The newly announced programme at Groundswell Festival includes sessions that teach the basic principles and advanced long-form sessions on practical techniques.
The event, which takes place at Lannock Manor Farm in Hertfordshire on Wednesday 28th to Thursday 29th June 2023, will include discussion on a variety of topics including soil health, water systems, fibre farming, nutrition, supply chains and landscape-scale regeneration, to name but a few.
It aims to answer some of the questions raised by the industry, through open discussion and shared experiences. This includes linking soil health and vegetable production, establishing agroforestry systems, landscape recovery, integrated pest and disease management and governmental policies.
One of the first key discussions will look at “Is it time to certify regenerative agriculture?”. Hosted by journalist and publisher, Rosie Boycott, the panel will debate and discuss options for the future. This includes Helen Browning CEO of the Soil Association, Mike Purnell, Farm Manager at Whitbread Farms in Bedfordshire, Judith Batchelar OBE, Biochemist and Deputy Chair of The Environment Agency, and Catherine Chong, ecology, social, and governance advisor.
The main stage, located in a festival marquee the “Big Top”, will welcome Anne Bikle to talk about “What Your Food Ate”, discussing how the roots of good health start on farms. She will explore the long-running partnership through which crops and soil life nourish one another and suffuse plant and animal food in the human diet.
Tim Lang, Professor Emeritus of Food Policy at City, University of London’s Centre for Food Policy will discuss “Why Won’t the UK State Take Food – Not Just Farming – Seriously?” exploring UK food resilience and security, food politics and whether we can grow more food from our own resources.
With the return of a number of international speakers, “Human Scale Regenerative Farming” will be sure to attract lots of attention. Richard Perkins built up Ridgedale Farm on a shoestring budget in the harsh climatic, regulatory and economic conditions of Sweden. During his talk, he will share his approach to land planning, economics and management, necessary to make small farms thrive.
Livestock will also have a strong spotlight at Groundswell Festival 2023 with sessions looking at “Climate Friendly Sheep Farming”, “An Introduction to Pasture for Life”, “Mob Grazing”, “Regenerative Grazing for Dairy”, “Mobile Abattoir Demo”, “Pastured Poultry Profits” and “Integrating Animals into Arable Systems”
For early risers, a series of safaris including dawn chorus birds and moths will offer the chance to understand more about how biodiversity is enhancing and supporting food and farming. Whilst those who like a long day will be able to tour the Groundswell site to discover the positive impact of bats on the ecosystem.
The event remains the only independent UK regenerative agricultural festival organised by a farming family and hosted on their own farm, demonstrating regenerative agricultural practices in action.
“When we first launched Groundswell Festival, seven years ago, we only hoped we would be bringing together over 200 speakers and 100 sessions, most of which have been self-designed by the speakers and organisations. This form of collaboration is what makes Groundswell Festival so special, ensuring it continues to remain a farming-led event, encompassing all aspects of regenerative agriculture.
“With even more people planning to stay for the full two days and camp, we have looked at the programme to ensure we have something on offer from 6am to 10pm covering a wide range of topics. One of the real highlights is watching everyone in the evening enjoying the entertainment and embracing the festival experience.”
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 sessions click here