Matt Dunwell has owned and run Ragmans since 1990. He has hosted numerous courses over the last eighteen years for teachers such as Patrick Whitefield, Bill Mollison, Mike Feingold, Chris Evans, Andy Langford and Jude and Michel Fanton from Australia, Starhawk and Penny Livingston- Stark from LA as well as the team below who currently teach at Ragmans.

He has experience through his management of Ragmans, in livestock (cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry), vegetables, mushroom production, orchards and apple juicing, as well as staff and volunteer managment.

He was on the steering group of Transition Forest of Dean for a year, and has worked as a consultant for the Foundation of Local Food Initiatives. He co authored the first Local Food Directory in 1997. He has been a Trustee of the Tudor Trust for over 25 years.


Freya Davies  - General Manager joined Ragmans in October 2007. Freya brings a wealth of interests to Ragmans including gardening, bee keeping, herbalism, and a general love of the land.

Freya has helped the farm move into a more developed organisation, with a keen eye for detail, care for the land, and an understanding of the potential of the farm buildings and landscape to attract and nurture people.

This has helped develop the teaching programme at Ragmans making it more varied and also attracting highly skilled new teachers.



Angie Horsley joined us in August 2010 and is our Administrator/Facilities Officer. Angie is probably the one you get through to on the phone, dealing with enquiries such as 'can we a have a wedding at Ragmans?' through to 'how much comfrey do we need to cover a field?'.

Angie has been the driving force behind Ragmans helping set up the Yurt camping experience, and increasing bookings for the Bunkhouse. 

When she escapes from Ragmans she hangs out in the Forest of Dean with wooden goats and is an avid mountain biker.


 Juanfran Lopez  is passionate about working with different regenerative techniques and tools to create low cost sustainable solutions. During his time here as Reseracher he developed production and application of biofertiliser and mineral brews, as well as studying their effects through trials run on the farm.

He has studied with Jairo Restrepo, Nacho Simon, and having taught alongside them in South America he now teaches his own courses in Africa, Nepal and India. JuanFran trained as an Agronomist in Spain before travelling to learn different approaches to land management. He studied permaculture under Patrick Whitefield and has a Permaculture Diploma and is an adviser for the McKnight Foundation and their biofertiliser work.


Caroline Aitken is now the leading teacher on the Permaculture Design courses and worked with Patrick and Cathy Whitefield since 2008. She is qualified in design, permaculture design and horticulture and also works as a design consultant, cook and illustrator.

Her experience includes managing 2 acres of intensive organic vegetable production, managing 5 acres of ornamental and food gardens at a meditation retreat centre, and catering for groups, courses and retreats. She lives with her partner and son on a 4 acre smallholding in Dartmoor where they are working towards self-sufficiency and creating educational spaces. Caroline is also co-author with Martin Crawford of Food from your Forest Garden, a comprehensive guide to making best use of your forest garden produce. Visit her website and blog Think.Grow.Eat for more information.

Steve Pickup   has been teaching at Ragmans since 2000. We are accumulating many examples of his willow sculptures, including  fedges, willow arches, and different forms of erosion control using living willow.

He has spent the last twenty years growing, planting, weaving and teaching, and has a keen interest in the emerging new varieties useful for living willow sculptures. Steve started the Willow Bank, originally based in Wales, which now grows many varieties of willow at Ragmans. He sells a range of willow for sculptures, baskets, landscaping and fuel. The willow is now grown and dispatched from Ragmans Lane Farm.

Steve is also a mean DJ operating under cover as 'Steve the Weave'