Six Inches of Soil | Plus Panel Debate With Growing Well
20 Apr

Six Inches of Soil | Plus Panel Debate With Growing Well

2H 30M
Six inches of soil film screening plus Panel Debate in aid of Growing Well, the Cumbrian Mental Health Charity.

Local food production, healthy soil and inspiring farmers come to the fore this brand new film -Six inches of soil. It tells the inspiring story of young British farmers standing up against the industrial food system and transforming the way they produce food – to heal the soil, our health and provide for local communities. This special screening will include a panel debate after the film organized by the team at Growing Well

Six Inches of Soil is an independent British feature film – a story of courage, vision and hope which had its international premiere on 9 December at COP28 in Dubai and its UK Premiere will be at the Oxford Real Farming Conference on 4 January. The film follows the highs and lows of three new farmers on the first year of their regenerative journey to heal the soil and help transform the food system: Anna Jackson, a Lincolnshire 11th generation arable and sheep farmer; Adrienne Gordon, a Cambridgeshire small-scale vegetable farmer; and Ben Thomas, who rears pasture fed beef cattle in Cornwall. The film aims to inspire UK farmers to adopt regenerative agroecological farming practices and encourage consumers and policymakers to support their efforts.

Growing Well: Established 20 years ago, Growing Well has sites at Low Sizergh Farm Kendal, Tebay Services and Egremont. Growing Well uses horticulture as a context for mental health recovery, working with individuals experiencing a moderate to severe level of mental ill health, via a day service. Growing Well is the largest organic veg producer in the County. While fund raised from crop sales are used to underpin costs of the mental health intervention that take place at Growing Well, it also relies on sponsorship, fund raising and grant applications.


Emanuel Flecken
Emanuel is a Chartered Horticulturist who comes from the Netherlands and has enjoyed a long career in green spaces management and horticulture consultancy. He has been an international Green Flag judge for more than 25 years assessing growing spaces in Europe and Asia. Emanuel joined Growing Well from Cumberland Council last year to set up our newly opened Egremont site in West Cumbria. In his spare time, he loves walking and growing plants, and his favourite plant is Metasequoia glybtostroboides or Dawn Redwood.

Kate Roberts 
Kate Roberts of Cumbrian Earth supports local food producers to use regenerative, healthy soil techniques and teaches the why, the what and the how, to farmers, market gardeners, environmentalists, and anyone else who is interested. She does biological soil analysis to determine next steps for land managers and teaches microscopy so that people can do this for themselves. An important part of her work is informing people about the increased nutritional complexity of food grown in fully functioning soil. Kate says ‘The importance of restoring soil to full function cannot be overstated. Whether it is agricultural land or ecological restoration, the aim is the same, we need to rebuild our soil ecosystem to support the plants and animals that depend on it.’

Amy McEwan (Soil Association)
Growing up on a Shropshire dairy farm, has cultivated Amy’s love for nature and animals since childhood. Since studying Zoology at University, she has accumulated over a decade of experience in conservation and animal welfare, both on farms and with wildlife. Presently, Amy wears a few hats. She is part of the team managing the Pasture for Life project – Pasture and Profit, supporting farmers transitioning into more regenerative farming systems at a time where agricultural payments are changing. Amy is also an inspector for the Soil Association as well as working alongside her husband as farm and conservation managers at Kingsdale Head Farm where she lives.

Sam Beaumont
Sam farms with his wife Claire and two children at Gowbarrow Hall Farm, near Ullswater. In 2019 they embarked a joint venture with Wilderculture CIC to radically regenerate the farm, and now manage herds of Beef Shorthorn Cattle, Kune Kune Pigs and Fell Ponies. With the help of volunteers, they are also now growing vegetables and herbs. They sell all the Beef and Pork direct to customers and have now started manufacturing Leather products and catering for educational visits and courses hosted on the farm."

Nic Renison
Nic farms with her husband Reno near Penrith in Cumbria, born on a dairy farm in the Welsh Borders, she now farms beef cattle, laying hens and a few pigs. She is a co- founder of 'Carbon Calling', a conference organised by farmers for farmers. Nic also appears in the film.

2.30pm – 5pm
20 Apr