Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
A jam-packed programme of exhibitors, demonstrations and talks promises to greet visitors to this year’s Groundswell event. Entering its ninth year, the Groundswell festival... Groundswell marks ninth anniversary

A jam-packed programme of exhibitors, demonstrations and talks promises to greet visitors to this year’s Groundswell event.

Entering its ninth year, the Groundswell festival provides a forum for farmers and others interested in food production or the environment to learn about the theory and practical applications of conservation agriculture – including no-till, cover crops and improving soil health.

The two-day event featuring talks, forums and discussions from leading international soil health experts, experienced arable and livestock farmers, agricultural policy experts, direct-drill demonstrations and agri-tech innovators.

Aimed at all types of farmers, Groundswell was founded by the Cherry family on their mixed farm in Hertfordshire. Brothers John and Paul Cherry have farmed for more than 30 years, converting to a no-till system in 2010.

“We started Groundswell out of a sense of frustration that no-one was putting on a summer show to which we might want to go,” says John.

A visit to the fabulous No-Till on the Plains Conference in Salina, Kansas, showed us what could be done. One of the most striking things was how hungry for information  the farmer delegates were about the soil and the ecosystems that lived in them.

Radical ideas

“A lot of the speakers were describing some fairly radical farming ideas and techniques and their audiences were lapping it up. We thought that if the good people of Kansas were ready for this, we sure as hell ought to be ready in Europe.”

Groundswell continues to go from strength to strength – welcoming more than 5,500 visitors annually. This growth reflects increasing interest in regenerative agriculture – and the benefits of such systems in terms of carbon sequestration and flood prevention.

“Despite these other interest groups, Groundswell remains a show ‘for farmers, by farmers’; we aim to explore ways of working with nature to grow food in a profitable way,” says Paul.

“As the new saying goes: resilience is fertile – and profitability is one of the key factors that makes your operation resilient. It’s all very well regenerating your soil, but if you are not making money while you do it, you won’t be doing it for long.”

Tickets on sale – with discounts

Groundswell tickets are on sale for £85 including VAT (single day) and £125 (both days) -– with discounts available students and group bookings of 10 or more.

The two-day event takes place on 26-27 June at Lannock Manor Farm, near Hitchin, Hertfordshire. As well as field demonstrations and static exhibitions, the show includes speakers across nine different stages.

Similar to last year, alongside ‘first principle’ sessions for those at the start of their regenerative journey, the event includes a series of extended advanced sessions for those keen to dive deeper into the science and practical applications of regenerative farming.

For full details, visit groundswellag.com