Six inches of soil – “We owe our existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains”

Six Inches of Soil is the UK’s first feature-length documentary on regenerative agriculture produced by award-winning company Dragonlight Films.

Directed by Colin Ramsay and produced by Claire Mackenzie, the film focuses on both new entrants and established agricultural pioneers who are moving away from conventional farming to build a future focused on soil health and increasing biodiversity. .

The film will follow their often difficult journeys and examine the entire food and agriculture ecosystem, including how they access land and create robust business models.

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Anna Jackson, new farmer from Six Inches of Soil.

In addition to Colin and Claire, Six Inches of Soil includes a small but very creative production team of agroecological farmers and food activists, including George Young, Dr Lucy Michaels and James Murray-White.

To raise funds to move production forward in 2022, the team is launching a Crowdfunder on March 1.

With a gripping narrative, engaging animations and interviews with high profile personalities, the film will tell the story of the UK’s broken food system.

It will provide a provocative “moment of focus” for wider public debate, giving farmers the confidence to adopt nature-friendly practices, prompting consumers to rethink their food choices and aiming to create a wave of opinion leading to a policy change and funding for a UK agroecological transition. .

Six Inches of Soil soundman Daria Hupov; director, Colin Ramsay; and Curator, Holkham Estate, Norfolk, Jake Fiennes.

The main characters will meet conventional and regenerative farmers across the country, including Jake Fiennes, Conservation Manager, Holkham Estate, Norfolk, and Stephen Briggs, who is a first generation farmer and has been farming organically for 18 years in his 576 hectare farm in Cambridgeshire.

They will also have discussions with experts from the food and agriculture sector, including Vicki Hird, coordinator of the Sustainable Agriculture Campaign and author of Rebugging the Planet, and Henry Dimbleby, author of the government-commissioned National Food Strategy.

Characters and other nature-friendly farming experts will be announced in the coming months.

Colin Ramsay, Director of Six Inches of Soil, commented: “This project is a labor of love for the whole team.

Six Inches of Soil director Colin Ramsay and cinematographer Jeremy Dawson.

“Farmers in the UK are increasingly aware of how modern tillage practices and chemical inputs have damaged and depleted our soils.

“As the saying goes, despite all our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.

“We want to highlight these issues and look at agroecology through a British lens, showing the unique challenges but also the huge rewards this method of farming presents.

“We hope that by communicating clearly and in an accessible way why our food system is broken and how agroecology can help fix it, we can help to be part of a transformation of UK food shopping choices. .”

Producer Claire Mackenzie added: “After a year of pre-production research, farm visits, discussions with agroecology experts and inspirational organizations across the UK, and building partnerships with organizations such as the Soil Association, the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) and Sustain, we are ready to move on to the second stage of our documentary cinematic journey.

“Personally, I want more people to hear about the farmers I’ve met over the past year, many of whom are happier in their jobs because of their reconnection with the soil and their land and the formation of strong communities. and close to like minded people who all support each other on this fearless journey.

Six Inches of Ground is set to launch at Groundswell 2023.

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