I live in Wedmore, where I have been farming all my life. For the last 30 years, I’ve been farming in partnership with my twin brother.
I have a special interest in traditional cider apple orchards and in managing wetlands. I have been a member of the Axe Brue Drainage Board for over 20 years.
I am keen to promote the Somerset Levels as a working landscape, not just somewhere to ‘conserve’.
In 2005, I took on a two year project as the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) ‘farmer link’ for the Axe Brue area of the Somerset Levels, promoting the management of land through sustainable farming practices benefiting agriculture, landscapes and wildlife conservation.
I have participated in various European collaborations on habitat management and over the last 30 years my brother and I have collected several awards for this work.
Since 2013, I have been a Director of Paddington Farm, a charitable trust and social enterprise working to provide rural education and promote environmental responsibility amongst children from disadvantaged urban areas.
I am the Policy and Campaigns Manager at Somerset Wildlife Trust involved in advocacy to protect nature and prepare for Climate Change in this stunning county. My background is in policy, quality assurance and project management in the renewable energy, internet, education, charity, food and travel industries. I am a founder and current chair of Green Wedmore which was formed in 2006. The group aims to inform and promote environmental projects in the Wedmore area with the long-term goal of helping the community find a more sustainable future.
I am also a founding director and currently chair of Wedmore Community Power Co-Operative which has a 1MW community solar farm in Wedmore. My passion is working towards a positive low-carbon future in the county I love.
I have a practical legacy of establishing successful social enterprises – including a school farm, urban farm, co-operative garden centre and educational and community projects I was a founding Director of Somerset Community Food in 2000, and for ten years we provided effective training and community support for Somerset in areas related to local food and health, including food co-ops, community allotments and sharing cooking skills.
Since 2009 I have been a director of the Red Brick Building, Glastonbury. We have developed a well used community centre to promote arts, education and enterprise by renovating a derelict warehouse as an innovative community owned asset. I have been inspired by working with the Reimagining the Levels group to find creative ways of responding to the extreme floods of 2013/14. In particular I am interested in supporting the community to take initiatives by being well informed about the choices and responsibilities we can all take to best secure a viable future for the Somerset Level
I currently contract manage the Wessex Community Land Trust Project – which has delivered to date 120 affordable houses in 12 communities across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. From 1999 to 2006, as Director of Somerset Food Links, I led development work for the local food sector in Somerset and was co-founder and first Chair of Food Links UK. My previous work has included development of an urban farm and a co-operative garden centre in Bristol as well as providing support for a wide range of community led enterprises in both urban and rural settings. I have lived on the Levels for the past 25 years – currently in Baltonsborough.
I have lived in my present home on the edge of the Somerset Levels for over 30 years and have observed with concern the impact of climate change and agricultural practices on this fragile landscape. I am a keen cyclist, using my knowledge of the Somerset roads as a way of keeping in touch with the changes in the landscape.
I used to run a financial publishing company with a partner and had invested and worked part time in a couple of start-up software companies. Before that I worked in a family owned telecoms company. I set up a charity over 20 years ago, and sponsored wildlife conservation projects in UK-including projects in the West Country, environmental education, organic farming and projects in Latin America including coffee and chocolate co-ops.
Since moving to Somerset I support Red Brick Building in Glastonbury, advise an affordable housing fund and a community share underwriting fund managed by Resonance (based in Cornwall), am on committee for School of Social Entrepreneurs Dartington, support Real Farming Trust and the Oxford Real Farming Conference, Wells Food Festival and Wells Food Network and am a trustee of Somerset Wildlife Trust. I am particularly interested in food culture, how food can be produced sustainably, cooking culture, and landscape scale biodiversity and agro ecology..
Concern about the environment is a defining issue for me, having worked as a Landscape Architect for most of my life in both urban and rural areas.
During my time working for Somerset County Council I oversaw a wide range of environmental projects. Landscaping of new roads, quarries and waste sites were part of my remit. I ran a long term project to restore the Somerset countryside by awarding small grants to landowners and farmers to plant trees and hedges, create ponds, restore orchards, pollard willows and manage wildlife sites. At SCC I also oversaw the restoration of the Bridgwater to Taunton canal and creation of a 15 mile surfaced towpath for walkers and cyclists.
I am a Taunton Deane District Councillor for North Curry, Stoke St Gregory and Burrowbridge, the latter being the epicentre of the devastating floods of early 2014.
Now retired, I take an active interest in the three villages which I represent. I am a Parish Councillor in North Curry, involved in maintaining and improving the local footpath system and take a leading interest in the response to local housing proposals coming forward from the Local plan process. I initiated a community woodland near the village and lead a group of volunteers who maintain the area.
I am keen to see the rural economy and environment in the levels be more sustainable and feel that more resources must be directed to this aim.
Adrian’s past experience includes directorships of Wessex Reinvestment Trust and Brendon Energy. He recently completed a ten-year spell as Chairman of Transition Athelney, which has been instrumental in a wide range of projects, including two major events promoting renewable energy solutions in Somerset.
Since 2012, Adrian’s specialism has been Climate Psychology, which aims to understand and help overcome the obstacles to effective engagement with our climate and ecological crisis. It draws on the resources of Psychology and the psychological therapies and covers a wide range of factors such as denial, feelings of powerlessness and anxiety, also culturally reinforced attitudes such as sense of entitlement, consumerist notions of wellbeing and the delusion that human life can exist independently of the natural world. He co-founded the Climate Psychology Alliance www.climatepsychologyalliance.org