Our circle of friends and co-conspirators

A strong and healthy hedge needs a variety of different intertwined, interleaved species in order to thrive — each adding something essential, something which is necessary to attract different kinds of wildlife to the hedge, and to provide nourishment, shelter and sustenance for the ecosystem which arises. We all need friends and collaborators — not least for the craic! Here, then, is my growing circle of friends and co-conspirators, who I’ve worked with in a variety of different ways.



Dr Joanna Gilar is an academic, writer and storyteller whose work explores the intersection of stories and the wild world. She has a PhD in fairy tales and ecological storytelling from the University of Chichester. From her home in Sussex she works as a guest lecturer at the University of Chichester, and spends the rest of her time looking after her young son, writing about home-making and parenting, and performing poems and stories at venues across Europe and the UK. Joanna offers an online course, ‘The Fairytale Atlas’, through The Hedge School, and has been a guest contributor to Sharon’s ‘Voices of the Wells’ course. Joanna’s website is at www.fabularosa.co.uk


Mary is a landscape gardener – but a very unusual landscape gardener, because her focus is on marrying the needs and wishes of the land’s guardian with the needs and wishes of the land itself. With her roots in natural gardening theory, Mary seeks to create spaces that are healing, truthful and magical. She is the author of the beautiful and inspiring book The Garden Awakening. Dare to be Wild, a feature-length movie based on Mary’s journey to build a gold medal-winning natural and determinedly Irish garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, was released in 2016. Mary has been a guest contributor to Sharon’s ‘Voices of the Wells’ course; she is also a contributor to the first HedgeWise Festival in 2019. You can find her website at marymary,ie.


Nikki Darrell, MBS BSc (Hons) Dip Phyt MIRH MIFA, is a herbalist, aromatherapist and botanist. In 2007 she founded Veriditas Hibernica, a community-based enterprise dedicated to reconnecting people with nature and especially to the plants around us. She now runs the Plant Medicine School in Co. Cork, Ireland. Nikki is a contributor to the first HedgeWise Festival in 2019.


Andreas Kornevall grew up in South America, Sweden and Switzerland. He co-founded Working Abroad  – a non-profit volunteering and travelling site, and now directs the Earth Restoration Service Charity, which aims to enhance ecological integrity by planting new woodlands around the world. He co-founded the Life Cairn movement: memorials for species rendered extinct at human hands. As a storyteller, he works with old myths and fairy tales from the Northern and Greek mythological landscapes. Andreas is a contributor to the first HedgeWise Festival in 2019.


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