It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of the incredible Martin Wolfe, pioneer and father of agroforestry in the UK, who died earlier this month at his home in Wakelyns Farm.
Martin was a huge inspiration to us and we would imagine, to everyone who heard him speak! We met Martin in 2016 at the Oxford Real Farming Conference, where he introduced us to the importance of agroforesty and got us enthused (and very excited to be honest!) about establishing an agroforesty system at the Kindling farm. We were then lucky enough to visit him that spring and spend the day with him learning all about his work at Wakelyns (agroforestry in action on an organic research farm) and indeed his life. As we said at the time his life was so interesting it should definitely be made into a novel.
Martin and his wife Anne established Wakelyns as a great example of what is possible in the UK food and farming landscape. A pioneering yet at the same time completely common sense system of farming working with nature, protecting the soil, increasing biodiversity as well as a system of production that works financially for the farmer. What’s there not to love about that?! Martin was a real inspiration and wealth of information, but he was also a man with a huge heart. He made us feel very welcome at Wakelyns and brightened up our Oxford Real Farming experience in subsequent years with his enthusiasm and his hugs. Martin made us feel not only that we can set up an northern version of the amazing Wakelyns farm, but that we must; and when we do so it will bring back very happy memories of Martin Wolfe and be a daily celebration of his life.