Groundswell 2024: 5 Key Takeaways from the Land App Team

Groundswell Festival 2024 was a remarkable meet of people passionate about regenerative agriculture, and excited about what the future for farming holds.

As representatives from Land App, we were thrilled to immerse ourselves in the wealth of knowledge shared and to witness firsthand the evolving landscape of sustainable farming. Here are five key takeaways from our team:

1. Embracing Payment Stacking and the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI)

Cathy, Digital Marketing Lead: This year, a significant focus was on stacking payments, particularly within the context of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI). For many attendees, the SFI payments felt like a natural extension of their current practices. The common sentiment was, “you might as well get paid for what you’re already doing.” However, practical questions remain, especially around specifics like sourcing trees for agroforestry. Additionally, smaller farming-adjacent businesses, like flower farms and crafters, expressed interest in how SFI actions, such as field margins, could support their unique goals.

2. The Critical Role of Reliable Baseline Data

Michael, Data Engineer: The emphasis on generating reliable UKHabitat baselines was a standout theme this year. Many sessions highlighted the necessity for landowners and managers to have accurate and trustworthy baselines. This need directly aligns with our Best Guess Baseline functionality in Land App, underscoring its importance. As the sector moves towards more data-driven approaches, having solid baseline data becomes indispensable for effective land management and policy compliance.

A packed tent at Groundswell this year

3. Habitat Over Species: A New Monitoring Mindset

Ben, Data Engineer: A pivotal observation at Groundswell was the current inadequacy of species-level monitoring devices and approaches for large-scale biodiversity tracking. The consensus is shifting towards creating the right habitats, which inherently attract species, making habitat quantification a practical proxy for biodiversity monitoring. This approach simplifies the monumental task of biodiversity monitoring across expanding areas, marking a significant shift in our strategies and tools.

4. The Growing Demand for Technological Solutions

Jack F, Internal Operations: Groundswell continues to nurture the burgeoning community dedicated to regenerative agriculture. This year’s sessions, talks, and exhibitions highlighted the technological advancements propelling these practices forward. The demand for innovative technology to provide insights into biodiversity expansion within farming communities was evident. This progression underscores the crucial role of digital tools and platforms in supporting and advancing regenerative agriculture practices.

Hedges at groundswell

5. Navigating the Complexities of New Initiatives

Jack C, Product Lead: Discussions on the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Biodiversity Net Gain were enlightening, revealing both the practicalities and complexities of implementing these initiatives. Groundswell excels in educating and supporting people to leverage these new opportunities effectively. At Land App, we are excited to contribute to this digital infrastructure. The hedgerow safari was particularly inspiring, emphasising the ecological importance of hedges and connectivity. We are thrilled to be launching our own hedgerow surveying tools in the near future, aiding in the assessment and management of hedgerows nationwide. Additionally, meeting with our customers, partners, and investors in one place was incredibly valuable, fostering stronger connections and collaborations.

Overall, Groundswell 2024 was an enriching experience, reinforcing the integral role of technology, reliable data, and community in advancing regenerative agriculture. At Land App, we are more committed than ever to supporting this vibrant community with the digital tools and insights needed to foster sustainable and productive farming landscapes. We look forward to participating even more actively in future festivals and continuing to innovate to support the transition to rebuilding the environment alongside agricultural practices.


Share the Post

Read more

3 Jul 2024

Tristan O'Leary

Benefits of Using Land App for Planning your SFI: A Case Study with RB Rural

As the new SFI model is rolled out, and applications can be submitted via the RPA digital portal, more and more people across the sector are turning to digital mapping to understand their land and design a future plan before...

Read more

Thought Leadership

14 May 2024

Tristan O'Leary

Regenerative farming, agroecology, and the future of food with Riverford’s Harriet Bell

“It’s critical we don’t have food systems too big to fail”  ...

Read more

4 Apr 2024

Tristan O'Leary

What is Regenerative Farming?

Previously confined to the margins of the conversation about agriculture, ‘regenerative farming’ is now being spoken about at almost every turn. Land management approaches are being re-evaluated worldwide in response to climate events, flooding and drought, the continued decline in...

Read more