Last week saw the seventh annual Groundswell event – a gathering of farmers and agri-food businesses that believe that innovative farming can feed our growing population with tasty, nutritious food, whilst protecting and regenerating the land.

Each year the attendance at the event has grown, and it is now catching the attention of the government and NGO representatives – the opportunity for change that this represents is a groundswell indeed! Ultimately, the attendees are focused on one shared ambition: planet-positive, regenerative farming.

Conversations and demonstrations focused on hot topics including how to manage grassland and improve plant diversity to promote better soil health and animal nutrition. Attendees learned about ways to integrate crop and livestock cycles to form a harmonious ecosystem – one that can increase soil fertility and help save the planet through valuable carbon sequestration – the process of capturing carbon and sealing it into natural ‘carbon stores’, deep in the soil, via the roots of the plants.

The event hosted an array of organisations providing information designed to support and inspire the farming sector on its journey to becoming both more environmentally and economically sustainable. We enjoyed the RSPB’s ‘giving nature a home’ work, for example, and were pleased to see the financial sector describing how farming can fund sustainable change.

And the subjects were pretty diverse – among the technical and practical advice, our team was also delighted by the chance to attend bird and dung beetle safaris!

The event was full to the brim with music, delicious ethical food, valuable networking opportunities, and insights from a wealth of voices. Of course, our own Golden Hooves milkshakes, created by our regenerative dairy farmers cooperative, were enjoyed by many. All our profits from the event will be donated to the independent farming charity _Farming on Crutches_: a fund that has helped amputees in Sierra Leone to establish a 10-acre farm, with a focus on permaculture and ecological agriculture principles learn more here, with the ambition of expanding this opportunity to more people who have suffered amputation, including school children.

We truly believe that regenerative farming is more than ‘keeping things local’, or ‘farming better’. It’s a principle, and a commitment that we will improve our land, and our planet, together, so we can all reap the benefits. With events such as Groundswell really making waves across the industry, we’re excited for the future, and to play our part in moving the regenerative farming agenda forward together.

Milk Vending at Groundswell
John Meadley
DEFRA and National Farmers Union