Unlocking land for CSA in the North of England: Challenges and Opportunities

Unlocking land for CSA in the North of England: Challenges and Opportunities

Hosted by Community Supported Agriculture Network UK with perspectives from a panel of experts.

How can we access more land for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms and other small-scale regenerative agriculture in the North of England? Why is it so difficult to access land and what can we do to unlock more?
Hear from a fantastic panel of speakers coming at the topic from a range of angles. Panelists are Kate Swade (Shared Assets); Helen Woodcock (Kindling Trust); Graeme Willis (CPRE) and Guy Shrubsole (Environmental Campaigner) and the session is hosted by the CSA Network UK.


Kate Swade is Shared Assets’ co-executive director. She has over 15 years’ experience helping local authorities and communities collaborate in stewardship of their environments and neighbourhoods. She has designed and delivered qualitative and quantitative research projects at a variety of scales, and is an experienced trainer and facilitator. She has experience as a consultant to as well as an employee of land based social enterprises, supporting the creation of numerous business and governance models, and the crafting of business plans and strategies. She works across the full range of Shared Assets work including policy, research, consultancy and advocacy, and leads on organisational development and culture. Kate is a trustee of Toynbee Hall, a social justice charity in East London.

Graeme Willis is farming lead in the Rural Economy and Communities team at CPRE, the countryside charity. He joined CPRE in 2006 and launched new tranquillity and intrusion maps. He went on to manage research on local food webs across England. More recently he has written on farm diversity (New Model Farming, 2016), the loss of smaller farms (Uncertain harvest, 2017) and on agroecological management of soils (Back to the land, 2018). His current interests are: promoting better use of county farms and changing land use to address the climate emergency. Graeme was previously a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University and tutor and research officer at Essex University where he gained an M.Env in Environment, Science and Society. He grew up in Cheshire where he regularly worked on family farms.

Helen Woodcock is a founding member of Greater Manchester’s Kindling Trust – working to create a fairer, more sustainable food system for Manchester and beyond. Over the last 13 years Helen has helped establish Kindling’s practical initiatives including our FarmStart programme, to encourage and support a new generation of organic growers; Woodbank Community Food Hub; and Kindling’s sister co-operatives Manchester Veg People and Veg Box People, to create fairer markets for organic growers and make local organic food accessible to all. Helen is currently focused on establishing the Kindling Farm, a 100+ acre organic agroforestry farm for the Northwest.

Guy Shrubsole is an environmental campaigner and author of Who Owns England? (William Collins, 2019), a book that delves into the secrecy surrounding land ownership, why it’s so unequal, and why that matters for how we use land. Guy helped co-author a recent report, Reviving County Farms, about the sell-off of council-owned farms, with NEF, Shared Assets and CPRE; and he’s currently campaigning to get a ban on moorland burning by grouse moor estates, coax landowners into investing more in natural climate solutions, and extend Right to Roam.

Suzy Russell has worked in environmental and arts-based community development for over 20 years and has skills and experience in relationship building, strategic management, leadership and income generation. She started out organising an environmental arts festival and running a community environmental centre in the North East before living in Spain for six years where she worked with a community street theatre group and set up an environmental community development project. More recently she’s been CEO at participatory arts organisation in West Yorkshire, building skills and knowledge in health and training and alongside this learning to teach mindfulness. She’s always had a patch to grow on, albeit with a wide range of growing conditions. She’s passionate about local food, wellbeing, creativity, nature, community and the magic of everyday life.


Oct 02 2020


10:30 am - 12:00 pm