I have always been passionate about the environment and studied Environmental Science at Uni, when it was an almost completely new course (choice of 2 in 1970!). After that I worked for the Institute of Hydrology as a research scientist, with a particular interest in soils and the way water passes through them. I worked on projects in the UK and in the developing world; India - assessing groundwater recharge, Mauritius - on drip irrigation and how much water to apply to grow good crops and avoid waste, Zimbabwe – catchment hydrology and water resources in a semi -arid region, and Brazil – part of a team investigating the effects of deforestation on climate.
I took early retirement in 2003 and worked as a plumber for a short while and before moving to a smallholding in Devon in 2007. I now run the smallholding and work part-time for a hydrological consultancy.
I have a great interest in building and construction, particularly green building. In 1980 we built an extension on our first house, a Victorian end of terrace cottage, doing most of the work ourselves. The solid brick walls of the cottage were dry lined and insulated then, so we were well ahead of the game! Our biggest project was the
complete renovation of a Victorian brick farmhouse, which we also dry lined. Projects to reduce our carbon footprint continue here in Devon, and include a wood fired range cooker, thermal store, solar hot water, PV, some double glazing, and lots of insulation.