Michael Davies and Debbie Taylor


Described by family, friends and colleagues as a down-to-earth, practical man, Michael decided he wanted to work outside from an early age. His decision was influenced by his love of the low lying sandy heathland – originally part of the great Dorset heathland commemorated in Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native – which was his natural playground.

After working in Dorset and neighbouring counties for several years and studying horticulture at Kingston Maurward, Dorchester, Michael relocated his practice to Cumbria in the early nineties. In his spare time, Michael is an enthusiastic mountain biker and has been a Trail Centre Leader – a benchmark qualification for anyone wishing to lead groups of mountain bikers. Cyclewise Academy is based at Whinlatter Forest.

I’m a landscape designer, horticulturist, writer and organic gardener.
Voluntarily, I’m a filmmaker, oral historian and audio producer for podcasts, film, and artist-led spaces. I use words, film and audio as a medium to tell stories about extraordinary lives. In other lives I’ve curated many exhibitions for artists; made video art and written and directed experimental theatre.

Research interests:

  • Memoir and Diaries.
  • Memory and Forgetting.
  • Place and Home.
The garden as a work of art, the phenomenology of landscape and Rewilding are of particular interest.
Current Projects:
I’m editing my debut novel ‘100 People’ (my pen name is Lily Rosetta Jones in honour of my Great Grandmother and Great Aunt, both born and raised in Wales,) and developing an interactive website about the Cumbrian parish where I live.