Groundswell Festival provides a forum for farmers, growers and anyone interested in food production and the environment to learn about the theory and practical applications of regenerative farming systems.
Now in its eighth year, the event will bring together over 200 speakers from across the world. As well as sessions curated by the Groundswell team, organisations and individuals were invited to put forward topics and session ideas, with applications nearly double the number of spaces available.
Science writer, Anne Biklé will deliver the first keynote of Groundswell 2023. Her latest book, “What Your Food Ate: How to Heal the Land and Reclaim our Health” delves into the connections between soil health and the health of crops, animals, and people. She will share some of her findings, reflecting on her background in biology and environmental planning to explore humanity’s tangled relationship with nature.
Independent agroecologist Nicole Masters runs “Integrity Soils” which delivers coaching and educational programmes and has done for nearly two decades. Her book titled “For the Love of Soil; Strategies to Regenerate our Food Production Systems” showcases examples of the tools and principles producers are using to regenerate their soils.
Richard Perkins will look at the human scale of regenerative practices, demonstrating how anyone can get involved regardless of scale. With more than 14 million views on his blog and over 160,000 subscribers on YouTube, he is no stranger to inspiring farmers across the globe with his pragmatic no-nonsense approach to profitable system design.
New this year, the event which takes place from 28th to 29th June 2023 at Lannock Manor Farming Hertfordshire, will include “advanced sessions”. These longer presentations and discussions will provide more depth on a topic, allowing those already on their regenerative agriculture journey the opportunity to further expand their knowledge.
This year will also have a strong focus on pasture-fed livestock, with Groundswell integrating cattle into their rotation to improve soil health. During the event, visitors will have the opportunity to follow the full supply chain: hearing from Pasture for Life about 100% grass-fed cattle and sheep; seeing mob grazing in action; viewing a mobile abattoir while discussing the infrastructure needed to ensure sustainability for the future; as well as enjoying beef-cooked over a fire.
Organised by the Cherry family, the programme has been designed to cover all aspects of farming from livestock and agroforestry to machinery, crops, and finance. Alex Cherry, Event Director feels this is what makes Groundswell so unique. He said:
“Last year we welcomed over 5,500 delegates to Groundswell from farmers to policymakers, all with a similar objective – to understand more about regenerative agriculture. Regardless of your farming operation or scale, everyone has a role to play in ensuring we protect our soil, look after the land and produce food in a safe and nutritious way.
“We use the five principals of regenerative agriculture to help guide our farming decisions. This includes protecting the soil surface, increasing diversity, integrating livestock, maintaining living roots and minimising soil disturbance. Despite the barriers to defining regenerative agriculture, we want to ensure Groundswell remains an inclusive space for everyone to share their own thoughts, practical ideas and experiences to help make farming part of the solution, to many of the issues we face today.”
Other speakers include Frédéric Thomas who specialises in minimum tillage and conservation agriculture and supported the creation of the French network BASE (Biodiversity, Agriculture, Soil and Environment) which now has over 1200 members.
Joel Williams, an independent plant and soil health consultant with a strong interest in microbial ecology and mineral nutrition.
Grammy-nominated musician Andy Cato who co-founded Wildfarmed, an award-winning regenerative farming business.
Dr Emily Bull who manages the Regen Dairy project, run by FAI Farms and looks to understand what regenerative dairy looks like from the bottom up and throughout the supply chains.
Biochemist and nutritionist Judith Batchelor OBE who has worked in food and drink for over 35 years, most recently as Director of Sainsbury’s Brand. She is also Deputy Chair of The Environment Agency and Honorary President of the British Nutrition Foundation
- Making regenerative agriculture pay
- Pastured poultry
- Alley cropping in practice (agroforestry)
- Integrated pest and disease management
- Regenerative viticulture in the UK
- Ag-tech, why and how to invest in regenerative agriculture and food
- Mob grazing
- Fashion in agriculture – field farm and fashion/wool/leather
- How to feed your soils biologically
- What will we be eating in 2050.
- Opportunities for regenerative agriculture in field scale vegetables
- Carbon and net zero
- Intercropping practical lessons
- Climate-friendly sheep farming
- Linking soil health and potato production
- Landscape recovery
Groundswell Festival includes evening entertainment in the form of live music, comedy, the “Earthworm Arms” bar, hot and cold food, and on-site camping.
Tickets are now on sale at www.groundswellag.com and are on a first-come basis with the event selling out for the last two years consecutively.
To view a full list of speakers, click here.
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