Jeremy Iles, Founder – Director Jeremy started “doing something useful” as a cycle campaigner at Friends of the Earth in 1983, and then became the first Director of the London Wildlife Trust when he was 27. He worked in Bangladesh and Eritrea for VSO, and on returning to the UK became Regional Manager for Sustrans in the 90’s.

In 2000 he joined the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens as CEO until 2016.  Many of the projects and partnerships he initiated  during this period have had a significant and long lasting impact nationally, including  the Allotments Regeneration Initiative (2002-2014),  the £57m Local Food Consortium (2002-2014), Community Land Advisory Service, and the Growing Together partnership (2014-16).

Jeremy is the instigator and joint coordinator of the Urban Agriculture Consortium (2020 – present), and is part of The Oral History of Environment Movement project with Royal Holloway, University of London which launched in autumn 2022. He has an NVQ5 (Management) & graduated from the School for Social Entrepreneurs (2019). ​

Jeremy lives in Bristol, grows food on an allotment, sings with The Island Folk, and plays guitar & mandola with the All@Sea ceilidh band. Jeremy is a qualified Yachtmaster and dinghy instructor. ​

The Urban Agriculture Consortium team

These wonderful associates are coming together to add value to our work and enable communities and groups across the UK to progress their nature friendly agrocecology aspirations.

Maddy Longhurst – Maddy has always followed her instincts to work on initiatives and ideas that lie in the fertile margins and serve future generations. Recently this has involved the protection of land and soils, community-led thermal imaging of cold homes, Ecosystem Restoration Design, creating regenerative Tiny House Settlements, Sociocracy and Gleaning training for communities. Maddy worked on Phase 1 of the urban agriculture project in 2019 and is currently coordinating the Urban Agriculture Consortium with Jeremy.

She has studied Ecosystem Restoration Design with Gaia Education, did a degree in Town and Country Planning, is a Community Organiser (level3), believes in the healing power of nature for all types of human dis-ease, and finds her joy in the sea, the sky, sit-spots, fires, singing, brambling, unexplainable community wisdom, her daughter Martha, Rilke and Ursula K Le Guin.

Our proto east midlands / eastern region community enablers team, starting January 2024: Bethan McIlroy, (Nottingham), Bex Derry (Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire), Laura Stratford (Lincolnshire), Lauren Kendrick (Peterborough) & Sabine Virani (Norwich).

Our Core Oversight (Steering) Group – Andy Goldring (Permaculture Association), Suzy Russel (Community Supported Agriculture netwrok), Nick Weir (Open Food Network), Alison Sheffield (Social Farms and Gardens), Gary Mitchell (Social Farms and Gardens Cymru), Elizabeth Westaway, (independent)