Should we be taking water more seriously than we do in this country? Colin Tudge will introduce this discussion arguing that we should. Agriculture, forestry, and everyday land management have a huge role to play both in controlling flood and in mitigating drought – and all three require radical re-thinking. This session will examine how farming practice and land management affects flooding and what measures can be used to make farms more resilient in the face of floods. Colin will be joined by Gill Barron, who will give an overview of the historical context of flooding, and Julian Jones, who will look at the role of farmers.
Gill was born beside the Nile, and has been fascinated by water ever since. Nowadays she is a painter and an editor of The Land magazine, keeps cows and makes cheese.
Julian led the UK introduction of hose-reel irrigation and other novel manure handling equipment at Bauer into water industry and agriculture from the age of 21. Concerns over public health issues and other water cycle problems caused him to start developing novel agro-ecological methods during the 1980s – demonstrating the first combined urban rain and sewerage ‘SUDS’ system on BBCTV in 1991. He designed the first Defra Pilot proposal for sustainable UK catchment management for Severn Trent Water in 2004. He continues to innovate by co-ordinating postgraduate students at community led voluntary group Water21, addressing a range of problems from flood and drought to aquifer contamination, with some overseas work. Water21 recently engineered the diversion of a Local Authority office and car park drainage from an untreated water company sewer into a community owned scheme; a model that farmers can also apply.
Colin is a biologist by education and the author of Good Food for Everyone Forever. He is a trustee of the Real Farming Trust, co-founder of the Campaign for Real Farming and is seeking to establish a College for Enlightened Agriculture. With his wife Ruth and journalist Graham Harvey, he founded the Oxford Real Farming Conference six years ago to provide a forum for farmers and all those interested in the way our food is produced to meet and discuss these issues.