Academy Fellows

The school encourages students to be aspirational and ambitious. We operate a Fellowship Programme to help to widen students’ horizons and give them a range of interesting and inspirational mentors. Click here for details of the programme's launch.

Photo of Michael Morpurgo talking with Route 39 students. All our fellows have committed to visit the school in order to share their experiences and skills. We hope that this will bring learning to life for the students, as well as giving them an opportunity to hear about a range of different jobs and vocations.

Our Fellows

Michael Morpurgo

OBE, author, poet and playwright
Michael was the third Children’s Laureate. He has written many children’s books, including War Horse. In 1976 Michael and his wife Clare established the charity Farms for City Children, which gave children from inner city areas the chance to experience the countryside. The charity now has three farms in Devon, Gloucestershire and Wales and over 85,000 children have taken part in the scheme. Michael lives and works in Devon, but travels extensively. Click here for details of his latest visit to Route 39.

John Bird

Founder of The Big Issue
John was born into poverty and brought up in care. His life's journey, as he describes it, has included spells as a thief, prison inmate, artist and poet. He launched The Big Issue in 1991 with the help of Gordon Roddick, in response to the growing number of rough sleepers on the streets of London. He believes that the key to solving the problem of homelessness lies in helping people to help themselves, and he is determined to offer a legitimate alternative to begging.

Manu Luksch

Manu is an artist and a filmmaker. The evolution of film in the digital age has been a core theme of her works. Her CCTV sci-fi thriller Faceless (2007) stimulated critical debate on surveillance. The film is part of the Collection Centre Georges Pompidou, was translated into nine languages, and continues to be shown internationally. Her most recent work, Dreams Rewired, traces the desires and anxieties of our hyper-connected world to the dawn of the electric age. She is based in Vienna and London.

Mukul Patel

Composer and Mathematician
Mukul explores ideas through sound, text and processes. He composes music for contemporary choreographers, notably Russell Maliphant (most recently, at Sadler’s Wells, London and Bayerisches Staatsballett, Munich). His recent book on mathematics for children We’ve Got Your Number was shortlisted for the 2014 Royal Society Prize.

Colonel Justin Hedges

OBE, Royal Marines Officer
Justin has served as a Royal Marines Officer since 1993. He has deployed operationally to Northern Ireland, Bosnia Herzegovina, the Far East, Iraq, Afghanistan, South America and Africa. He has had the honour of commanding Marines and soldiers throughout his career, learning much about leadership, courage, commitment and sacrifice. Justin believes that setting a good example by maintaining high personal standards is the cornerstone of successful leadership. Currently, he works in the Ministry of Defence running over 50 operations in all corners of the world.

Dominic West 

Dominic West is an actor best known for his role as Detective Jimmy McNulty in the HBO drama series, The Wire. He was recently won a BAFTA award for his role as Fred West in the series Appropriate Adult. He also starred alongside Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English Reborn. Dominic lives in London, works internationally, and is a regular visitor to N. Devon. Click here for details of his latest visit to Route 39.

Daniel Probert

IT Professional
Daniel is a Senior Consultant working for Microsoft, where he designs computer systems for a number of high profile clients. He has been working in the IT industry for almost 20 years, across a diverse range of industries including airlines, utilities, banks and pharmaceutical companies. Daniel has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He has been living in the UK for the past 12 years, and is currently living in Devon.

Professor Deborah Eyre

Deborah is a global leader, writer and influencer in the area of high performance learning for schools and individuals. She has held a variety of senior roles including Education Director for Nord Anglia Education and Director of the UK government’s National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth. Professor Eyre's board memberships include the Training and Development Agency, National College for School Leadership and the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. She has advised governments and educational foundations in Hong Kong, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

Karina Moreton

Co-Director of Travel Company
Karina and her husband, James, founded Panoramic Journeys, recognised as the leading authority on Mongolian travel. As well as organising small group holidays and tailor-made journeys they also organise film and fashion and stills shoots, and have expanded to cover Bhutan and Burma as well. Karina has worked with a diverse range of people and organisations, including David Attenborough, Ewan McGregor, National Geographic and Vogue. Karina grew up in North Devon and is a regular visitor.

Andy Phillips

Serial entrepreneur
Andy currently teaches entrepreneurship at LBS and INSEAD business schools. He is actively involved with a number of commercial and social ventures, including Reevoo, Greentraveller, i2o Water and Fresh Start Coffee. He was the UK Entrepreneur of the Year and has been awarded a Bye-fellowship at Downing College, Cambridge. He is on the governing council of the University of Essex. Andy lives in Norfolk and is a regular visitor to N. Devon.

Jacinth O'Donnell

Wildlife film director and producer
Jacinth has filmed animals all over the world, from the polar bears in the artic, to lemurs on Madagascar, producing documentaries for C5, Discovery and National Geographic. Her films include Jurassic Shark, Secrets of the Crocodile Caves, Mamba!, Wildest India and Monkey Thieves. Jacinth lives and works in Somerset. Click here for details of Jacinth's latest visit to Route 39.

Charlotte Hobson

Author and journalist
Charlotte’s book Black Earth City: A Year in the Heart of Russia won a Somerset Maugham Award. She reviews for a range of publications including The Spectator and The Telegraph, and has had short stories published in various anthologies and read on Radio 4. She is currently writing a novel for Faber & Faber. She lives in south Cornwall.

Richard Hammond

Chief Executive and founder of Green Traveller
Richard Hammond is the Chief Executive and founder of, a website for travellers wishing to minimise their carbon footprint. He is a former travel journalist, specialising in sustainable transport and ecotourism. He was the Guardian’s eco travel correspondent, and co-author of ‘Great Escapes - 500 unforgettable travel experiences’ published by Rough Guides. Richard lives a short bike ride from London St Pancras, travels extensively, and loves swimming in N. Devon.

Trevor Stanbury

MBE, Partner at the Milky Way and Board Member of North Devon Plus
Trevor Stanbury ran a family farm at Downland, Clovelly, developing one of the largest dairy cattle dealing businesses in the South West. Following the introduction of milk quotas, he opened the UK's first open farm (The Milky Way). This has since been developed into one of the region's major family tourist attractions providing employment for 60 people. Trevor was one of the three people who formed the North Devon Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He instigated the creation of the North Devon Marketing Bureau. He was awarded an MBE for services to Tourism in The South West in 2007.

Angus Davison

Founder of Haygrove fruit farms in Herefordshire
Angus Davison is the founder of Haygrove fruit farms in Herefordshire, and a pioneer of the use of polytunnels in Britain. He has since built an international horticulture company that grows high value crops and develops and sells growing systems in 45 countries. Angus is credited with reviving the £200 million soft fruit industry in this country, and was awarded an MBE for his services to agriculture. Angus lives in Herefordshire, but works all over the world. He looks forward to being a frequent visitor to N. Devon.

Joanna Johnston

Film Costume Designer
Joanna has worked on many films including War Horse, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Joanna lives in London, but her work takes her all over the world.

Jo and Keith Kingstone

Owners of ‘The Place’ in Holsworthy
Keith and Jo have worked in many different aspects of hairdressing throughout their careers, from starting as apprentices to becoming artistic directors, putting on hair shows, and training and putting on seminars all over Europe. Keith and Jo have worked in and owned several salons, their latest being in Holsworthy.

John Chubb

Dressage rider and trainer
John Chubb is a dressage rider and trainer who has competed up to Prix St. Georges level. He has owned and run Coles Mills Stables in Holsworthy for the last ten years having started the business aged 20. John lives and works locally.

Susan Derges

Photographic artist
Susan Derges is an internationally recognised photographic artist, specialising in camera-less photographic processes, most often working with natural landscapes. She has exhibited extensively in Europe, America and Japan and has works in many museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum, New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Susan lives on Dartmoor.

Dr Bice Maighuashca

Senior Lecturer in Politics at Exeter University
Dr Bice Maighuashca’s current academic research, teaching and publications focus on the aims, achievements and conflicts around social movements within global politics. These encompass green movements, women’s activism and indigenous peoples’ movements. Dr Maighuashca is based in Exeter.

Annabel McChesney

Fine artist with an international rowing career
Annabel was a finalist at the World Championships in Bled and Vienna, and in double sculls at the Barcelona Olympics. She formed a clothing company, Rock the Boat, to finance her rowing career. She still designs and acts as a consultant for Rock the boat, after selling the business to concentrate on her family and other artistic pursuits. She lives in Oxfordshire.

Sally Axworthy

British Ambassador to the Holy See
Sally Axworthy MBE is Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Holy See. Sally's previous roles include time as Joint Head of the North Africa Department, Head of the Great Lakes, East Africa & Somalia Department, and Director of Corporate Services in India. 

Dr Alan Dangour

Dr Alan Dangour is an academic at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and an advisor at the UK Department for International Development. His area of research is the interaction between agriculture, nutrition and health. Alan lives in London, works internationally and visits N. Devon often. Click here for details of his latest visit to Route 39.

Jasper Fforde 

Jasper spent twenty years in the film business before debuting on the New York Times Bestseller list with The Eyre Affair in 2001. Since then he has written another six novels featuring his Literary Detective heroine Thursday Next. Jasper’s writing is an eclectic mix of genres, which might be described as a blend of Comedy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Crime and Satire. He is fascinated not just by books themselves, but by the way we read and what we read, and his reinvigoration of tired genres have won him many enthusiastic fans.

Lorna Howarth

Development Director of Artists Project Earth
Lorna is Editorial Director of The Write Factor, a publishing company which she founded in order to provide a creative environment to support and nurture the literary imagination. Lorna is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Advisor to Artists Project Earth and Associate Editor at Resurgence magazine. She lives and works locally.

Dr Angus Macdonald

GP with special interest in emergency medicine
Dr Angus Macdonald qualified at the Royal London Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He is a GP and Partner at the Stratton Medical Centre with a special interest in orthopaedics and emergency medicine.

Claudia Kapp

Owner of fashion boutique
Claudia has always loved unusual fashion and dressing differently. After completing an Art Foundation course she went to a fashion college in London. During her time there she got a ten week work placement at a small company, and stayed on for five years - becoming their designer. In 2008 she moved out of London and founded Deadly is The Female, a boutique and webstore based in Frome, Somerset.

Jamie Drummond

Co-founder of ONE
Jamie Drummond is co-founder (with Bono) of the advocacy organisation ONE, which has over 3 million members. The central themes of ONE are ending extreme poverty and fighting the AIDS pandemic. Jamie lives in London, works around the world but visits N. Devon regularly.

Rob McIntosh

Rob has a Diploma from the Worshipful Company of Farriers. He was chosen to be part of the farrier team at the London Olympics. Rob works and lives locally.

Neville Davies

Scientist and Engineer
Neville Davies went to school in North Devon before studying Physics and European Studies at University. Since then, he has worked in a number of highly innovative companies as a scientist, engineer and sales agent. He has developed a specialism in optics and measurement techniques involving light, and currently works in a small team developing the UK business and scientific applications of a global spectroscopy company. Neville has relatives in North Devon and visits frequently. Click here for details of his latest visit to Route 39.

Chris Hines

Environmental Campaigner
Chris was Co-Founder of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), a campaign group that helped to highlight and remedy the pollution of our coastal waters. He went on to become Sustainability Director at the Eden Project. In 2008 he was awarded an MBE for ‘services to the environment’ and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Plymouth. Chris now runs A Grain of Sand which aims to deliver positive change. Click here for details of his latest visit to Route 39.

David Charters

Businessman and author
David is a former diplomat and investment banker turned businessman and author. He grew up in Barnstaple and divides his time between London and Westward Ho! He has written six novels and two collections of short stories, and his business ventures have ranged from gold mining in Kazakhstan to deep sea salvage and maritime security. He co-founded the Beacon Prize for philanthropy and has served as a Bow Street magistrate and as a trustee of the charity Action for Blind People.

David Savage

Furniture designer and maker
David runs his own furniture design studio at Rowden Farm Workshops, in Shebbear. As well as making bespoke luxury furniture, he runs professional woodworking and furniture design courses. David studied at The Ruskin School, Oxford, and later as a postgraduate at the Royal Academy Schools in London. After graduation he worked on some public arts projects, before establishing his own furniture workshop in London. Later he moved to Bideford where he continued his work. David is a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and a Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen.

Philip Leach

Philip started his working life as a teacher - six years of which were in Iran where he helped to set up a number of student workshops. Since 1979, he has been running Springfield Pottery in Hartland with his wife Frannie, who is also a potter. Philip is involved in pottery projects locally, and regularly visits and exhibits in Japan. He is the grandson of the legendary Bernard Leach, one of greatest potters of the 20th Century.

Philip Marsden

Philip is the author of a number of award-winning books, spanning and sometimes fusing travel, history, biography and fiction. He has written extensively about Ethiopia, Eastern Europe and Cornwall. His work has been translated into fifteen languages and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is actively involved in marine conservation and lives on the tidal upper reaches of the River Fal in Cornwall with his wife, children and various boats.

Satish Kumar

Editor of Resurgence magazine
Satish is a peace and environmental activist. He has been a Jain monk, nuclear disarmament advocate, and is the current editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. He is founder and Director of Programmes at Schumacher College, an international centre for ecological studies, and The Small School. His undertook a ‘peace walk’ in the early 1970s – a journey of over 8,000 miles. He carried no money and depended on the kindness of strangers. Satish continues to teach and write and teach. He insists that reverence for nature should be at the heart of every political and social debate. Click here for details of his latest visit.

William Peers

William is a sculptor specializing in stone carving. He studied at Falmouth College of Art before working in the marble quarries of Carrara, Italy. Later he spent long periods sculpting in Corsica. In the 1990s William moved to Cornwall where he worked exclusively in Hornton stone. He later turned to Portuguese marble, and his carving became more abstract. His latest solo exhibition was ‘100 Days: Sketched in Marble”, a series where he carved a marble sculpture each day for one hundred days.