Down to Earth North Speakers

July 6, 2023 | Mark and Jenny Lee, Park House Farm, Torpenhow, Cumbria

Mark & Jenny Lee

Down to Earth North Hosts

Speaker Bio

On Thursday, 6th July, Mark and Jenny Lee, Park House Farm, Torpenhow, will showcase their organic unit. Their farm consists of 175 milking crossbred cows, certified 100% pasture fed by Pasture for Life and mob-grazed on a 30-40 day rotation using 2.5km of grazing tracks.

Half of their milk goes into the farm’s cheese-making business and the rest is sold to First Milk. They are also pioneering selling liquid milk directly to local cafes and farm shops using an innovative plastic-saving system, Freshkeg. They aim to achieve their milk’s true value, proofing their farm for the future.

The Lee’s lightbulb moment came when their cows actively sought out an area of a field to graze that had not been sprayed. So, in 2017, the Lee’s began their journey into organic farming and managing land regeneratively. 

They now have areas of silvopasture for grazing and have incorporated 80 pigs into the rotation, which work in poorly performing fields to help improve them.

Before bird flu restrictions, 1,800-2,000 free-range broiler chickens were also reared a year, helping improve the pasture through their organic muck.

Mark Brooking

Sustainability Director, First Milk

Speaker Bio

Paul Leonard

Head Chef, Forest Side & Ched of the Year, Cumbrian Food Awards

Speaker Bio

Born and bred in Hull, East Yorkshire, Paul started his culinary career while studying at college working in some of Hull’s finest kitchens. Aged 20 he moved to London to take up the position of Commis Chef under Marcus Wareing at two-starred Michelin restaurant, the seminal Petrus.  


After 2 years under Marcus’ wing, Paul returned to Yorkshire to hone his skills as Junior Sous Chef at the 3 AA Rosette Feversham Arms in Helmsley. Paul then moved to the Lake District as Sous Chef at the Michelin-starred The Samling, followed by time at the two Michelin-starred Gleneagles Restaurant Andrew Fairlie. Paul’s first Head Chef role followed, at destination restaurant on the West Coast of Scotland, Isle of Eriska, impressively retaining the restaurant’s Michelin star throughout his time there.


Yorkshire soon called Paul back, bringing much of his loyal brigade from Eriska with him to take up the position of head chef at the Burlington Arms – the leading restaurant in Skipton’s country house hotel, The Devonshire Arms. Paul boldly implemented a 4-day working week, enhancing the work-life balance for his team and resulting in a kitchen environment instrumental in winning the hotel 4 AA Rosettes, and debuting at number 46 in the National Restaurant Awards.


Focusing on using the very best local produce has been a goal of Paul’s since the early days of his career. Arriving at the Michelin-starred Forest Side, replacing Kevin Tickle, Paul has firmly made his mark on the Lake District restaurant with rooms, ensuring 90% of the restaurant’s produce is sourced within a 10-mile radius. Encouraging his chefs to help drive his mission for a sustainable, hyper-local menu, they forage and pickle the bounties of Cumbria throughout the season. Creating unique dishes distinctive of Cumbria, and with unmistakable flair at the hands of Paul. 

Nic & Paul Renison

Farmers, Renison’s Farm

Speaker Bio

Paul & Nic farm 360 acres at Renwick, near Penrith, moving to the farm in 2012 originally farming just sheep, they now have a herd of 80 Angus sucklers plus followers, 350 laying hens, a few pigs and glamping. Nic is a steering group member for Nature Friendly Farming, and they are founders of the farming conference Carbon Calling.

Lisa Hambly

Head of Grassland & Forage Agronomy, Mole Valley Farmers

Speaker Bio

Lisa Hambly heads up the Grassland and Forage Agronomy team at Mole Valley Farmers.

Lisa has significant experience and expertise in the field of grassland management with a particular interest and passion for soil health and crop nutrition. Lisa and her team’s work at Mole Valley Farmers focuses on helping farmers improve their management of grassland, forage and soils, with the aim to improve productivity, profitability and sustainability. 

Prior to joining Mole Valley Farmers, Lisa was an agronomist with Agrovista UK. She is BASIS and FACTS qualified with wide experience in cropping and all aspects of grassland management.

Lisa has recently returned from a farm study tour in Ohio and looks forward to sharing at Down to Earth learnings from the regenerative journey of farms in the US.

Christopher & Sheila Cooke

Founders and Hub Leader, 3LM

Speaker Bio

Christopher Cooke, MSc, and Sheila Cooke MBA, of 3LM, share a
common purpose, “imagineering a regenerative layer”.
Whether educating individuals in Holistic Management, or Full
Spectrum Human Emergence, they are always doing the same thing –
enabling people to nurture Nature and humanity in a manner that
regenerates all life.
As co-founders of 3LM, the Savory Network hub for the UK and
Ireland, their aim is to support a societal shift to food and fibre grown
on regenerating soils. Change happens slowly when it comes from
the farmer alone. Change happens quickly when the consumer
supports farmers by choosing to purchase food and fibre that leaves
behind regenerating soils.
As Field Professionals, and Ecological Verifiers, Christopher & Sheila
teach farmers to listen to the voice of their land through Ecological
Outcome Verification (EOV). EOV equips farmers with the metrics
needed to accelerate soil regeneration.

Allison Grundy

Agronomy Manager, NRM

Speaker Bio

Alli Grundy is the Agronomy Manager for NRM, the UK’s largest agricultural testing laboratory. She provides agronomic connectivity between NRM’s technical analysis and the practical implementation of results to help customers meet their goals. She is also instrumental in the development of new services and provides representation on research and development projects. Alli has worked in the agricultural sector for over 20 years, and has significant expertise in fertilisers, crop nutrient management and agronomy.

Heather Wildman


Speaker Bio

I am highly motivated, passionate straight talker, who is not afraid of tackling difficult and sensitive issues and situations but I always ensure that trust, respect, values and confidentiality are respected.

With 30 years’ experience of working within all sectors of Agriculture and other sectors throughout the UK. I also have an International network having worked around the world, through and during my developing career and Nuffield Farming Scholarship travels in 2012 where I studied “Communication – influencing and motivating change”

There is a growing demand and respect for soft skills, being able to listen, and helping to draw out improved routes and methods of communication, leadership, resilience and motivation within work and personal environments.  Helping to identify and develop goals and vision leading onto strategic planning is now recognised as highly valuable and a skill by government, industry bodies and farmers, enabling businesses to service, communicate, and develop in this ever challenging volatile environment

John Gililand

Consultant, AHDB

Speaker Bio

Rob Percival

Head of Policy, Soil Association & Author, Meat Paradox

Speaker Bio

 Rob Percival is Head of Food Policy at the Soil Association, advocating for organic and regenerative food and farming. He leads the organisation’s campaigns focussed on ultra-processed foods and industrial livestock farming. Rob is also the author of The Meat Paradox, a book which explores the complexity and strife of the meat debate.

Johnny Bland

Speaker Bio






Lee Truelove

Responsible Sourcing Manager, First Milk

Speaker Bio

Caroline Grindrod

Roots of Nature/Wilderculture CIC

Speaker Bio

Through her consultancy Roots of Nature Ltd, Caroline Grindrod is a trainer, consultant and coach in regenerative agriculture.

She uses regenerative design principles across a range of food and farming projects, from individual farms and estates to working with big brands and their supply chains. Caroline is the co-founder and lead trainer of Wilderculture CIC, a not-for-profit exploring how regenerative agriculture can work in the upland and marginal areas of the UK. 

Helen Dent

Senior Sustainability Consultant, Kite Consulting

Speaker Bio

Helen, who spent several years as an agronomist before becoming a sustainability consultant, has a particular interest in soils and the part they play in efficient milk production. Helen is BASIS & FACTS qualified and a member of the BASIS Environmental Advisers Register and the NFU Net Zero Steering Group. She is heavily involved with the home dairy and arable farms in Cumbria and joins Kite as a member of the Sustainability Team, based in the north of England, working across the UK.

Dr Emily Pope

Director of Knowledge Exchange, Trinity AgTech

Speaker Bio

Angus Gowthorpe

Speaker Bio

Niels Corfield

Regenerative Farming Advisor & Trainer

Speaker Bio

Ben Williams

 Sustainability Manager, Glanbia Cheese

Speaker Bio

Ben is the Sustainability manager for Glanbia Cheese, a leading manufacturer of mozzarella in the EU. Ben’s passionate about practical solutions to reducing the dairy sector’s impact on our planet, using behavioural change methods to drive change at pace, as well as supporting innovation.  


Despite not having a farming background, Ben is a farmer, butcher, charcutier and small agricultural business owner. He’s an inspiring communicator, having honed his skills in the education sector and, later, as a Knowledge Transfer Manager for AHDB, where Ben supported R&D and the translation of research into farmer-led action, focusing on efficiency, technology and increasingly sustainability innovations in the UK pork sector.

Janet Montgomery

Product Manager, Agriculture, Barenbrug

Speaker Bio

Janet joined Barenbrug UK in September 2022, as the Agriculture Product Manager. With a broad range of agricultural experience in Canada and New Zealand, Janet also spent 5 years in Technical Development team at Barenbrug New Zealand.

Roger Bacon

Regional Manager, Barenbrug

Speaker Bio

Roger joined Barenbrug in 2015 and works closely with merchants and farmers across the North of England. Roger comes from a beef and arable farming family in Derbyshire and brings a wealth of experience to Barenbrug, having spent more than sixteen years in the agriculture industry. Roger provides advice, guidance and reassurance to farmers across the UK – using his agronomy background, professional qualifications and own farm experiences to help them make strategic decisions that will lead to the effective management of good quality grass.

Bess Jowsey

Pasture to Profit consultant, LIC Europe Ltd

Speaker Bio

Bess moved from New Zealand to the northern hemisphere in 2008 swapping from full time secondary school teacher/part time farmer to working alongside northern English and Scottish farmers. As an LIC Pasture to Profit Consultant she facilitates discussion groups and works one to one with individual farmers. Bess believes optimising the growth and utilisation of pasture within a framework of sound financial, people and animal management practices are the key drivers to a long-term resilient farming model in UK markets. She has a keen interest in regenerative approaches and how these can be used successfully applied in commercial farming.

Andrew Sincock

Commercial Director, Agriton Group & 2023 Nuffield Scholar

Speaker Bio

Andrew Sincock is the joint owner and director of Agriton and Agro-Vital, two companies looking to increase on farm efficiencies and reduce inputs, as well as a 2023 Nuffield Farming Scholar. His Nuffield study topic is trying to understand how Organic Manures can be managed most effectively, with the aim of helping reduce on farm losses and emissions, while also trying to improve soil health and fertility. Andrew’s practical on farm experience helps provide realistic management advice for any farm. He is also co-host of the Regenerative Agriculture: Buzzwords and Bull***t Podcast.

Emma Adams

Speaker Bio

George Peart

Sustainability Team Lead, Promar International

Speaker Bio

George grew up working on a beef and sheep farm in Lancashire. Having attended Edinburgh Vet School and subsequently Scotland’s Rural College, he worked for many years at a cattle IVF laboratory near Edinburgh, working to conserve embryos from rare and native breed cattle. Alongside this, he worked as a Genus AI technician, delivering heat detection and AI support to dairy and suckler beef farms across Scotland. George now works for Promar International Ltd as their Sustainability Team Lead, advising both government and industry clients on how to integrate sustainability within supply chains.

Graham Watson

Cumbria Community Woodland

Speaker Bio

The Coppice Co-Op

Speaker Bio

Pippa Chapman

Chair in Biogeochemistry, Leeds University

Speaker Bio

George grew up working on a beef and sheep farm in Lancashire. Having attended Edinburgh Vet School and subsequently Scotland’s Rural College, he worked for many years at a cattle IVF laboratory near Edinburgh, working to conserve embryos from rare and native breed cattle. Alongside this, he worked as a Genus AI technician, delivering heat detection and AI support to dairy and suckler beef farms across Scotland. George now works for Promar International Ltd as their Sustainability Team Lead, advising both government and industry clients on how to integrate sustainability within supply chains.

Andy Dyer

Senior Farming & Conservation Manager

Speaker Bio

Tom Stobart

Speaker Bio