Pitch Up! and listen

An annual call-out for sustainable start-ups and businesses every November, Pitch Up! is an invitation to join the growing circular communities on organic and regenerative farms and estates in Hampshire (England) and Fife (Scotland) – with more set to join in 2024. This innovative scheme makes sense on so many levels – read (and listen) on to find out why.

By: Helen Gilchrist,   2 minutes

At the heart of global conversations about food security, climate change, biodiversity and public health, the future of farming is an urgent topic (and a vast rabbit hole that we started exploring in Strike #8).

The Pitch Up! scheme – which we devised as part of our original messaging and brand strategy work with Kingsclere Estates – aims to grow the positive impact that regenerative farming, sustainable enterprise stacking, diversification and circular systems can have across the UK. It places the emphasis on collaboration – providing innovative ways for small businesses to access land in a way that would not otherwise have been possible without renting or buying land – and connects holistically-managed estates and regenerative farmers with sustainable food/ drink producers and other like-minded businesses.

As Kingsclere’s Tim May explains: “Whether established raw material growers, start-up farmers and market gardeners, food and drinks producers, veg box scheme creators, chefs, skincare producers, textile producers, glamping enthusiasts, forest school teachers, wildlife experts, craftspeople or just plain visionaries…if you want to create a sustainable venture using – and contributing back into – the produce or by-products of our estate, we want to hear from you.”

The Pitch Up! applications season – which has been dubbed “the Dragon’s Den of farming” and runs from 1–30 November – invites sustainable businesses and start-ups to pitch their plans on how they’d use the land/ space.

Successful applicants are given access to fertile land, raw materials, retail or production space, by-products, ideas, knowledge, contacts, equipment, costs, and whatever’s needed to help good ideas grow into successful businesses. Above all, it’s an opportunity to be part of a likeminded community that grows together.

We sat down with Tim and Sam Parsons (estate manager at Balcaskie, which has joined for the 2023 season) to hear them explain why they’re inviting more people onto their land, show circular rural economies in action (from bread to bees to burials), and share their hopes for the future.

Pitch Up! · Introducing Pitch Up! 2023: Tim May and Sam Parsons


And to – thank you for the music!


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