Martin Clark is a forester by training and was once Head of the UK's National School of Forestry. Since 1997, he has been Director of Grampus Heritage and Training and his most recent task has been managing the 9-country 'Green Village' project, funded the the European Union's 'Lifelong Learning Programme'. Now the legacy of Green Village involves building new projects and work on the 4 pillars of sustainability - environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability.
He divides his time between the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia and develops new projects for Grampus, ARCH Network in Scotland, Kato Drys Community Council in Cyprus and Satul Verde Association in Romania. This involves sourcing local training opportunities for UK-based people which saw students and teachers working in Romania, Slovakia and Cyprus. On the near horizon, managing waste, sustainable art, craft and fashion and drawing on the past to learn lessons for a sustainable future.
Martin has contributed to Sublime for over three years and together they ran a series of 'Sustainable Fashion' internships for the joint London colleges, led by Central St. Martin's, University of the Arts London
Young people across the EU are moving from villages to the cities, as they always have. In search of work and a better life, they leave unique, ancient crafts and skills dying, with no one to pass them on to. Now, thanks to the Green Village Programme, these skills are being revived, gifted from generation to generation and enjoyed by young people from all over Europe
For Europe to be sustainable and prosper, its peoples need to feel they belong to something greater than their own nation state. Beyond the economic and political reasons for the existance of a European Union, we need to be ready for the challenges that globalisation poses to the sustainability of our cultural diversity
In the age of digital and networked societies, it may seem that only new technologies can move us forward. Martin challenges us to see how collaborative training in traditional skills can pave new ways into the livelihoods of European villages
Wondering what to do next? Leave that smartphone behind, take a trip back in time and let a rural grandma teach you the ways of the land
Some consider Romania to be one of the least developed of the ex-Communist European states, and as far as some of its young are concerned, it still is – they work hard to secure jobs as migrant workers elsewhere. But as the whole of Europe becomes mired in ever-deepening economic failure, the elegantly simple, sustainable-living models still encapsulated in that country’s traditions, which have been honed over generations, are starting to come into their own