2000m² Field of Enquiry

Over 10 Saturdays, from October 2016 through to March 2017, the Field of Enquiry programme led a group of citizen enquirers through the food system globally and locally, supporting them to examine the current state of affairs, make sense of the pressures on the system and, as enquirers, frame the questions we must ask our scientists, farmers and politicians to answer if we are to do things differently.

Over the 10 days our enquirers unearthed the role of soil in our ecology and questioned how best to graze the grass and farm our protein. We unpacked the impact of our industrialised food system on our daily bread, our nutrition and health. We grappled with the big numbers and small actions on carbon emissions and food waste. We assessed our impact on our fellow species, whether they be walking, swimming or flying, and imagined how to better use our land.

Our Scientific Advisory Group, involving some of our finest scientists, nutritionists, ecologists, advisors and farmers, informed our Field of Enquiry and the full course report is now available for download (PDF 17MB).

Scotland’s Future Food (three minute version)

Scotland’s Future Food (twelve minute version)

Saturday 8 October 2016 Our Global and Local Field

Feeding the 9 billion; climate change and world trade; current and projected impact of diet on the planet; current global, European and Scottish land use patterns; food security and self sufficiency.

With Prof Nic Lampkin, Elm Farm Research Centre, Pete Ritchie, Director Nourish Scotland and Henri de Ruiter, PHD Student, University of Aberdeen.


Our Global and Local Field – Agroecology, Sustainable Intensification and Productivity by Nicolas Lampkin

Our Global and Local Field – Field of Enquiry by Pete Ritchie

Observations from the current UK 2000m² plot by Henri de Ruiter

Saturday 22 October 2016 The Birds and the Bees

The value of birds and bees to human ecology; land sparing or sharing; farming with nature and the impact of neonicotinoids on pollinators and soil.

With Vicki Swales, Head of Land Use Policy, RSPB Scotland, Professor Dave Goulson, University of Sussex, Dr Jenni Stockan, James Hutton Institute, Brian Poole Beekeeper in Residence with the Royal Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, Chris Bailly, Head of Advisory Services, RSPB Scotalnd and Kaylene Jenson, Bumble Bee Conservation Trust.


The Birds and the Bees – Farming and Wildlife, Trends, Problems and Solutions by Vicki Swales

The Birds and the Bees – Pesticide Talk by Prof Dave Goulson

The Birds and the Bees – Farmland Biodiversity by Jenni A. Stockan

Saturday 5 November 2016 Our Daily Bread

Role of wheat and bread in our food story; degradation of bread and subsequent health impact; healthier alternatives and bread as a community organising force for change.

With Andrew Whitley and Veronica Burke, Scotland the Bread and Catriona Milligan with guests, Bridging the Gap Hi-Rise Community Bakers, Gorbals, Glasgow.


Our Daily Bread by Andrew Whitley

Saturday 19 November 2016 Using Our Grass: Cattle, Sheep and Deer

Managing permanent pasture; agro-ecological approaches to venison, game and livestock
management; methane emissions, dairy and red meat.

With Simon Pepper , OBE, Forest Policy Group, Anna Heaton, Director, Pasture Fed Livestock Association and David Finlay, Diary Farmer, Rainton Farm, Dr Tony Waterhouse, SRUC.


Using Our Grass – Deer by Simon Pepper

Using Our Grass – Cattle and sheep by Anna Heaton

Using Our Grass – Methane and Cattle by Dr Tony Waterhouse

Saturday 3 December 2016 Meat From Grain: Pigs, Fish and Poultry

Role and impact of pigs and poultry in our global food; alternative protein sources, welfare, antibiotics and ethical meat consumption.

With Anna Heaton, Director, Pasture Fed Livestock Association and Nick Underdown, Campaigns Manager, Open Seas.


Meat from Grain – Pigs by Anna Heaton

Meat from Grain – Poultry by Anna Heaton

Meat From Grain – Just Salmon by Nick Underdown

Saturday 14 January 2017 Waste Not, Want Not

In Scotland, we waste almost a third of our food. That means trashing a third of our 2000m2 plot. Our national target is to cut that waste by a third across the supply chain. How?

With Kim Young, Zero Waste Scotland, June Graham, Sustainability and Climate Change Officer, Keep Scotland Beautifuil and Alex Hilliam, Hilliam Research.


Waste Not Want Not by Alex Hilliam

Love Food Hate Waste by Kim Young

Saturday 28 January 2017 Soil and Sustainability

Everything you need to understand about our most valuable resource – soil. What it does, how it works, what harms it and what heals it. Also the impact of peatland restoration on carbon emissions and the role of soil in carbon sequestration and land management.

With Prof Christine Watson, SRUC, Dr Bruce Ball, SRUC, Clifton Bain, Director of IUCN Peatland Management Programme, Dr Janet Moxley, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.


Soil and Sustainability – Soil Carbon by Janet Moxley

Soil and Sustainability – SRUC by Christine Watson

Peatland Programme – Clifton Bain, Director of IUCN Peatland Management Programme

Saturday 11 February 2017 Eating Well and Living Well

Understanding how our diet has changed and its impact on our health and planet. Discover what a healthy, sustainable, nutritious diet is and how to afford it. The causes and cures for diabetes and managing health.

With Duncan Williamson, Food Policy Manager, WWF, Anna Taylor, OBE and Director of the Food Foundation, Prof Charles Clark, Author and Consultant, Val Brunton, Head of Food, Whitmuir and Mona Taylor, 2000m2 Cook with your Kids Leader.


Eating Well Living Well by Duncan Williamson

Eating Well and Living Well – Food Foundation Anna Taylor

Saturday 25 February 2017 Feeding the cities

The Edinburgh city region can supply all the basic food the region needs, but the link between where we live and what we eat is broken. Can shorter supply chains benefit farmers, families and the public kitchen?

With Prof Geoff Squire and Dr Ali Karley, James Hutton Institute, Dr Leonie Alexander, Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh and Scott Erwin, Head Buyer, Greencity Wholefoods.


Feeding the Cities – James Hutton Institute Professor Geoff Squire

Vegetation diversity for multiple benefits Alison Karley Agroecology group

Alternative Structures Within Supply Chains Scott Erwin Greencity Wholefoods

Urban Biodiversity Leonie Alexander Urban Biodiversity Project Officer Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Saturday 11 March 2017 A Citizen’s Agricultural Policy for Scotland

Post-Brexit we need a new deal between citizens and farmers in Scotland. And we need a food system which works for everyone. With a new food bill going through Parliament, what can our
2000m2 tell us about the way forward?

Moving from CAP to CAP by Heather Anderson Farmer and Food Campaigner

With all of us.

Download the Field of Enquiry Report (PDF 17MB)