John Seymour and Will Sutherland
John Seymour came to live in Ireland in 1981 when he began
work on developing his smallholding in County Wexford. A regular series
of summer courses was started in 1993. Will Sutherland
joined John in running courses soon afterwards and continued to work
with John until his death at the age of 90 in 2004. Will
continues to run courses and give workshops on the many and various
topics covered by the Complete Book.
John Seymour (born in 1914- died 2004) As soon as John finished school he left England to live in Africa where he worked as a veterinary office, miner and fisherman. During the second world war he fought in Ethiopia and Burmah.
After the war John returned to England where he lived and worked on a sailing barge before becoming a smallholder, writer and broadcaster. His initial experiences are vividly described in his book "The Fat of the Land". His distinctive way of life soon became a magnet for people interested in an alternative lifestyle including such visionary thinkers as Leopold Kohr and E F Schumacher.. In 1981 he decided to "retire" and moved to Ireland to start a new life.Over the years John wrote over 30 books. In his later years he became a popular TV commentator and an outspoken environmental campaigner who was arrested in 1999 for destroying genetically engineered sugar beet.
Will Sutherland Born in 1945, Will grew up on a traditional mixed farm in Northumberland. After taking a BA degree at Cambridge , he took a Diploma in Farm Management and MSc in Agricultural Economics before moving to Whitehall as a civil servant. His 10 years in public service included spells in the Department of the Environment, the Treasury and Westminster City Council; Will then joined Ernst and Young as a Management Consultant.
Will followed his interest in the political process and environmental politics by attending the Rio Earth summit in 1992 and afterwards editing and publishing the NGO Alternative Treaties. In 1991 Will met John and decided to leave London to help run John's smallholding in Ireland. Will worked with John on a number of projects including extending and rewriting the "New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency" and the continuing teaching of "self sufficiency".