James Swayne is the founder and CEO of Father Nature, or 'Fat Nat' as he likes to call it. Having lived in Brixton for over 20 years, James' love of gardening is matched by his keen interest in his community.

His happy childhood memories of learning to garden alongside his mother Carmel inspired him to start Father Nature in 2005 as a voluntary gardening project for young and teenage dads and their kids in Lambeth in collaboration with St. Michael's Fellowship, a local family charity.

Since 2005 Father Nature has grown alongside James' personal mission to get local people growing together and having fun outside. He now works closely with young dads, local schools, Lambeth council and a host of like minded educational and growing groups to make Lambeth a flagship for innovative and sustainable community gardening projects.

James is a qualified landscape designer with a City & Guilds Garden Design Diploma, and the Royal Horticultural Society Level II.  He is also an Accredited Capel Manor External Tutor and BTEC Adult Coach, will full DBS clearance.

Crispin Swayne


Paula has played an informal role in Father Nature since its inception. In 2014 she officially joined the Fat Nat team to help her partner James meet Father Nature's growing admin needs and media interest, bringing her past experience as a professional writer, journalist and TV producer with her.

Paula also has a BSc in Integrated Health and her keen interest in healthy living informs all Father Nature's projects. Finally, as a mother of two boys she knows that gardening is an important salve to hectic city life and a great way for adults and kids to connect with nature, get creative outdoors, and left off steam! Paula has lived in Brixton since 1987.

Paula Webb


Luke Forsythe

Luke joined Fat Nat in 2020 as Project Manager. With a previous career in film he's used to organising a lot of people and things. Not much gets past our Luke!

Mr Badjie

Mr Badjie has been part of the core Father Nature team since 2014. He is our planter building superhero!

Florence Hansford

Florence joined Father Nature during Lockdown and what a find! Organised, thorough and full of good ideas. She's a mean milk float driver too!

Louis Abbott

Louis is the youngest member of the team and brings a keen eye for detail to all his work.

Andreas Papavassiliou

Andreas has been with Fat Nat since 2015. He is currently on the part time Professional Gardener's Course at Capel Manor.


He doesn't carry milk (any more) and he doesn't float but he's 100% electric and can carry up to 4 tonnes of earth. He's our green machine.

Our Board of Directors

There are five non executive directors of the Father Nature Board alongside existing executive directors James Crispin Swayne and Paula Webb. The directors bring with them a wide range of experience from many sectors - marketing, charity, finance and SME management, gardening, marketing, farming and social work. We are confident their knowledge will keep Father Nature growing in the right direction.

Lucy Balls - St Mungo's, Quality & Compliance

Liz de Planta - Landsape artist

Phillip Gutzwiller - Managing Director, Lloyds Banking

Seany O'Kane - Family, gangs & abuse consultant

Andrew Wilkinson - CEO Gilchester Organics