John Seymour, author and environmentalist: born 12 June 1914; died 14 September 2004

JOHN Seymour, one of the grandfathers of the sustainability movement and one of the Monsanto Seven, died at his beloved farm in Pembrokeshire, Wales. John, who lived and promoted natural farming practices in Ireland for over 20 years, was the author of 41 books including the classic The Complete Book Of Self Sufficiency.

In 1998 John became one of the now famous Arthurstown Seven who were charged with criminal damage for destroying a Monsanto geneticallymodified sugarbeet test site. After a day and a half, of a very public trial, Judge Donncha O Buachalla said he was very conscious that the beet trial protest was conducted in a honest and good humoured manner and accepted the seven had honestly held beliefs.

At the end of the day the case was proven but damages sought by Monsanto, to the tune of £16,000, were reduced to £30 by the court.

"If a government does not take action to protect its citizens from serious danger is it not reasonable that the citizens should take action to protect themselves?" John wrote in 1998.

Herbert Girardet, the author of Creating Sustainable Cities, paid him this tribute: "John was like a force of nature, always willing to listen, always interested in learning about new . . . or very old . . .ways of working the land.

He was a one-man rebellion against modernism and his absence will be felt by millions the world over."

He is survived by his wife and three daughters.