies have changed slightly. Now that she’s no longer landlocked she can usually be found on a beach either surfing, swimming or walking her two dogs. Leah is also a keen drawer and more recently has taken up Crochet as a hobby!


Ross is both assistant grower and mentor at the Husbandry School. As grower, he works alongside Rebecca and Helen to produce our lovely salads and vegetables and in his mentor role teaches podcasting, digital storytelling and creative writing.

Ross worked for twenty years in Higher Education teaching media studies and digital storytelling before following his passion into organic horticulture and agroecology. He completed a 12 month traineeship at a no-dig Community Supported Agriculture project just outside Brighton before joining the Husbandry School in the summer of 2023.

He enjoys singing, being a member of Dartmoor's The Lost Sound, as well as morris dancing, cycling and Kitesurfing.


Helen joined the team as a grower in 2024 to help out while Skye gets to know her new baby.

She originally qualified and worked as an Architect for about 10 years, before retraining as a chef. She then became interested in food production after spending 11 years working in London and Devon restaurants and becoming increasingly aware of the environmental, social and quality impacts of different growing methods.

Since she left hospitality she has been working at farms in Devon and Cambridgeshire and learning about regenerative land management. Helen is passionate about a need to make widespread changes in food systems and hopes to continue studying agroecology and permaculture, while developing her practical skills in growing and the many other aspects of husbandry!


Kim joined the Husbandry school in 2023 as a mentor teaching a range of subjects including textiles and photography.

Before joining the Husbandry School Kim spent time in Spain as a wedding photographer. When she moved back she was involved with working alongside local communities and supporting small businesses.

She has a passion for the outdoors especially if it involves climbing or surfing. In her spare time you can find Kim scrambling across Dartmoor and river swimming.


Matt joined as a mentor for the school in December 2023 and is usually found outdoors with a focus on all things nature-friendly.

He’s old enough to have a non-linear working background, including stints in Save the Children, the Higher Education Funding Council, Bristol University, running a Community Supported Agriculture project and currently, when not at the Husbandry School, he's Devon Visitor Operations Manager for the RSPB. He's also been a self-employed Triathlon Coach and is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-linguistic programming. He's also a Woodwose, Wistman and a Mystical Hierophant, and has a certificate (somewhere or other) to prove it.

Matt's got some 'form' in endurance sports like cycling and running though he is very much, and quite joyfully, on the way back down the mountain in this regard. He still goes for an occasional jog or a spin on two wheels, and has been enjoying a daft activity called crossfit too. He and Skye welcomed their daughter Omala to planet earth in February 2024 for which his history of staying up all night riding bicycles for no reason is proving only partial preparation.


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 and he continues to develop The Husbandry School grounds into functional space with expanding opportunities.


Ed is a maker and doer, inspired by his surroundings and traditional craft techniques. He builds log cabins, works with anything woodland based and tans, dyes and works his own leather.

The land and how the land is managed has always been a part of his life; growing up in the heart of the countryside and being a free-range child allowed him to observe and actively be involved in the landscape. “Being part of the Husbandry School has opened my eyes to the way we approach not only land, but also the people that live within it. Breaking down barriers in order to build friendships and understanding. Working alongside Jonty, Carole and the team gives me great reward, knowing that the work we do today will benefit tomorrow.”

Ed also teaches 'Build a belt' leather working sharing his love of using natural, local and sustainably sourced materials being processed in a traditional way.


Rosie is an essential member of team here at The Husbandry School, as our resident sheep herder, rat catcher, and fire place napper.

When relaxing, her hobbies include chasing hoses, chin scratches, annoying the cat and staring longingly at (see: bravely defending) the chickens.

Earth Skills Tutors

Vivienne Turner (Basketmaking)

Vivienne has 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 she was working with students from Brixham Adult and Community Learning.

For several years Vivienne has worked for Devon Artists in Schools teaching children how to create willow sculptures, making 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”.

Vivienne regularly teaches Adult Educational Classes at Totnes. They are beginners courses and range from simple fruit baskets to Christmas Decorations and Plant Supports. Many of her students over the years have developed good skills and techniques and now form a private group of improvers which she teaches once a month.

In recent years Vivienne’s 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 Centre and the Eden Project. One of her most recent pieces stands in the grounds of Tuckenhay Mill, a willow lady depicting one of the workers around 1880.

Sean Hellman (Woodworking Skills)

Sean has been practicing, teaching and demonstrating green wood-work skills for over 20 years. Based in South Devon, he runs a business selling bespoke sculptural and traditional wooden seating, and original items for the home and garden. Sean’s passion is learning and teaching traditional wood crafts, including making wooden spoons, carved cups, bowl-turning, shrink pots, etc. He is the only professional green woodworker making and selling ‘fan birds’ in the UK.

Sean not only teaches and makes, but is an active writer and has a regular blog about woodworking, offering advice and inspiration about the joys of working green wood. He is an active member of the ‘Bodgers Forum’ the largest green woodworking forum in the world.

Some of his articles can be seen in various woodworking magazines such as Living Woods. Sean last TV appearance was on Edwardian Farm making a coracle with Alex Langlands.

Lucy Lepchani (Creative Practitioner)

Lucy is an Adult Education tutor, creative practitioner, and life coach/therapist. These different roles are linked by love and appreciation for the stories of ordinary people’s lives, challenges and journeys, and how these comprise our diverse, collective heritage.

She is also drawn to the narratives of the sensory, sensual natural world; creating and extrapolating stories from places, events and objects and locating adventure in the everyday and the ordinary.

As a creative practitioner, Lucy works with poetry, fiction, community radio, sensory arts and crafts, movement and theatre, foraging, and textiles. Her studio is at her desk or the kitchen sink or the back yard, or an opportune space in a shared creative hub, backstage, or in the limelight, or some birdsong festooned nook in the natural world.

Gideon Foster-Turner (Outdoor Crafts)

Gideon joined the school as a volunteer, having taken courses with us in husbandry and spoon carving.

His formal background is in industrial laser micromachining, however his passions involve the outdoors and anything to do with trees form the growing plant to hand carving wooden objects.

With a keen interest in traditional craft techniques, he can often be found on the top of our Devon banks, billhook in hand during the hedging season.