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Episode #134   Weaving with the Land: The future of regenerative farming with Caroline Grindrod

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How do we weave together the four pillars of people, landscape, economy – and spirit – into a working system that allows farmers and landowners to work with the land to grow the food humanity needs, while healing the broken earth? With Caroline Grindrod of Roots of Nature, a regenerative agriculture consultancy that works on all scales at all levels from single small farms to large scale multinationals

Caroline Grindrod is a consultant and coach in regenerative systems and leadership. Along with background in environmental conservation and upland land management, holistic management and experience in designing sustainable and regenerative food businesses, Caroline has a lifelong passion for personal development, wild spaces and a growing interest in regenerative leadership.
She draws upon that diverse range of skills and experience to offer an ever-evolving and truly unique approach to working with ‘keystone’ people in food and farming.

Our climate is changing month on month, year on year. Growing food has always been precarious, but never more so than now. Our global food system lacks resilience and people are starving in greater numbers than ever. If we believe the answer is not in yet more chemical inputs, or in growing food in vats that distance people ever more from the heart of the land, how can we foster resilient systems that enable people to heal our damaged landscapes while still growing good, nutritious, health-full food.

First of two episodes exploring regenerative farming in practice. The second is with Ben Raskin next week.

In Conversation

Manda: My guest this week is Caroline Grindrod. Caroline is a consultant in regenerative food systems and regenerative agriculture in the UK. She’s the founder of Roots of Nature, and co-founder of Wider Culture and Primal Meats. And putting those all together doesn’t really do justice to the depth and breadth of what Caroline is doing. She’s been working for decades now on the ways that we can live with the land, on the ways that we can feed ourselves, in the numbers of billions that are currently on the planet, but in ways that live in harmony with all of the rest of the web of life. How can we grow food, all food, and yet also grow the biosphere? How can we repair the damage that generations of mechanistic thinking have inflicted on the land and the people of the land? And everything that Caroline does is trending towards making things more resilient, more alive, more flourishing, heading towards a system that we would indeed be proud to leave to our children and grandchildren and all of the generations that follow.

 Manda: We’ve spoken of regenerative agriculture quite a lot on this podcast, partly because I live on a smallholding and I’m endeavouring to create a fully regenerative system in my local area. But more because what we eat is part of the absolute fundamentals of how we are going to move our system forward. We need to eat. We need water. We need shelter. We need to be able to connect with our communities of place and of purpose. For that, we need power. And those are the absolute bedrocks of how we are going to shift forwards. And so I really want us to be able to focus on those increasingly as we go forward. How can each of us be part of the new system and increasingly leave the old system behind? And I think Caroline’s approach of connecting to the land, of talking to farmers, of talking to landowners, of talking to the people in the food system, such that we can begin to build a completely resilient system that takes on board everybody’s ideas of how they live. Not everybody is on board with total systemic change, but almost everybody is on board with creating a thriving and resilient landscape. So we start with that and then we move forward and see where that takes us. And that’s what Caroline is doing, day in, day out, and today talking to us on the podcast. So people of the podcast. Please welcome Caroline Grindrod.

 Manda: So Caroline Grindod, founder of Roots of Nature and all round, amazing regenerative person. Welcome to Accidental Gods. Where are you at this moment? Where are you in the world?

 Caroline: I am in the beautiful Lake District and thanks so much for having me on. It is a real pleasure to talk with you. It’s great.

 Manda: And and still noticing your Scottish accent, listeners, we are going to get progressively more Scottish because we’re both Scots who live in England and that means that our accent vanishes. But then when we talk to somebody else Scottish, it comes back again.

 Caroline: Very strange.

 Manda: I warn your ears that this is going to be happening. So, Caroline, you are founder of Roots of Nature, and that’s the umbrella over everything that you do in wide, wide reaches of the organic world. Can you tell us how you came to set that up and what it does?

 Caroline: Yeah, it’s a bit of a winding journey, I suspect a little bit like your own journey, but in different ways. But yeah, I’ve just sort of followed my nose through life, which is ended up meaning I’ve got this kind of wide range of different skills and ways of looking at things. Which is exactly kind of the package that’s brought forward now. But it started off with just a real passion for nature. That’s been the thread that’s run through all of this, is just wild spaces, nature. So I started kind of in ecology and environmental conservation, but in a very practical way. So sort of a ranger, in the dales actually in the national park. And then I met my husband, my first husband, John, who was a farmer. So ended up just loving the farming life and loving farming generally, but hill farming and we got our first tenancy over in the Lake District. We moved from the Dales to the lakes and at that time I was really trying to work out how do we marry these two things; farming and, you know, nature conservation together. Knowing deep down somewhere that they weren’t separate, that really it was all one thing. But we were just trying to compromise somewhere that when we were doing nature conservation, occasionally we might have farming involved a little bit. Or we had to manage farming. And then when we’re doing farming, nature was more considered as something that got in the way and needed to be under control. But yeah, really started to explore what was conservation farming, possibly nature friendly farming, something like that. So yeah, at the time John and I, we took on the tenancy at Yew Tree Farm just outside Coniston, and we sort of stepped into that farm in a very conventional way.

 Caroline: Which is a modern, traditional way of having crossbred cows that came in in winter and were bedded and fed. And we used fertiliser a little bit to grow the grass. And of course in the hilly regions and the upland areas of of the UK, you get a limited period of summer, you have to cut the hay when you can and it’s just hard work. Everything is hard work. You seem to spend all of your profit on feed and fertiliser. So we did get the opportunity to have a really good think about how to change the system. And I guess that was my early thoughts around you can make such a big difference for the environment if you change the system rather than just tweaking things, you know? So we switched to a hardy native Belted Galloway breed of cattle, and we went back to the Herdwick sheep, the traditional sheep of the lake district, and developed a very low input system. Which was definitely not organic and certainly nowhere near the kind of thing I’m trying to teach now. But it was an early iteration of that I suppose, and we did work alongside a lot of conservation organisations to try and use the animals as a tool to try and get great results for biodiversity. And we did. I mean we’ve got some really great results in regenerating the heather fell trees on there and many other things too.

 Caroline: So that was kind of the first version of how do we combine nature and farming together? And then we also did a lot of diversified businesses at the, you know, accommodation and we started a butchery, a meat business. And learnt so much through all of those different processes and really at the time got massively into understanding sustainability, the bigger picture beyond the farm. Beyond nature conservation, what’s the big picture? What is truly sustainable food production? And I started on this deep dive that’s lasted decades, of researching and learning from all around the world, what I suppose agro ecology and all the different versions of that. And at the time then got picked up by the National Trust as somebody that was interested in that stuff and introduced to lots of great people and learnt from lots of different people. And then John and I went our separate ways and I kind of got left a little bit well, no farm now. What do I do now? So I took the opportunity to really deep dive into that what can we do? How can I help influence a better way of farming and really take farming to the next level where it’s truly integrated with nature; there is no difference. And discovered in that process somewhere Allan Savory’s work in holistic management. At the time, I also set up my own meat business, Primal Meats, and I met my now husband Stephen, and we developed Primal Meats as a kind of a way to use my influence to support great farming. So we used that as a tool to kind of encourage people to produce 100% grass fed and organic meats and sell that to the public.

 Caroline: And we also thought that was a great opportunity to prove the principle of the fact that people want this amazing quality food, and it’s important and there’s a market for it. And understanding the dynamics of the whole system, in terms of the supply end, as in the farming end. And so yeah, then trained with the Savor Institute and became a holistic manager, and then really started to try and work out well, that’s fine, we have a reasonably good understanding of how we do holistic management in the drylands of the world. And we can even work out how we do that in the flat lands of the UK. But what happens in the hilly stuff in the north? Or anywhere that we’ve got upland areas in the UK and beyond. And of course, most holistic management has been done in the dry land where there’s been desertification, but I could really deeply see the need for it in the UK as well. So even though we’ve got lots of green, everything’s green and it’s really the symptoms of why we our farming is failing and our ecology is failing and our biodiversity is collapsing. To me it was really obvious that that was the same underlying root cause of sort of soil degradation that’s been happening around the world. But the practicalities of applying that in these upland regions, where you’ve got these kind of strong cultural threads coming through as well, was a big interest for me.

 Manda: So can we unpick a little bit of some of that? We have biodiversity collapse. Let’s just expand a little bit on what the numbers are in the UK and then really let’s have a look at what holistic management is, and then how you have begun to change that for the uplands in the UK. Because I was quite influenced by Monbiot in the days when he was talking about land being sheep-wrecked. And that we end up with a kind of 18th century landscape, because it’s still managed by really old men now, who were born between the wars and who were influenced by their grandfathers who were born in the middle of the 1800s. And that everything has been set in aspic as what our uplands look like is this: sheep-wrecked landscape covered in heather or bracken and that possibly that’s not what a whole regenerative living, biodiverse landscape looks like. First of all, is that a right assumption? And second, how do we get there?

 Caroline: Great question. And it’s great to have an opportunity to talk about this a bit more deeply, because it’s a hugely misunderstood subject. Holistic management is a framework that was developed by Allan Savory, but it often is assumed that it means the holistic planned grazing element of it, which is part of it, but it’s absolutely not the whole framework. So the framework is a way of managing complex systems; so it acknowledges that ecosystems and biodiversity are complex, interrelated systems that you can’t control and manage like a machine. And that requires a different way of dealing with, of life. And that actually a lot of the farming that we’ve produced, including the sheep-wrecked environments of the uplands have been caused because we’ve been treating life systems like a machine. And that we can assume, we can describe and and handle complexity as if it was complicated in a prescriptive way. So holistic management is actually, I suppose the easiest way to describe it, is that it’s a kind of toolkit of various approaches. But what we do as a starting point is we look at the context. We’ve got to clearly understand that we need to make good decisions. We need to have a context which encapsulates the vision for the future of the landscape, which absolutely has to include regenerating it.

 Caroline: Because if we don’t have a healthy, robust ecology, then it’s just not a long term plan. We need to be regenerating, not degrading. So it has to capture what that unique way of regenerating is going to be for that individual farm or or state or whatever we’re working with. And then separately we’ve also got to realise that if we don’t address the social aspects of it, then it will fall on its face. We’ve done this badly for years. We’ve assumed that we can just come up with an environmental prescriptive plan, give it to a set of farmers and hope it gets followed and it doesn’t. And even rewilding has been very badly approached. We’ve not addressed the fact that people live in these areas and there’s farmers and there’s culture and there’s heritage, and then it falls flat on its face because you haven’t got people on board. So in holistic management we create this context, which is a vision for the future of the ecology, but it’s also really acknowledging the backdrop of the culture and the people that are living there, and what they want for their lives. Because if you don’t do that, it’s not sustainable, it just won’t stick. So we incorporate that and then we look at how do we create this landscape they want to create that’s regenerating.

 Caroline: And that is important, that we kind of define within that, whether we were looking at heathland or bog or grassland or what are we trying to manage? What are the habitat states we’re trying to manage? And then we look at the economic, the third leg, if you like. Which is how do we make that all pay? Because if we are just relying on subsidies and tourism, then we’re just on the whim of something like COVID coming along or, you know, foot and mouth, and all of a sudden we’ve got no income. So we try and make an economic plan that’s driven by sunlight, it’s driven by natural renewable resources, that are going to drive that. So it could be an animal product that’s been grazed on a regenerating soil. It could be woodland. A whole range of different things. And it’s not to say that we’re under any illusion that we can ever make money just in that way. We’ve got to have subsidies and we’ve got to probably have tourism and other things, but those shouldn’t be the absolute basis of that income. So we start with a holistic context and we sort of define the whole that we’re trying to manage. And I can talk through the kind of next steps of that.

 Manda: Yes, I really would like you to. But two questions arise in the middle of that. One is, are we always going to rely on subsidies and tourism? Is there no way that we can create a food and farming system where growing food for people is both economically viable for the people growing the food and affordable for the people who are going to buy it? Because it seems that if we are living in a wider system, where that is not possible, then there’s something wrong with the system. Is that a fair assessment?

 Caroline: Totally agree with you. And I think what I was saying there is within the current paradigm, I think it’s probably unlikely. I think what we’re all working, you and I and many others are working towards, is creating a new paradigm where everything’s done differently. And in that world, I think is possible. I think in this way that we’re doing things, the framework we’re all operating within at the moment, it’s probably unlikely we’re ever going to get people to pay the true cost. At the moment in the way that they live their lives. There’s a lot of things need to change, but we can make great steps forward if we make sure that the businesses that we’re setting up, we’re using this holistic context. If we can make sure that the foundation of that income is coming from solar power or water or whatever, rather than relying on the subsidies; then they can then go and look at what subsidies are available, what environmental payments are available, and they’re not shifting their entire plan around every time a new scheme comes in or whatever. So we start from that sort of solid foundation, and then farmers are happier because they feel secure. They’ve got a good plan for the future, that’s going to be 200 years time. They’ve got this vision of what they can create. So we go through this long process of teaching them the principles and then helping craft this context.

 Caroline: And the principles are agro ecological principles. So Savory teaches the principles, as they call them, the ecosystem processes, and that’s: energy flow, mineral cycle(which is kind of soil health), and the water cycle and then community dynamics. And I have reshaped those a little bit in the way that I approach them, because it didn’t feel quite right to me. I teach it a little bit differently. So how I teach it is actually the elemental principles and processes, and I’ve kind of aligned that with my other sort of spiritual thinking, I suppose in the kind of the heritage. And all of the civilisations throughout the world had the elements that they worked with and that felt quite right to me. So I work with those processes and we look at energy flow, which is photosynthesis. How do we capture more of that and bring that into our system to to regenerate? To bring energy in so that we can grow more primary production and therefore we can increase the number of animals we’ve got or at least sustain more life generally. So it’s about sort of enhancing the whole pyramid of energy right the way through. So it’s often overlooked in conservation that we can’t have any more golden eagles unless we’ve actually increased the base of that pyramid.

 Caroline: So just encouraging and increasing the energy of the system is important, and that’s through photosynthesis. And then we look at mineral cycle, which is really all about soil health. How do we increase the the availability of nutrients through the system without requiring inputs from artificial fertilisers? Which of course, we could go on and on about. But, you know, you understand the issues with that, so that we encourage the increase of the biodiversity in the soil, food web and and soil health generally. We look at the water cycle: So how do we slow the flow of water through the landscape and increase the retention of water in aerated soils? And the last one is the kind of air flow, in terms of upland systems is particularly important, because we’ve got very exposed environments where trees have disappeared over the years. As you say, if you go back long enough, it was really a wooded landscape with grassland areas within. So what have we done to our landscape to make it so exposed that the airflow is creating these inhospitable areas to try and farm? And also looking at air flow into the soil: If we don’t have air going into the soil structure and have good structure that allows air to pass through it and carbon dioxide back out, then we need to add nitrogen. Because we need to make use of the nitrogen in those soils. 78% of air is nitrogen, so we need to sort of make sure that we can drop that incredibly toxic, unhelpful inorganic nutrient out of the system. So we work on those four processes and principles and then we sort of, as I say, create this context, this vision for the future. And then we kind of have ways and tools of applying our management to get us to that end vision. Now we’ve sort of taught those principles. So, holistic management as a framework is about teaching those elemental or ecosystem processes, creating a vision for where we want to get to, and then actually it’s all about decision making, good decision making. Making sure we’re thinking of the long term and short term future. Making sure we’re thinking not just about the economic decisions, but the social. How is this decision going to impact the people around me? And how is it going to impact the environment? But the wider environment than our local environment. And that, in action is holistic management. So that is a deeply misunderstood framework that has been…you know people like George have taken to think that it just means grazing.

 Manda: Yes. Yes. I’d like to unpick some more of that in a moment. But I’m interested in the kind of three legged stool of the landscape, the social inputs and the social requirements. There are people on the land and we need to take care of them and probably bring more people back onto the land and the economic input. And I’m wondering where we’re creating a vision of a landscape that’s going forward 200 years, which is amazing, because we don’t know what the climate’s going to be in the next 200 years,other than it’s definitely going to be different to now. I wonder to what extent there’s a spiritual input of asking the land? Because this is one of these areas where people become quite quiet and nobody really mentions it. But the more I talk to people who live on the land, whether it’s small scale farmers or big estate owners, if you get them into a place where they feel safe to discuss this, they all feel some kind of spiritual connection to the land. And they all…ok probably not all exclusively…there are some highly mechanistic people for whom land is still a factory. But the ones who are beginning to think in the way that you’re describing; the land is a living thing. And I wonder if you factor that in and if you find that the people you’re working with are actually asking the land what it wants, as well as what we think it might want.

 Caroline: It’s a very big part of my work and as you say, it’s not the easiest part to discuss openly, but it’s been a huge influence and definitely in the last couple of years, much more so. So it’s always something. I’ve spent a lot of time in wild spaces. I am also a hermit. I generally avoid people at all costs. I generally, I’m on my own a lot. Because of the different projects and just the way that we’ve designed our life, we spend a lot of time in silence in these wild spaces. And I’m also just a fanatical learner and a reader. So I have learnt, read thousands of books and I just eat them up in terms of knowledge and insight. And I’ve spent the last sort of 15, 20 years doing that and absorbing all of this information, and that’s been incredibly important. But more and more in this last few years, I’ve realised that the biggest insights have been when I’m meditating under a tree somewhere and you get this download of information. And then I started to think about, well, this is how our indigenous cultures just knew how to manage the land. Because they didn’t need to know it in their head. Their information just came to them and they understood it because they lived in it. They saw the processes, they understood just the slightest little thing that you’re watching will give you that aha moment, that’s taken you five books to get to somewhere else. And then you’ll get it in an instant.

 Caroline: And I suppose one of the reasons that, yeah, this part of my journey is so exciting, is that I’ve just realised that in regenerative agriculture the space is you can see this going in two different directions. At the moment you’re getting the people that are getting more and more sciencey about it. They’re going back down the rabbit hole of more and more knowledge. And some people love that, because if they’re in that mechanistic paradigm, they want to know more. And I’ve been there and have been trying to keep up with that as well, but I’m definitely leaning towards the this realisation that actually everything is out there in nature that we really need to know and understand. And taking space and time is what society needs now, because we need that insight to be able to build this new paradigm that I talk about. That we need to step into. That if we just keep this mechanistic paradigm where we keep trying to fix soil health, we’re just going to get something… Well, look at the carbon counting that’s coming out now. You know, it’s basically just coming out of the same stable of mechanistic thinking. So what I think I’m focusing on more and more now is, yeah, how do we change people? How do we change the way that we look at things? How do we change that kind of just interaction with nature, so we can get that wisdom and that understanding, so we can develop something completely new. That new framework, that new paradigm, so that we can come up with a culture that will produce people that don’t pick up the tools that are going to damage soil.

 Caroline: That kind of is what needs to happen, isn’t it? So in terms of the work with farmers and estates, sometimes I get the chance to do that more than others. And if I can…I don’t tend to work as an advisor anymore. I don’t go onto farms and tell people what to do. It’s very much more about developing this context, and teaching them the principles, and then coaching them in the process of working out how to apply this to their land. And in the longer term relationships on some of the bigger projects, I definitely try very hard to spend lots of time on that land just being and knowing. You know, just spending time and letting it speak to me in whatever way that is, to tell me what this could be. As part of me bringing that into our discussion around the future context of that land. So we’ll be talking to the owners about what they want and we’ll be getting very sensible at the economics of that and we’ll be looking very sensible about the grazing plan and what we’re generating. But also we need to be bringing to the table this sort of understanding of what’s speaking to me about that landscape and what what can I see being in the future. And so that is definitely part of my process.

 Manda: And then without giving specific examples of named places, can you give us a general concept of the kinds of things that are changing for you and that you’ve done differently as a result of connecting with the land, that you might not have done, say, ten years ago when you still had the same knowledge base, but didn’t have the heart connection to the land.

 Caroline: Yes, I suppose it would be something along the lines of: you would be focusing on just doing a grazing plan and looking at the most productive way of increasing photosynthesis. And of course, you’re still trying to increase biodiversity. That’s all part of how we teach grazing. But it would be very much more thinking about the land as a resource that you can…and actually that’s one of the limitations of holistic management is it still thinks about it as a resource. And of course on one level it is, so would be focussed on how to make good use of the resource of of the grazing platform and thinking about increasing biodiversity in a bit more of a limited sense in terms of the grassland areas. But now very much it’s moving towards creating a patchwork of habitats where there is scope; some places there is and some there isn’t. But we need to move way beyond just having a diverse grassland, to having all of these other habitats. And then the step further that I’m taking now is, yeah, taking some time to really think about looking at the history of the landscape. So in the places I’m managing for myself, if you like; I would be doing a really deep dive into reading about what was here, right back to the geology of the situation. What rocks created this place, and then the different stages of how that developed through centuries and then into the farming. What was the wild landscape of this place? What would be the top predators? What other species have gone? So really looking at that web of life that’s missing and then coming through, what’s the more sort of recent history of it? You know, in Scotland, obviously, you know, we had gone from sort of small scale crofting and, you know, be more like cattle, pigs.

 Caroline: And then, of course, everything was moved off and it was sheep. And what’s the cultural heritage of that whole process? And how did that change the landscape? And then going back to some of the old ecology books, you know, the West Highland Survey and books like that. So really trying to dig into the old ecological thinking on this stuff and then coming right forward to what’s the history of the people that own this. Sometimes I work with estates that it’s been in the same family for a very long time. What’s your own personal journey and their history with that landscape? And what do we need to bring in, in terms of the context there? And then right the way through to the present situation: what have we got? Which is often, you know, a degraded situation through no particular person’s fault. It’s just that that’s how we ended up. The mechanistic way that we’ve all been living has created that situation. So where are we? And then where could we get to realistically with the resources we’ve got available now, in terms of money and people. And then also thinking about the future in terms of climate: what’s the most climate resilient situation we could be in, in 100 to 200 years? So right the way through that process, really.

Manda: So can we talk about… Let’s take a mythical big estate in Scotland. So let’s say it’s many thousands of acres and it goes from lowland up to hills and lochs. And I’m guessing that it was once woodland and then there would be small crofts, as you said, with a few cattle and and pigs. And then it was clear felled and there were sheep. Let’s suppose we’ve got the ultimate perfect landowner who wants to bring lots more people back onto the land. And my understanding, certainly my experience around here, is there’s loads of young people in their twenties who desperately want to be doing something that feels worthwhile and that getting their hands in the soil feels worthwhile. My understanding also is that if you work on that almost garden scale horticulture, but two or three acres per person, you can produce a lot more more food because you’re able to attend to it much more. Is it, as George Monbiot would say, that actually we need to get rid of the livestock and bring lots more people back onto the land, working relatively small areas to produce hodmedods concepts of fava beans and marrow fat peas and old style wheats that they do at various of the kind of new regenerative farms. In order to be able to feed what is now much, much bigger population than we had historically. And then let the rest just completely rewild. Reintroduce I don’t know, the wolves and the beavers, probably not the bears, but head back towards an almost Palaeolithic landscape. Is that a vision that would go forward, or are there alternative visions that would still feed people and bring back biodiversity? What does this estate look like in terms of its trees and its water and its soil and the species that are on it?

Caroline: That’s a nice opportunity to be able to explore the mythical landscape of the future! Yeah. Lovely. For me I guess there’s a couple of things that need to be addressed. One is that there is this idea that no animals on there is better somehow. And obviously I think particularly in the uplands, what’s important to realise is that yes, we once upon a time we had, to go back, we had a very wooded environment which probably in Scotland would have looked more like pinewoods, open pinewoods with heath underneath on the higher areas. But probably much more fertility higher up, because that would create a microclimate within that area. And what we’re trying to do is recover that essentially, by bringing trees back in and moving that up the hillside. We now know that climate is absolutely changed by the trees. So of course, when we had predators in the system that were managing the grazing animals and the fear factor was there and those grazing animals weren’t hanging around and overgrazing areas, our soils would have been fertile and healthy and the mineral cycle would have been very active. The energy flow would have been better because the trampling would have happened and there would have been better biodiversity, much higher up the hills. And then over time and of course, every different expert has a different idea of how this would have happened and to what degree the influence is important. But we cut down trees and we killed predators and we disrupted the grazing animals to some degree. Which would inevitably have led to more exposure, the building of peat and the dying of trees and the animals, as I say, then overgrazing the areas that were open. Diminishing that biodiversity right down, simplifying the landscape where the soil structure collapse and then all that’s left is an acidic soil. Particularly on the west, where you’ve got steep ground; all of the fertility is washed out the system essentially, and then you get peatlands. And then what’s interesting is that’s what we’re going in and trying to protect now. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t protect peatlands, but it’s a very difficult conversation to be had about: Well, is it better to, if you’ve got an existing degraded peatland that’s quite stable, it’s changed forever. You know, is it better to then try and encourage trees and then have something more biodiverse? Or should we be rewetting it and making a peatland again? There is no one answer to that. That’s very much context specific. But anyway, so what we’ve now got is an upland that is highly degraded and you know, it’s then assumed that again, if you’re using mechanistic thinking like George Monbiot is applying to this sort of conversation, he’d be saying that, no, we need to be growing something else because it’s more calories per acre, it’s more protein per acre. But we’re just misunderstanding that those environments are just incredibly low energy. They don’t produce much in terms of volume. And even as a pioneer coming into a new area, you would be sensible and you’d say, Well, I’m going to grow all the crops and other things in this lower area where I can access, it’s fertile. And then in that upper area up there, which is unproductive, we’ll use grazing animals. So that’s how you’d allocate your, your farming methodology.

 Caroline: It just makes sense. But this idea that just removing the grazing animals on these denuded landscapes is better, is just wrong. Just allowing animals to continue to set stock graze, I totally agree is an absolute disaster. Just allowing sheep to wander around grazing what they want is just going to continue to make that situation worse. You just get rougher grasses, rank grasses and degraded peatlands. But just removing the animals is not going to get you the results. You have changed that soil forever, you have changed that habitat forever. So what really needs to happen is we need to understand the nuance of this situation much more deeply. So we need to understand each of the different herbivores that we’ve got access to. Deer, red deer are going to be there already. We’ve got cattle. And if we do want to use sheep because it’s important to our context, they need to be applied in a very, very specific way so that they aren’t allowed to continually choose what they want to eat. So we would design a system that’s bearing all of that in mind, all of the different herbivores we’re using and we design a system that’s applying them in the timing and density and as a tool to regenerate those ecosystems. Depending on what we’re trying to get to. So if I’m trying to get to a wood pasture, how I apply those tools, those different herbivores, would be very different than if I was trying to get to a grassland or I was trying to manage a bog. So we’ve got to have that in mind too.

 Manda: What’s a wood pasture? What does it look like and how does it work?

 Caroline: So wood pasture is like a very open woodland. I suppose you could think of it a little bit like a parkland, is a more manufactured version, where you’ve got trees with a full canopy. They’re allowed to grow out very wide and then you’ve got areas of grassland or heath or something, kind of a field of vegetation in between. So that’s what ultimately I think would be the most natural landscape and probably was here originally, you know, with massive variations in different regions. But ultimately that’s what I feel is kind of our most natural. And in some cases, that would be what we’re aiming for, because that would be part of the the context that we’ve created with the family that own it. That that’s the most appropriate use of that landscape. But back to this mythical landscape that we’re trying to create. I think that the upland areas could be very much moving towards wood pasture, with the right herbivores in there to do that. For me, sheep have got less of a role. But if the context is, you know, if the family are really keen on sheep or if just for their own reasons, there’s an important cultural heritage or social reason for keeping sheep. We would design a better system that’s applying them in a different way. But ultimately, some sort of combination of woodland and much healthier grassland or heathland would be how we would design that system.

 Caroline: And then as we come down the slopes to the lower areas where you can grow stuff in a practical way, then we’d be looking at lots of hedges, a really healthy grassland with lots of different plant species. So grasses, forbs, different herb species, wildflowers, and then legumes would be in that mix and lots of them, hopefully. So dozens and dozens of species altogether in a grassland, subdivided with hedges, managed in a plant grazing way. So mobbing animals for short periods and then long recoveries. And then if there is an opportunity within the social context for the family to allow areas of land to go into the sort of more horticultural, than I’d be looking at kind of food forests and then permaculture kind of no dig gardens and a whole combination in between. So for me it would be yeah, all of that in the lower areas, going up to an integrated upland environment, that’s producing high quality nutrient dense meat products in a way that’s regenerating that upland area. That’s the vision.

 Manda: Beautiful. It sounds great. And there’s so much in there to unpick. Just briefly, we spoke to Alan Watson Featherstone, probably about a year ago now, and he was involved in regenerating the old Caledonian forests in Scotland. And the way they did it basically was to create a deer proof fence and then leave it, because the deer were eating everything. So in our beautiful mythical upland wood, we endeavour to create bits of old forests, or at least new old forest. Are we creating clumps of trees with grassland in between? And if so, do we need to plant the trees and fence them for quite a while to grow big enough that the whatever grazing beasts are coming through are not going to eat them all? That would be question one. And question two: I’m really interested in people having a social connection to sheep, because coming from Scotland, you come from Scotland, the clearances – When I grew up, I thought they were yesterday. I thought Bannockburn was last year, so it was actually 1314. Our concept of history, growing up, was a little bit skewed. But the sheep are a relatively modern concept in the overall scheme of human evolution. And I’m wondering, is there an argument that says, I know you love doing this stuff with your dogs and sending them on the out run and bring your sheep back in and that feels really cool. But actually sheep are just incredibly destructive and they eat the grass, right, right, right down. And it might be better to have deer and let them do deer things or have cattle. Is that an argument that’s going to wash? Or is it just simply you would then be out of a job and they would bring in a different consultant. So trees first, then sheep.

 Caroline: Great questions and I’ll take yeah, I’ll take them one at a time. So the first one is we’ve got two big projects at the moment potentially that we are looking at. We’ve got remnant pinewoods, which is the most exciting habitat in the world.

 Manda: Why is it so exciting?

 Caroline: Speaks directly to my heart. It’s just like looking at that combination of Heather and Bilberry with those full canopy pines is just that.

 Manda: These are not kind of serried rows of Sitka Spruce like we see in the forestry. This is completely different.

 Caroline: Definitely not. Yeah, absolutely.

 Manda: And just tell us what it looks like. Build a picture for people of how this looks.

 Caroline: The trees because they’re able to grow out, they have this very sort of soft, sort of gentle, sort of like…how could I describe it? Almost like, yeah, just rounded effect that comes out.

 Manda: And these are old Scots pine?

 Caroline: Pines, yeah, they’re kind of Granny Pines, so they’re very rounded looking. And then you’ve got underneath it, your absolute quintessential Scottish kind of Heather, but much more diverse. There are lots of other dwarf shrubs in amongst that as well, and some understory of different birch and other things as well. But it just is absolutely beautiful and completely different, as you say, to the the spruce plantations that have been commonly associated with Scotland more recently.

 Manda: And then what other species does that bring back? What else are you seeing arising?

 Caroline: Yeah, and I guess we haven’t had the chance to see that. I’ve not been involved in any long term regeneration projects and all of these projects that I’m talking about are within the last handful of years. So these are very early days. But these particularly, the estates that where we have got the opportunity to integrate that, are very recent. So we haven’t even started. We’ve designed the plans, but they are only just starting to get going. And so the question was normally you would fence out deer and that’s quite right. And you know, the work of trees for life and others are absolutely critical for having protected what we’ve got as remnants. And, you know, and just in the most sensible and practical way possible, they’ve done that. They’ve fenced out the deer and they’ve got moving forward so that we’ve got something left to continue to protect and grow. So absolutely it needed to be done and still needs to be done wherever there are pines. But what I’m trying to achieve is a way of making sure we can do this at scale and that farmers and estates will do this at scale because it makes economic sense. And so what we’re exploring and what I’ve learnt from doing cattle grazing in these areas with woodland, is that actually you can get very effective tree regeneration with cattle present, and ponies to some degree. And your deer levels do need to be pretty low. Now with Pinewoods, we haven’t fully explored how low that is. So what we’re looking at is it might be that you’ve got some areas that are particularly important, so we might have to look at fencing for a period. But in most places what we’d be looking at is trying to get the deer numbers as low as possible through increased culling, stalking.

 Manda: Human predation, basically.

 Caroline: For at least a temporary period. The deer numbers are just too high for what would have been natural. So that needs to be lowered if we’re trying to recreate a natural environment. So sheep would have to come off, because sheep, even under a mob grazing system, you’ll get a little bit of tree regeneration, but it’s a bit accidental. So ultimately it would be a switch from sheep to cattle and cattle in much lower numbers probably. But again, not falling into the trap of sort of getting into these discussions about whether that’s a productive farming method. It’s producing some food, but the primary reason that we’re using these animals is a tool to regenerate. Because actually we believe, I believe, and I’ve seen it with my own eyes, is is that the whole process of the mineral cycling – So often these denuded landscapes, these peatland landscapes can go very rank in the absence of the grazing animals. So what we’re underestimating, I believe, is the rule in herbivore browsing and just trampling of the of the minerals in that rank vegetation, to make sure that the nutrients are flowing and you’ve got the mycorrhizal networks developing in those soils that are going to support those trees. Otherwise, those trees haven’t really got a full immune system. You know, they need soil food webs in order to protect themselves from pests, which is why we’re seeing such tree diseases. We’re treating a tree is if you can plant it somewhere and expect it to be, you know, create woodland.

 Caroline: It’s so much more than that. So we see the grazing animals as part of that process of increasing the processes to create the right conditions for these trees to thrive. Plus they create little niches and pockets where the trees can grow. So what we hope will happen, is we get the deer pressure reduced. We switch the sheep to the cows, up on these upland areas. This is specifically where we want to regenerate trees, so we can still have sheep in systems, but it would be a different system. So you were asking me about these tree systems. So that’s where we would see regeneration occurring and we believe that that could potentially happen just as well, over time at least, if you give it long enough, then if you went up and planted trees. And the problem is that if you’re planting trees, you’re taking a tree that’s been grown in not a healthy environment or soil, potentially. And you’ve plonked it into a completely dead soil and expecting it to suddenly do something amazing. So what we’re hoping is that this way is actually more natural. You’ll get stronger, healthier trees in the long term and you’ll get a whole system that works better, not just trees. So we’ll keep you updated, but that’s the vision. And from what we’ve learned in other areas without Pines, that has been the case. And so that was possibly hopefully addressed the first question.

 Manda: So the second question was about sheep. And I think probably this is where George Monbiot has had an impact on me, the whole Sheep-wrecked concept and looking at landscapes where basically everything is nibbled down to within a millimetre of its life and it’s just dead except for these sheep dotted around. And I live on the edge of Wales. This is uplands. There’s a lot of sheep around here. But as far as I can tell, first of all, the guys doing it are paying themselves considerably less than the minimum wage, and they’re only achieving that because of government subsidies. And at the moment, we have a government that’s just basically a hysterical mess and the subsidies might finish at any moment. In which case suddenly the sheep are not going to be viable. And so I’m trying to look at what is it that makes this connection, and particularly with the older guys, they’ve got their dogs. There’s something about the dynamic of man, dog, sheep, you know, one man and his dog, that they love. And deeply. And they want to keep that going, because for them that’s what farming is about. But I’m thinking that for the longer term health of the human species and the land, it might be better to cut the link to the sheep and go, you know, these little woolly things, they’re not indigenous to here. And I don’t know anyone around here that actually likes eating sheep. So obviously there are whole cultures that like eating sheep, but I haven’t met anyone recently that likes actual sheep. Why are we doing this when we could be either having other grazing herbivores or just letting the land rewild? And is this something you come up against, this emotional connection to man, dog, sheep or woman dog sheep? And is it breakable?

 Caroline: Yeah, another great question. And there is a very strong connection to sheep. And actually that is one of the big challenges. And there’s a lot to go out there. But basically, I keep sort of anchoring back to this concept of context. So what’s important is we do have to acknowledge if there is a strong reason to want to keep sheep, we’ve got to at least explore that and work out what it is that created that. And also just to reflect on the fact that I completely agree. And actually with all George Monbiot’s work, I absolutely, passionately agree and love about 80% of it and then utterly detest and totally disagree with about 20% of it. And Feral had a big impact on me as well. And I agree completely that the current way that we’re grazing our uplands has created some big issues. So what I’m talking about is not that. And so I guess on the upland context, you’re absolutely right. Sheep aren’t from our native ecology. Therefore, if you just allow them to go and graze in that way, they will destroy it and have been doing in some places. But the same applies to some degree to any herbivore. We’ve not got the predators anymore. So what we’re doing is if the context of the of the farm or estate is to try and get as close as we can to a native ecology, then we’d be reinstating those herbivores.

 Caroline: And then we’d also be trying to bring in the effect of the predator. So that’s how we apply the timing in our management, to try and mimic that. And that might look, in the lowlands that might look like paddock grazing in small mobs, but in the uplands that would be more like macro timing. So it could be that we might give one third of the hill a year off, or it could be that we’re giving it a summer off and grazing it for a period in the winter. Or there’s lots of different ways that we can achieve that. But as you say, if we want trees to regenerate, then sheep generally won’t allow that to happen. So in an upland setting where they’re more appropriate, is either going back to the traditional way of shepherding them; so that if you go back to, for instance, the Lake district where I am, and you went to a system that not only just had sheep, but had lower numbers of sheep, had cattle and ponies, and then had very active shepherding where you’ve got the heft, but you’ve also got a shepherd up there moving them off when, when they’ve over eaten areas.

 Caroline: And at that time you have the benefit of a kind of a biological bank account that was very diverse. So that proper shepherding, that art and science of shepherding that they have throughout Europe is actually potentially could be very beneficial. It’s not natural. It’s not what would have been there when we had predators and no humans kind of managing it. But if we decided that sheep were important, there’s ways that we can apply those principles to get much, much better results. So I guess there’s that. But yeah, I’m also puzzled by this idea that actually sheep are, in Scotland particularly, part of the dark part of our history really, and our heritage. So I’m not quite sure what the attachment is and maybe is that combination of the dog and the sheep and that just yeah, there’s something about that that’s obviously very powerful. I think economically there’s a case, you’re absolutely right, that the current way of doing sheep that doesn’t stack up. But a lot of that is because of all the inputs. And the fact we’ve been breeding and selecting for animals that are losing traits that are really important, like being able to look after their lambs and just being hardy and and resilient and, you know, seeing off predators, foxes and things like that.

 Caroline: And then we’ve ended up set stocking these animals. So they’re picking up worms and the nutrient quality has gone down in the uplands because of the overgrazing, which means that the animals are more susceptible to lice and to blowfly. And so the whole thing has started to kind of simplify and collapse, which means that the farmers are then having to put an enormous amount of money into the input costs. So the medications and the fertilisers and the dips to try and protect these animals, are part of the ecological simplification that has led to these costs, essentially. So in regenerative, what we’re trying to do is reverse that process. We’re trying to get selected animals that do best, use them in appropriate timings and densities that regenerates rather than degrades, build up the diversity of their diet so they’re healthier, all of that stuff. So there is a better way of doing it, whether it’s right, whether it’s just simpler to get rid of everything? Comes back to this idea, Well, do we really want one person deciding what’s right for the whole of the countryside? Is that a dangerous place to get to? Or should we be looking at the individual context more? And I don’t get it, why you want sheep, but maybe that’s important to you.

 Caroline: And as long as we’re doing this in a regenerative way, that’s fine. And maybe the diversity between my vision of what an upland should look like with all the pines, and then some farms that are doing a really good version of upland sheep farming in a regenerative way, that’s good, because then we’ll have lots of different edge effects with different habitats. So for me, you know, this idea that we should do everything across the board is always a dangerous place. So and also just one last point on economics: sheep have a faster turnaround. So if we can get them more profitable, which we can in a regenerative system, we hope. They can sell them in a year. 2 to 3 years. So in terms of just keeping yourself diversified in your profitability and not just relying on one animal, so if you get TB the whole herd goes down and you can’t, yeah, diversity is important. And the enterprises that we’ve got going on as well. So that’s a lot.

 Manda: It increases the resilience. That’s really good. And even as you were speaking, I was thinking, we’re going to have to move, I hope, back to fibres that are not fossil fuel based, not petroleum based. And obviously, sheep fibre wool has been what’s clothed us for millennia and it would be nice to go back to that. I have one last question, because we’re nearly at the end of our time. We’ve spoken a number of times about the need to change the paradigm. And I wonder, so this is another two part question. First of all, what timescale are you working on? How fast do you think we can change it and how fast do you think we need to change it? And these two might not be the same. But more importantly, what does the world look like in a shifting paradigm? Obviously there is no end point of a nirvana where everything is stable, but at what point are we in enough of a paradigm shift that things look significantly different, but attainable from where we are here?

 Caroline: Ooh. That’s a difficult one, isn’t it? And I think. It’s always difficult not to get too sort of doom and gloom and a bit dramatic about it. But the current way things are going, I think, is going to be this kind of big leap in human emergence models, where they say that there’s this step change in things. You know, we’ve been making incremental changes up until now, but my feeling is that we’re on the edge of something much bigger and I guess it feels like things might have to collapse. I think we need, I think to some degree, that we’ll see a probably a quite a dramatic collapse of the old. And then I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how do we get through that, what needs to happen, you know, and at what timings and what does it look like afterwards? So I’ve been doing a lot of that thinking and I actually took myself off and I got so kind of stuck with that question that I kind of took myself off for a bit of a four or five day vision sort of quest onto one of the islands that we work with. It was a great opportunity, there’s nobody there. And I just felt like I’d been pondering these questions for such a long time, I needed to go and sit with it for a period.

 Caroline: And I sort of came back with this idea that, actually it’s the same thing all the way through. And it might be that we we accelerate through parts of it. But ultimately what we need to do at every level, I believe, is help people understand complex thinking, complex systems and become whole. So it doesn’t matter whether you’re working with farmers or whether you’re looking at organisational structures or you’re looking at how to become a regenerative leader and influence a bigger supply chain or whatever. And we try and work at all three levels actually; partly it’s grassroots, partly it’s organisational structures. It doesn’t matter actually. What happens is you work with an individual for long enough and you teach them in different ways. So if you’re working with a farmer, you’ll be looking at the ecology, you’ll be looking at how do you produce more grass or what’s this habitat? How does the soil system work? The indirectness of how plants achieve nutrients through the soil food web. It’s all a learning process about complex systems and systems thinking. And if you go to the root cause of everything that I feel has gone wrong in our current paradigm of doing things, our machine thinking paradigm, is that we can’t understand and work with complexity.

 Caroline: So if we’re going to create a new paradigm, that’s what needs to happen. For me, it doesn’t matter who I’m working with and on what level. It’s about helping coach them through this idea of understanding complex systems and not expecting to be able to use prescriptions. So on the farm level, that will be about teaching the principles, helping them create a context, and then coaching them in the process of decision making to get to that. So ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether we’re in a state of collapse and our food system is collapsed and we’re no longer able to get cereal feeds to the farms or whatever that might look like. We’ve still got to sort of work with those individual farmers to work out how to create a resilient farming system, but much more rapidly. So we need to get back to the idea of what animals can you actually sustain? That’s the first thing, you know. What can you do self sufficiently here? How can you make the best use of your grazing management? How can you very rapidly select the animals that will survive without your inputs and your medications? And so the same thing is just accelerated to some degree. And then for me it’s about building.

 Caroline: Part of my work is about looking at how do we build decentralised, complex food systems, so that rather than having a monoculture system where you’ve got big giants controlling things and a just in time food system. How do we get individual farms mobilised? How do we give the power back to those farmers, so that they can offer up their produce to a system that can then collaborate or cooperate in a way that can then feed the world? And I guess we’re already working on that. How do we teach holistic management? How do we teach regenerative agriculture to big supply chains? It’s about understanding complexity. It’s about looking at the farmers. But then not assuming that you can just expect a regenerative supply, you’ve got to design your own organisational structure so it supports that. So we’re already sort of working at that level and then I guess the top level would be in leadership. How do we then create whole people that have done the work on themselves, to integrate wholeness to the point where they are authentic, understand complexity and are able to, you know, to be with other people and lead in a way that means that they can influence and ripple through an ecosystem to make all of that work better.

 Manda: Gosh, I was thinking that was the end. And we’ve just opened up a whole new set of doors. So very briefly, my understanding is that the current food system, there are about five mega players who basically buy up all the futures. Part of the reason that we’re having a food crisis at the moment is that Jp morgan told everybody the way around price fluctuations was to invest in wheat futures, which skyrocketed the price because people are basically gambling and pushing the price up. And that these people are predatory at heart. I know I shouldn’t other and I know this is… But their whole business model is predicated on people starving, fundamentally, which is not great. Have you seen any changes in how that structure is managed and the kinds of people managing it? I am thinking that we need lots of little local community supported agriculture systems, that people need to source all their food within 20 miles of where they live. These are not big multinational structures. It’s not a food system. It’s going back to localised food production in a world that we’re hoping is becoming fossil fuel free. But I still don’t see how we get from having five mega companies that are controlling the world’s food as a profit base, to a healthy, sustainable system. Are you seeing changes in that? Are you able to reach in to those levels of decision making and begin to make them more resilient and fundamentally decent?

 Caroline: I think so. I use the human emergence models for the framing of everything that I do and how I work with different organisations and people. And what I think will come in this new, more holistic paradigm, is that we can’t go back. Of course I want a decentralised, localised model and to some degree that will be small, tiny scale. That’s great. We need that too. But also we’ve come through this era where we’ve had big supermarkets and we’ve got different buying habits and some of that is likely to stay. And we’ve also got an enormous population that’s been built on the back of fertilisers, and that’s a big problem we’ve now got to deal with. That we don’t necessarily want to, or we just can’t reverse out very easily. So for me, if I go and work with a supply chain, we design training for supply chains and I’m trying very hard to make sure these things don’t get greenwashed. So what we’re doing is we’re building training for some of their farmers. But at the same time, we’re working with the middle management often in terms of them implementing that to their supply chain. And in that process, they’re still learning regenerative agriculture. They’re still learning complex systems, they’re still learning. And they change. They look at things differently, and then they suddenly realise they’ve got to then go and take a change somewhere.

 Caroline: And that might be in that organisation. Or if that organisation doesn’t support it, they will move on to another organisation. Now you can either go and fight the Giants head on, or you can realise that actually most of the pollution and the damage that’s being done around the world is from, probably 70% of it, I think I’ve seen figures on this, but I can’t remember. Is from these sort of small, medium sized enterprises. Now if we can start to influence people, keep people in those enterprises, and we start to build a culture of regeneration within those layers. And we’ve also got the people on the ground doing amazing stuff in the small, small scale. We can make some big changes and get some big tipping points happening I think. So for me it’s like, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Yes, of course, there’s been a huge amount of damage done and still is being done. And of course, there’s a huge risk of this being green washed. But does that mean we just don’t engage with that? For me, it’s more I need to go in and do what I can on the inside of those systems, to see what we can influence and change. And that’s a big part of my work now.

 Manda: Fantastic. That’s one of the most optimistic endings I think we’ve ever had.

 Caroline: That’s great.

 Manda: Change is possible and we can do it. So let’s end there. Caroline Grindod, thank you so much for coming on to The Accidental Gods podcast. That was beautiful.

Caroline: It’s an absolute pleasure, Manda. Thank you for having me.

Manda: You’re very welcome.

Manda: And that’s it for another week. Enormous thanks to Caroline for the depth and breadth of what she’s doing and for the integrity that she brings to it. As ever, we had a very generative conversation after I stopped recording, of things that we can’t really put out into the public domain because it’s not appropriate to mention specific companies involved with the food systems. But Caroline is working at really quite a high level with companies whose names we all know and almost certainly have engaged with at an economic level at some point in our lives. Which is to say we buy their stuff. And while we may no longer buy their stuff, hopefully, it still matters that the people working for those companies get it. And everyone that gets it spreads the getting of it, the light bulb moment, the changes in the ways we do things to others in the company. This is how we approach tipping points. And so people like Caroline who have the integrity to hold firm to what they believe in and yet have the credibility to step into these enormous companies for whom making a profit is still what they’re there for. Is part of the way that we change the paradigm. So thank you to Caroline. And if you’re listening and there are things that you want to do, then eating food that was grown within 20 miles of where you live provided, it wasn’t grown with massive chemical inputs, is really important.

 Manda: And nowadays, certainly in the UK, there are an increasing number of farms that are letting go of all the chemical inputs. And they may be little islands of green surrounded by Monsanto’s Roundup and and Dead Land, but they are there. And there are those like Hodmedods, and I’m hoping to be able to speak to them at some point on the podcast, who are creating regenerative outlets. They are a system which sells the food that regenerative farmers can create. So hunting those down and if you can afford it, eating from those suppliers, is an integral part of keeping them alive and making the economic models work. And we may hate the idea of making economic models work. I definitely do. But we’re not going to shift to a new system without at some point engaging the old system and shifting it forwards. So shifting the way that we engage with the food system, whether we are growers or growers and eaters, is really important. And if you have any land at all, even if you have a garden that’s a metre square, you can grow on it and you can learn how to build biodiversity in your own soil.

Manda: Go and find allotments, listen to Down to Earth Derby. Find ways that you can encourage other people to let go of the roundup, let go of the chemical inputs, and let the land be alive. Because it’s only on a living land that we are ever going to build a living connection with the web of life that will allow us to move forward to a thriving, flourishing, life filled future. So that’s it for this week. And as ever, enormous thanks to Caro for the huge work that she does on the sound of the podcast. It’s often not great at the other end when we record it and however it sounds to you, is a thousand times better than it was when it arrived in Caro’s inbox. Thanks to Faith Tillaray for all the work on the tech and the conversations that keep us going. To Anne Thomas for cleaning up the transcripts. And as ever, to you for listening. If you know of anybody else who’d like to be part of the regenerative dance of the world, then please do send them this link. And that’s it for now. See you next week. Thank you and goodbye.

 

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