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Groundswell announces programme, with more than 150 speakers

More than 3,500 visitors are expected at the family run Groundswell event being held at the Cherry’s Lannock Manor Farm, Hertfordshire on 23-24 June 2021. The regenerative agriculture show has gained a huge following because of its focus on no-till farming techniques, soil regeneration and mixed farming systems.

 John Cherry, Host Farmer said: “Our visitors tell us that the appeal of Groundswell is that it presents practical, actionable ideas on how to farm in the new environmental and political climate while regenerating your core asset – the soil.  It is an independent event featuring sessions, workshops and exhibitions from a wide range of innovative farming companies and field scale direct drill demonstrations.”

The overriding theme for the event is set by the 5 Principles of Regenerative Agriculture.

John added: “The Government’s stated ambition for the future of food, farming and the environment is that public money will be spent on public goods that enhance natural capital. The new Environmental Land Management System – and related support structures still to be announced in the devolved nations – will bring in a new era for farming across the UK.  For any farmer looking to adapt to this scenario, whilst maintaining viability as a food producer, Groundswell is the place to be.”

Paul Cherry, Host Farmer said: “Groundswell is a unique agricultural show, because you can spend a day learning the principles of Conservation Agriculture and regenerative systems, whilst also engaging with the organisations who can help make it a reality. Groundswell offers a welcoming environment for two days of information exchange with some of the leading “soil caretakers” – the farmers, scientists and the organisations who all have a role in shaping the future of UK farming.”

Alex Cherry, Groundswell Director: “One of the most satisfying things about bringing everyone together for Groundswell is seeing people’s faces light up when they realise the potential for positive changes on their farms and the wider environment.”

New for 2021 is the completely transformed showground with two new exhibitor and demo fields; all the sessions are taking place in temporary structures dotted in between the exhibitions. The keynote conference sessions and rainfall simulator demonstrations will take place in the huge big top tent. The Earthworm Arms Bar area has evolved with live music taking place on the Wednesday evening and dozens of independent food traders.

Sessions: With over 100 sessions taking place over the two days, attendees will hear from a wide range of voices in regenerative agriculture. Visitors will learn about 5 principles of regen ag and how they are interpreted and implemented by different practitioners. Leading soil scientists and innovative farmers will take the stage to discuss how they are building organic matter and making their farming systems more resilient.

The important discussions on future agriculture policy in the UK will be tackled head on with the Secretary of State, The Rt Hon George Eustice being interviewed by Baroness Rosie Boycott. Janet Hughes will be helping us to understand the Sustainable Farming Initiative and how DEFRA plan to make the delivery of public good attractive.

One of the most important reasons farmers flock to Groundswell is to be inspired and there are plenty of motivating talks and workshops from farmers sharing their experiences, whether it’s through growing more nutritious crops or changing their business to operate more holistically.

Pasture Based Livestock Farming: Nearly half of the attendees to Groundswell are at least experimenting with livestock as one of the key components to a truly regenerative system. As the potential for building soil carbon in pasture farming becomes more understood, in collaboration with the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, there’ll be sessions ranging from how to get animals back onto the land, to the birth of regenerative dairy farming. The Ethical Butcher tells their story of how Regenuary took on the Vegan movement at their own game. And, veteran butcher Richard Summers will be sharing his knowledge on how to maximise the value of a carcass.

Connecting the Dots between Farmers and Consumers:    Groundswell is trying to connect the dots between farmers and consumers and this year more than ever we’re looking into different models for vertically integrating the supply chain. The momentum behind consumers and the demand for honest, real food appears to be insatiable.

Forums, Panels & Workshops include: ELMS, Affinity Water Catchment Hub, Kellogg’s Origins Soil Tent, Dungbeetle Safari, Carbon Payments, Tyre Compaction, Fibershed, Supply Chains, Market Gardening, Soil Farmer of the Year,.

Direct Drill Demonstrations will take place on both days, 15 machinery manufacturers direct drilling into standing cover crop with minimal soil disturbance.

Alongside the 15 drill manufacturers there are over 150 Exhibiting organisations representing their services and products aimed towards farmers with an interest in regenerative agriculture.

Trials and Plot Crops include Barenbrug Herbal Leys, Kings Cover Crops, NIAB Independent Trials, Biostimulant trials on Spring Wheat, Bi-Cropping, Agroforestry, Heritage Wheats and no-till potatoes.

There’s a range of Composting Demonstrations at the show this year. The Land Gardeners are showing off their unique process that turns raw organic matter inputs into high quality humus in as little as 8 weeks. The Bokashi heap is brewing away anaerobically and Weston Park Farms will be demonstrating their 4m Sandberger windrow turner. HWIL are also launching for the first time in the UK rNature (rN) fully automatic composting machine which can convert organic waste to compost in just a week.

Coronavirus Health & Safety: After postponement of Groundswell last year and taking into all the considerations with coronavirus, Groundswell will be adhering to the latest Government Guidelines whilst going fully ahead with 3,500 total attendees, even if we are extended into Tier 3. With the new site layout allowing more space for traffic flow and all structures having open-sides, we are confident the event will be as Covid secure as it can be. Visitors will be reminded to adhere to the latest social distancing rules and wash hands regularly.

To review the programme and speakers, click here

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