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May - June 2022 
"Global food crisis could last for years says UN"
All the more reason to accelerate localised food production. Join the Urban Agriculture Consortium's event on 8 June to find out more.
News at a glance
  • PING #4 - Land Use and Urban Food Security took place on 27 April
  • Northern pathfinder cluster meeting coming up on 23 May
  • We are collaborating to map Northern Ireland’s food growing potential
  • WING #2 coming up on Wednesday 8 June - see invite below
  • Midlands pathfinder cluster meeting scheduled for mid-June, date TBC
  • We are developing relationships at a city-regional level with Bristol and the West of England Combined Authority
News from outside UAC
Our latest news

Our latest Policy Influencers Network Group #4 had 45 participants from across the UK, with a good number of local authorities engaged in healthy discussions about Land Use, planning and the urgent demand for more urban food production. You can read more detail about our collaborative policy drafting and watch the full recording below. 
Find out more about PING #4
WING #2 Wednesday 8th June, 2pm - 4pm

Our second annual Wider Interest Network Group (WING) is coming up on 8 June. The WING is a chance to find out more about the background to the Urban Agriculture Consortium, to hear about our Year 2 evaluation, and to change the pace of policy support for regenerative agroecology at all levels in advance of COP27.  We invite you to join us.
Click here to register on Eventbrite
Future PINGS will feature:
  • Mapping our food growing potential using open source data 
  • Peri-urban farming - to bring food production back to the people
  • New voices and diversity - in the people, products and process of a localising food system 
Contact us if you'd like to attend our events
PING and WING sessions are free to attend, and are for council officers & councillors at regional and local levels, for food partnership colleagues and interested activists, food growers and academics: all are welcome - we convene online to create an inclusive informal space to learn, connect and be inspired. Please feel free to forward this invite to your colleagues.  
UAC’s Northern city cluster and Midlands cluster
We’ve been working with our northern cities since Autumn 2020 and are just in the first stages of forming a diverse midlands cluster which will include cities, towns and counties. They’ve completed a survey and we’re synthesising the results so we know where our interventions can have the greatest impact. Watch this space!

UAC’s work is broadly falling into two strands: collaborative policy conversations (PINGs) and small scale prototyping. Recently, we have initiated a collaboration with Bristol Community Land Trust and Bristol City Council to look at the land trust as a potential vehicle for managing food growing land for urban food growing across the city and beyond into the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) area- more here. We’re opening a conversation with WECA to explore how they could have an enabling role in the food system and make it a strategic priority.

We are also talking with Bristol Food Producers, the Land Workers' Alliance and Sustain about the role of peri-urban (fringe) farming, in particular an ELMS trial to increase nature recovery through peri-urban agroecological farms.

The Food Land Mappers community that we facilitate has decided to set up on the digital platform Hylo. We’ll still be meeting every couple of months on Zoom but now can connect and create whenever we need to in between. This group connects innovators in open source mapping with each other, and with local authorities, growers and others needing greater insight into the land around them and how it might come into productive use.

The next meeting will be in late June where we’re planning to focus on a burgeoning collaboration in Northern Ireland, and hopefully Lambeth too, where ARUP, the Council and GIGL are working to map land for food. 
Other news
There is growing momentum behind the need to restructure the global food system with, for example, the IPCC report urging immediate action to tackle climate change. With the emerging awareness of the global food crisis there is every reason for the urban food growing movement to gain traction. This will be helped by Incredible Edible's Right to Grow campaign launched in April. Read more about this here.

The Food Farming and Countryside Commission are piloting a national Land and Nature Skills service in Cumbria. 

Read: 'Our Food System isn't ready for the climate crisis'

Listen to: Farmerama episode 69 and be reinspired by young people at COP. 

Read:  The Missing Middle by Olivia Oldham in Wicked Leeks
People and Projects
A monthly snapshot of UAC’s network
Dr Elizabeth Westaway
Co-Founder and Director of Growing Real Food for Nutrition / 
member of UAC's Core Oversight Group

Elizabeth is an international public health and nutrition specialist, who has worked as a practitioner, researcher and consultant in academia, NGOs and the UN on health, nutrition, food security and agriculture projects in emergency and development contexts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. She has a PhD in International Development from the University of East Anglia and research interests in regenerative agroecology, food quality, community-based nutrition, social prescribing, and regenerative healthcare.

She lives in Swansea, where she is part of their fast-developing food partnership. She is currently undertaking two Health Promotion courses at Swansea University, and enjoys observing the ever-changing sea and skyscapes of Swansea Bay. 
Maddy Longhurst
Lead Project Coordinator at Urban Agriculture Consortium

Maddy has always followed her instincts to work on initiatives and ideas that lie in the fertile margins and serve future generations. Recently this has involved the protection of land and soils, managing community-led thermal imaging of cold homes, facilitating the creation of regenerative Tiny House Settlements, Sociocracy, participating in the Bioregional Community of Practice, and running Gleaning training for communities with Feedback. Maddy worked on Phase 1 of the urban agriculture project in 2019 and is currently coordinating the Urban Agriculture Consortium with Jeremy.

She has studied Ecosystem Restoration Design with Gaia Education, has a degree in Town and Country Planning, and trained as a Community Organiser (level 3). She believes in the healing power of nature and love, for all types of human disease, and is finding her joy in the sea, distant views, the power of the arts, connecting changemakers, unexplainable community wisdom, her daughter Martha, Rilke, the Emergence podcast and Ursula K Le Guin.
Since 2020, Urban Agriculture Consortium (UAC) has been bringing people together to co-create the conditions for urban and peri-urban agroecology to thrive, as part of an integrated, resilient, & just food system for the UK.
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