Primrose Haven Retreats

About Us

Paul Benham

Paul and People

For Paul's journey with Sound and movement -- See Courses Page at Paul Benham

TT AwardsPaul trained in conventional agriculture and gained a BSc in agricultural science at Wye College during the end of the 60’s when there was no thought towards any possible limits to growth and agri-business was at full throttle. He learnt all these exploitative farming processes and gained practical experience in conventional farming in both the UK and abroad.

Having become disillusioned with the intensive high fossil fueled, conventional farming approach to food production, Paul retrained by studying an MI Biol in Ecology and Animal Behaviour. The ecological training has been invaluable during the creation of the natural gardens at Primrose, where food production coexists in a very healthy balance with nature.

Paul then gained his doctorate through studying the social behavior of cows, and identified a reduction in ‘friendly’ social behaviours, an increase in stress and an increase in aggression within large intensively managed herds He won the Fleming prize for best scientific paper in this field that year. He then worked for 3 years studying the interactive behaviour between badgers and cows with relevance to TB transmission. He identified a range of management recommendations for keeping the species apart and gave a number of& presentations at conferences in England and also three in Ireland.

Paul moved to Primrose Farm in 1985 and began the process of converting a bare field of grass into an ecological haven that produces an enormous abundance of food. He valued organics as a large step in the right direction, but has been concerned about the limitations of it and particularly because organic systems encompass a very wide range of fossil fuel demands. So he embraced permaculture since it addresses many of the problems facing our planet. During his “30 years a growing” his deep connection with the land and nature became symbiotic and has been very much moulded by the land. “Love and gratitude infused into my approach to growing food and I belive this was an crucial contribution to producing the food with wonderful flavours and vitality”. The farm won a record 12 True Taste of Wales Awards in 3 years including Golds in the Vegetable,Fruit, Healthy Eating and Sustainable development categories. Paul was recognised by the Soil Association as one of their Organic Heroes.

In 2000 Paul set up and ran the Primrose Earth Awareness Trust, which over 15 years hosted children from 45 different schools and raised awareness on sustainable food production to a very wide range of the population. In 2013 he was awarded the Environmentalist category of Inspire Wales Awards

Jan Benham

Jan Benham

Jan Benham has a deep interest in food and nutrition and the ways in which we can rebalance and re-energise our bodies through eating what is right for us.

Jan has a background in dietary healing and used her knowledge and love of cooking to creatively produce healthy meals for all the courses that are run at Primrose Haven, catering where possible for special dietary needs. Most of the meals served are created using organic, seasonal produce from the gardens whenever possible.

Jan also has a background in healing. She completed a four-part course with the National Federation of Spiritual Healers before doing Reiki 1 and 2; she is also qualified in Holistic Massage. Currently working in a caring role, she applies her knowledge and experience into many aspects of her daily life. She completed the Sound Healing Training with Simon Heather and supports Paul in delivering the course.

Videos that highlight the highly acclaimed organic and sustainable practices of Primrose Organic Farm

Growing into Life at Primrose 1: Planting the Seeds -

Growing into Life at Primrose 2: Understanding Nature's Way -

Growing into Life at Primrose 3: Not a Machine -

Growing into Life at Primrose 4: The Maze of Food Security -

Growing into Life at Primrose 5: The Abundant Forest -

Growing into Life at Primrose 6: The Healing Frequency -