We Feed The UK is a monumental undertaking – with a clever premise – whereby 10 poets and 10 award-winning photographers have been commissioned to tell 10 stories of ‘hope’ in an otherwise battered and bruised food-producing landscape: one damaged so badly by Brexit, climate chaos, the cost of living crisis and heart-breaking biodiversity loss. The project is coordinated by The Gaia Foundation alongside national exhibiting partners and the Hot Poets, who pair spoken word artists with people and projects working on the frontlines of climate change.

The project was launched in February this year and runs until April 2025. There are now seven remaining exhibits, of which this one, entitled Custodians of the Land, is the fourth in the entire series. The exhibition is inspired by the Penpont Project, the UK’s largest intergenerational Nature restoration project, which is led by a Youth Leadership Group of 13- to 18-year-olds, the charity Action for Conservation, the Penpont Estate and local farmers, in the Bannau Brycheiniog, Wales. Photographer Andy Pilsbury and poet Ifor Ap Glyn have joined forces to tell Penpont’s story. Their words (translated from Welsh) and images are shared here, as is a link for you to hear Ifor’s poem in full.

Upcoming We Feed The UK exhibits will include From Crisis to Kinship: Healing People and Place on England’s first community-owned farm, which is inspired by Fordhall Organic Farm in Shropshire and pairs poet Jasmine Gardosi with photographer Aaron Schuman. This will take place in September and the resulting works will be published in an immersive book in collaboration with Grain Projects.

In October, the campaign explores Food Justice as inspired by the GoGrowWithLove & Black Rootz London-based initiatives. This exhibit pairs photography by Arpita Shah with poetry by Zena Edwards and will be shown as part of Photo Fringe in Brighton and a community street art campaign across North London.

And for the last exhibit of 2024, which runs from November at The Sill in Northumberland’s National Park, the campaign offers Down to Earth: Restoring Our Soils, inspired by local farm West Wharmley, near Hexham. The story is celebrated by the poetry of Kate Fox and the photography of Johannah Churchill.

Further We Feed The UK exhibitions are planned for 2025 at arts venues including the Martin Parr Foundation and the Royal Photographic Society.

The Gaia Foundation has 40 years of experience accompanying allies, communities and movements around the world to revive biocultural diversity. The organisation takes a holistic approach to regenerate healthy ecosystems and strengthen community self-governance – both critical as we face the grave reality of climate chaos, biodiversity collapse and social injustice.

Together with partners from the Atlantic to the Arctic, Africa to the Amazon, Gaia is reweaving the basket of life, revalorising the knowledge systems that enhance it, and restoring a respectful relationship with the Earth. In the UK it leads the Seed Sovereignty Programme UK & Ireland, reviving agri-diversity and our lost connections to the seeds at the very heart of our food system.

To listen to Ifor Ap Glyn’s poem ‘Land-mending (A stitch in time)’ in full, visit tinyurl.com/land-mending

www.wefeedtheuk.org #WeFeedTheUK