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GREAT Zerodig Project

Growing knowledge and skills in agroecology at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester (RAU).

In an exciting partnership with Zerodig Earth, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG SW) is embarking on an innovative project. We are in the development stage of cultivating fresh produce on a site adjacent to the Royal Agricultural University using innovative, nature-friendly farming methods.

‘We are delighted to be able to support the RAU in helping the next generation of farmers learn how to grow food with nature,’

Jenny Phelps MBE.


Previously a conventional arable field, the 7.5 ha site is being converted to horticulture alongside some experimental plots using the Zerodig method. Zerodig is a step-by-step no-dig method, developed by Christopher Upton and Dr Mario Peters, which prioritises climate action, ecosystem restoration, and healthy local food production.

It uses compost, manure and woodchip to build fertility in the soil.

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Fresh Organic Vegetables



The fresh produce can be eaten on campus and sold to local businesses.

Food equity is one of three core principles driving the GREAT Zerodig Project. The project will focus on forming supportive relationships with the local community, donating fresh produce to the local food bank in Cirencester.



The project can be integrated into the curriculum to teach agroecology and regenerative farming at the RAU.


Students can learn from experienced grower and project manager Liberty Nimmo, on the management of small-scale commercial food production.

Experimental plots and land-use change can serve as fuel for dissertation research questions and data collection.

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The Zerodig method prevents disturbance of soil microbiota and enhances fertility through addition of organic woodchip and compost.

A new 490m hedgerow has been installed to reduce the sites exposure to harsh weather and ensure habitat connectivity.


Other habitat features including beetle banks and wildflower strips will naturally attract diverse wildlife, making the site an agroecological oasis and contributing to integrated pest management.

What's happening on site

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Get Involved

Volunteering / Agroecology and Social Events 

Volunteers can learn growing techniques from experienced growers in a nature-friendly manner. We will be hosting social events to celebrate our progress and create a community of like-minded people. 

We have a Whatsapp group and social media pages.


Email to be added to the google calendar of events and whatsapp group to be involved.


or to find out what research opportunities are available on site. 

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Get Involved

Volunteering and Events

Interested in learning what agroecology looks like in practice? Come along to one of our volunteering sessions and learn nature-friendly growing techniques. 

We will be hosting social events to celebrate our progress and create a community of like-minded people. 

Join our WhatsApp group and follow the social media pages to see our calendar of events and learn more.


Email to be added to the google calendar of events and the WhatsApp group.


If you are interested in research opportunities email or speak to your lecturer on how you may be able to use the site for data collection. 


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