This summer we were glad to welcome over 100 guests to our fundraising dinner held at the beautiful Yeo Valley HQ in Somerset. We’re grateful to all those who attended and donated prizes for a wonderful evening in support of soil health and the activities of the SSA. Thanks to your generosity we raised over £20,000, which will contribute to our core activities to raise soil’s political profile and convene experts to devise solutions to the complex technical, practical and legal challenges that need to be addressed to see our soils properly protected for generations to come.
A special thanks to our speaker, Sarah Langford who talked about her new book, Rooted, and shared with us her thoughts on the emerging challenges and opportunities for soil and soil-focussed agriculture.
We would particularly like to thank Yeo Valley for their ongoing support and for hosting the evening, with guests including Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan; Annie Maw, the Lord lieutenant of Somerset; and No-Dig gardener Charles Dowding.
We enjoyed a regenerative three-course supper prepared by the Yeo Valley kitchen, which included a delicious range of products provided by Vintage Roots, the Real Olive Company, Belvoir Farm, Two Drifters, The Community Farm, Arla, Wildfarmed, Luscombe and the Organic Herb Company.
We were overwhelmed by the generosity of partners who donated prizes for the raffle, live auction and online auction that ran alongside the event. Hampers were provided by Neal’s Yard, Weleda, Toast Ale, Pip Organic, Thatcher’s, Feel Good Drinks and Luscombe, while authors George Monbiot and Thomasina Miers kindly offered signed copies of their books, Regenesis and Meat Free Mexican.
Two unique paintings inspired by the microbiology of soil were donated by Edward Hutchinson, as well as a piece of soil fungi imagery from SoilBioLab. Also on offer were visits to the Eden Project, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Stonelynk Organic Farm, Knepp Estate, Thatcher’s Brewery, The Wave and Wildfarmed HQ, as well as a tour of Savernake forest’s ancient trees with Ted Green, and a cruise around Old Harry’s Rock.
Along with these prizes we were excited to auction holiday stays in Cornwall, the Cotswolds, France, and Tamar Valley, as well as a nature bathing day at Pitchcott Farm, a no-dig course with Charles Dowding, consultancy from Farm Carbon Toolkit, and two packages from SoilBioLab. Lastly, two lucky raffle winners took away vouchers for a dinner at Wild by Tart in London and a meal at a choice of Wildfarmed outlets.
We were delighted to be part of so many enthusiastic conversations on farming and soil, and the evening was a great opportunity to reflect on the progress made in soils policy and look forward to a sustainable soils future.
Many thanks to Yeo Valley and our other supporters & contributors for making this evening possible.