Æ : Action Ecology

Who we are
Shane Ward
Founder
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Shane Ward is an agroecologist, regenerative land use advisor and communicator passionate about sustainable food production, ecosystem restoration, agroforestry as well as plant, soil & microbial ecology. Shane brings an international perspective, scientific rigour and pragmatic approach to his work - drawing on innovations from both on-the-ground practitioners and scientific research. 

Excited by the challenge of designing and managing permanent, resilient, integrated, ecologically-regenerative, diverse productive land use systems, Shane also works more broadly to engage people with visioning a better way forwards for humanity’s approach to energy, economy and agriculture via re-partnering with natural systems so we might provide a chance for future generations to thrive on this planet.
In addition to his advisory work, Shane also enjoys occasional speaking engagements, and (when time permits) getting his hands dirty developing and experimenting-on his own small property. In addition to his existing design and advisory work, he also looks forward to one day bringing his expertise to international development work, sustainable food-system design and large-scale land regeneration based on ecological principles.
In previous careers, Shane has worked at a senior level in large FTSE100 organisations (based in London) as a communications specialist in a diverse range of sectors (such as finance, banking, insurance, property and energy), in addition to many years in an even earlier career working in Film & Television - across creative, technical and business/project management roles.
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After many years living abroad (in places like the UK, France, Mexico and Australia), Shane is pleased to be putting down roots in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Education, Training & Memberships
  • Syntropia - Syntropic Agroforestry (theory, design, planning & management) - with Scott Hall
  • Soil Food Web (Soil ecology : "Life in the Soil", thermal & vermi composting, compost extract / tea production and soil assessment / microscopy courses - all completed with distinction) - with Dr Elaine Ingham
  • Regrarians Agroecological Planning Framework (Regrarians® comprehensive planning platform covering: Climate/Geography/Water/Access/Forestry/Buildings/Fencing/Soils/Economy/Energy) - with Darren Doherty
  • Agroforestry Research Trust - Forest Gardening (design & management) - with Martin Crawford
  • Restoration Agriculture Development - Restoration Agriculture & Forest Ecology (through the Ecolonomics Action Team platform) - with Mark Shepard
  • Permaculture Research Institute - Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) - with Geoff Lawton & Bill Mollison
  • BSc Monash University - Majoring in Ecology and conservation biology with minors in Plant Sciences & Geographical Science (graduated with High-Distinction average, and recipient of the 'Dean's List Award' for 'Outstanding academic achievement'.)
  • Lancaster University - Introduction to Soils (Futurelearn)
  • Stockholm Environment Institute - Sustainable Food Systems in South East Asia (Futurelearn)
  • Member of the New Zealand Ecological Society
Jemma Heron
Associate
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Jemma is an early-career agroecologist and regenerative land use designer fascinated with understanding and regenerating living systems for permanent food production.

While undertaking her Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Sustainability with a minor in agricultural science, Jemma discovered her passion for agroecology which immediately aligned perfectly with her long-held sense (even from a young age) that our current systems are not well designed for living sustainably, or for nutritious and environmentally healthy food production.

Through both her studies and her own personal health journey, Jemma’s intellectual curiosity led her to discover Regenerative Agriculture, Permaculture design and agroforestry all of which aligned perfectly with her love of living things, and solidified her desire to pursue a career in this field. In addition to her academic background Jemma has also been fortunate to have the opportunity to get hands-on experience through volunteering on regenerative farming operations and ecological restoration projects around New Zealand.

Since working with Action Ecology Jemma has been excited to have the opportunity to learn all she can about agroecological land use, restoring ecosystems and regenerative agriculture while also supporting people to transition their landscapes at all scales while holistically caring for people and the Earth.
Education, Training & Memberships
  • BSc Massey University - Majoring in Ecology and Sustainability with a minor in Agricultural Science.
What we're about
This short video provides an introduction in to what we do and why it's important.