Dave Beecher

Dave Beecher

Dave will be delivering a couple more Stewarding Our Soil workshops in March; Tuesday 13th March at Scorriton Village Hall in Devon and Thursday 15th March at Huntstile Organic Farm, near Bridgwater, Somerset. (After that he will be busy with the Danú EIP project so catch him while you can)

Dave grew up on his Grandmother's dairy farm in Co. Cork, Ireland, which later became a suckler herd. After a career in structural engineering, spanning Ireland, Australia and Canada, he spent a year working in International Disaster Relief during which he realised that he wanted to address the issues at a causal rather than symptomatic level so he returned to Ireland to immerse himself back in agriculture, but taking a regenerative approach to mitigate both carbon emissions and the impact of climate change as well as addressing general human and environmental health.

Dave has studied with/worked alongside Zach Wright, completed Hugh Lovell's advanced course, and the 5-day course with Jairo Restrepo at Ragman's Lane Farm (Biofertilisers and a lot more), has completed a year long course with Jim Cronin in Market Gardening, is just completing Elaine Ingham's 'Life in the Soil' course, and naturally has explored much other related material too.

He is a member of the Danú Farming Group which has been awarded funding through the European Innovation Partnership programme and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Ireland to carry out a 5-year Biological Farming Transition Programme.

The thrust of this project is to develop clear, workable guidelines for a transition programme to biological farming based on a sound understanding of soil structure, chemistry, biology and plant nutrition. These guidelines will lead to successful and cost-effective transition programmes to develop and maintain high levels of soil biological function that will facilitate the production of nutrient dense food, feed and forages. In addition, where soil biology is functioning at an optimum level carbon sequestration potential is significantly increased. Transition programmes developed must be practical, affordable and capable of implementation by any interested farmer. 

What people said about these workshops last time around:

Thorough, detailed course but starting from base level so it doesn’t go over your head

Very interesting… useful base knowledge to start experimenting myself

Really interesting day, has given me a lot to think about in terms of managing our soil

Great overall explanation of soil health

Highly recommend this course no matter what your previous understanding may be. Landowner to gardener it will suit you. Excellent course, thank you.

Useful and thought provoking - Eye-opening - Very informative and inspirational - Vital knowledge - Sit tight & learn a lot

Great course; highly recommend - Fantastic! A must go to workshop - Excellent course. Well worth attending - Absolutely fantastic day


Joel Williams

Joel WilliamsJoel is a soils enthusiast and a passionate presenter on soil health, soil biology and integrated approaches of sustainable farming. He is an independent crop and soil health consultant and also presents lectures and workshops to primary producers on a range of soil and plant health related topics.

Joel has worked on conventional and organic farms improving biological practices in Australia and the UK where he integrates soil chemical and biological assessments along with plant nutritional analysis as a joined-up strategy for farm management. He has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science specialising in crop and soil sciences and a keen interest in managing soil microbial ecology and plant & soil nutrition to optimise plant immunity, soil health and soil carbon sequestration.

 Joel has a passion for teaching and sharing both scientific and practical knowledge on sustainable growing practices and has lectured to farming audiences in Australia, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Latvia, South Africa, Kenya, Canada and the US.

What people have said about Joel:

"Great enthusiasm for his subject, happy to answer questions, really good at explaining things in a clear/simple way"

"Personable.  Flexible re: questions from us.  Able to translate scientific terms into layman's words"

"Engaging manner"

"enthusiasm... knowledge... confidence... eloquence..."

"Enthusiasm combined with great knowledge"

"Pragmatic and practical approach"

"Well paced, well communicated.  Able to explain detailed content in a really digestible way"

"Joel, as well as being very knowledgeable, is a great communicator, pointing the way towards a healthy and sustainable approach to growing food and caring for the soil."

"Joel's infectious enthusiasm for soil management invites us to look at making practical experimental changes in our own fields, to look at our work holistically & to build soil C using a variety of strategies.  One-size definitely doesn't fit all & the benefit of this course has been opening my eyes to the 'anything is possible' approach championed by Joel"

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Rob Havard

Rob HavardRob is an Organic farmer and a professional ecologist, and works for Natural England as conservation grazing lead advisor.  He has been using Holistic Management to inform his farming practice since completing Kirk Gadzia's Advanced Holistic Management (HM) course with us in October 2014 and as a result now integrates planned grazing on the 230 acres of diverse pasture he grazes with his suckler herd.

Rob's main focus is on the marriage of productivity and ecological gain. As a hands on farmer he speaks from experience, providing practical insight to making ecological enhancing productivity happen.

Rob is the main facilitator for the Holistic Management Open-Gate event schedule in June, and will be supporting Kirk to provide context specific expertise for the Holistic Management trainings in October.  To view his HM related videos on his YouTube Channel, click here.

Matt Clegg

Matt Clegg

Matt is a Chartered Environmental Scientist with over 15 years of experience in water and flood management planning, environmental assessment, and biodiversity management projects in the UK and internationally.  Matt is interested in the development of multiple-benefit farm and catchment management plans and potential Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes. He is a specialist in aquatic resource management and has been recently working with the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales on Natural Flood Management research and development, and catchment planning projects.  Matt designs and delivers collaborative approaches and solutions; most notably the Kilnsea Wetlands Project working with farmers and local community groups to deliver a 43ha site that combines wetland and grazing marsh to support internationally designated waterfowl managed and a sustainable livestock enterprise. The project was shortlisted for a CIEEM Best Practice Award 2015.

Philip Bubb

Philip BubbPhilip Bubb is a Holistic Management Certified Educator who trained in Africa and the USA in 2004 with Allan Savory. He currently works for the United Nations Environment Programme, based in Cambridge, UK, supporting biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management around the world. His expertise in Holistic Management is particularly in facilitating the creation of holistic goals and the use of the testing questions. He is skilled at helping individuals and groups to develop a holistic goal that gives them a powerful context and vision for their planning and decision-making. This is complemented by guiding people in understanding and using the testing questions to help ensure they are moving towards their holistic goal.