Find out who we are and what we do…
Suzie has been a key innovator and facilitator of many Permaculture projects both urban and rural as a teacher/facilitator/
As a young child, and later as a reluctant teenager was encouraged by her dad and granddad to “grow her own food.” She has a life long love of nature and being outside. This connection was nurtured in her early years by a family who love to hike and camp, and when she spent her holidays on her relative’s small-holdings and farms, including in a Camphill community in Northern Ireland. Suzie followed a career in the arts and art therapy before her work volunteering school gardens and setting up Wicklow Community Gardening Group lead her to set up Carraig Dúlra a Permaculture designed demonstration site in 2007 in Co Wicklow developed with her husband and many many volunteers. The 10 years experience working with the land, the people and local resources are the foundation of all Suzie’s teaching and facilitation and livelihood consultation work. She has run diverse nature based gardening and permaculture skills programmes and worked with many others in the sector in Ireland: Community Gardens Ireland, GIY international, and Transition Initiatives and Permaculture networks, as well as, Wicklow ETB, Irish Seed Savers, The Organic Center, Kinsale College, Cultivate Greenworks, Cloughjordon Eco Village. In 2014 she launched the Carraig Dúlra Permaculture Design Certificate co-developed with her permaculture colleague Hannah Mole and with a large and diverse teaching team. Suzie continues to teach on other permaculture courses around the Island of Ireland and occasionally abroad, from Poland to Mongolia.
Suzie was the catalyst that initiated the All Ireland Permaculture Gatherings in 2011 in Wicklow. She has continued to co-design the gathering event model with an ever changing team. A central part of that design is working collaboratively without hierarchal approaches to team work. Suzie continues to contribute to the collective that runs the gathering where she coordinates the core year team meetings and does the outreach to prospective gathering hosts. The core team improves the design each year and the Gathering has made a significant contribution to the development of Permaculture in Ireland. Suzie applied on behalf of the Gathering Team to host the EUPC in 2018.
After graduating with a degree in Forestry from U.C. Berkeley, Marc found his way out of the rolling hills of California and into the dense woodlands of upstate New York. There, he completed training in Nature Mentoring, Human Ecology and Social Neuroscience, as well as Survival Skills. He earned his PDC in 2013 from Cornell University and spent 5 years as a Senior Instructor for various environmentally-based programmes in Ithaca, New York.
Marc and his family now reside in the sea-side village of Newcastle near to the EUPC site in County Wicklow, where he gets to share his wonder for the natural world with his one-year-old daughter Milana, as they explore the hedges, fields, woods, and shores of Ireland. Marc specialises in nature-based mentoring, teaching people of all ages outdoor skills in the framework of cultivating a deeper connection to self, community, and the natural world. Marc is also in training to become a Forest School Leader here in Ireland. For more details please visit his website NatureConnect.
Claire has recently escaped the rat race and a stressful career in the NHS in the UK and run far, far away to County Mayo in the Wild West of Ireland where she has pulled up her sleeves and singlehandedly got stuck right in to the renovation and retrofitting of a 400 year old stone and earth built cottage and barns, while also trying very hard to turn an acre and a half of waterlogged reclaimed peat bog into productive annual and forest gardens.
Her awareness of Permaculture probably started back in the 90s while backpacking in Australia and working on farms in Tasmania. Later on she was a regular at a Permaculture Community garden in her adopted home town of Bristol for a while, but it wasn’t until she landed in Mayo at the end of the summer of 2015 that she was really able to dive in to it properly and she completed her PDC at Carraig Dulra in 2016.
Claire has also been involved with the All Ireland Permaculture Gathering for a couple of years, helping with the website and communications and on the steering group… but to be honest she has her fingers in quite a lot of different pies; she owns and runs a clothing company, is an airbnb host, upcycles furniture, hosts weekend courses at her homestead and has tried all manner of hustles in her time.
With a wild and free upbringing, Danu always had an affinity toward nature, and a growing interest for construction. Being raised without gender stereotypes and encouraged to explore her talent for building, Danu built many play dens, elaborate animal enclosures, freely exploring her connection to the land on which she lived.
Excelling in practical subjects at school led to building a beautiful family home with her father, and finding interesting jobs, such as running a petting farm and veterinary nursing, which in turn led to finding a true passion working as a riding instructor, specialising in therapeutic lessons for teenagers with autism. This work she hopes to one day continue from home.
Naturally drawn to the concepts of permaculture, whilst attending the PDC course at Carraig Dulraa in 2016, Danu found herself for the first time surrounded with like minded peers, which fuelled her enthusiasm when moving to her own land regarding projects such as building ponds and working with the land, as opposed to on the land, learning to create a heaven for local wildlife and living as self-sufficiently and sustainably as possible. With the help of her ten year old daughter Ayla, Danu focuses on her motley crew of twenty something animals, learning to work with what is often a non-existent budget. Such challenges have forced Danu to become more inventive, repurposing whenever possible, never passing by a skip or any item generally considered as ‘waste’ without stopping, always trying to find the precarious balance between hoarding and being prepared.
Danu is thrilled to join the team for this year’s EUPC and is very much looking forward to commencing work on the site.