top of page

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.

About Us: About Us
Waiting Room
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.

Image (2).jpg



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.

Tell your visitors your story. Add catchy text to describe what you do, and what you have to offer. The right words can inspire and intrigue your audience, so they’re ready to take action on your site. To start telling your story, double click or click Edit Text.

Welcome - Rachel Wheatley 

New Head Grower


Rachel, a University of Oxford graduate has 30 years of expertise in vegetable cultivation, ranging from organic olive oil production in Italy's Sabina region to designing city gardens and managing market-scale operations.


For the last three years she has been working with Zerodig Earth on a wide range of market garden projects and leading field trials on kale varieties' nutrient density. 

Rachel is now currently immersed in the GREAT Zerodig project at the RAU, she's pioneering new crop planning software and will be working closely with the FWAGSW team and RAU staff and students. 

Rachel is excited to get the Polytunnel up and has started growing some seedlings in preparation for its arrival.




What's happening on site

Discover Zerodig Earth's sister sites

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. 

instagram qr code_edited.jpg
twitter qr code.jpg

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. 


MicrosoftTeams-image (89).png
twitter qr code.jpg
FWAGSW RGB JPEG Medium cropped.jpg
bottom of page