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Farming Futures

Understanding local challenges and promoting regenerative opportunities for farmers, land owners and land-based businesses.

This project page was established in January 2022 to help widen local connections between those interested in soil health, land use, aspects of farming & sustainability. Since then, some wider connections, including on food security, have also come through the Dorset Climate Action Network.

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  • Planet Shaftesbury hosted a panel discussion ‘Facing the Future: ecological challenges for farmers & landowners’ in November 2019. It was chaired by Matthew Price (then of NFU) and the panelists were Robin Walter (forester), Martin Shallcross (farmer), and ffinlo Costain (then C Ex Farmwel, now editor of, a news channel for land-based businesses). There is a write up on the blog here.

  • We discussed supporting James Cox in his efforts to establish the green credentials of the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Showground, specifically with an environmental wildlife garden. Working with Greener Gillingham and Hawkers Farm, we mounted a stand over the two days of the G&S Show in August 2021. The focus was to provide engaging activities for children & families visiting the show and provoke conversations about sustainable living / the climate & ecological emergency. Since then, there have been some further stalls.

  • We hosted an online talk by Elaine Spencer-White about the work of the Countryside Restoration trust at Bere Marsh Farm. (blog from November 2020 here)

  • We have supported two presentations in the town by Chris Smaje, social scientist, farmer and author of A Small Farm Future (2020), and Saying NO to a Farm Free Future (2023).

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