AN ESTATE in Basingstoke is inviting people with innovative ideas for sustainable food, farming or business to join a challenge.

Kingsclere Estates is organising the second edition of Pitch Up! to make the most of the estate’s resources – from fields, pasture, and woodland to industrial units, offices, and roadside retail space.

In the first Pitch Up! held in November last year, the team at Kingsclere Estates' organic, regenerative farm saw a wide range of entries from food, drink and farming to fashion, beauty and leisure businesses.

The second season also invites forward-thinking and environmentally-focused farmers, producers and enterprises onto the estate.

But crucially, it’s also about creating a ‘closed loop’ system whereby these businesses can benefit from each other’s raw ingredients, waste or by-products – a growing community that feeds itself.

The Pitch Up! applications season, which runs from November 1 to 30, is inspired by Kingsclere managing director Tim May’s vision of building a circular community on the 2,500+ acre mixed estate in Hampshire.

Mr May said: “We were blown away by the interest in – and breadth of entries for – our first ever Pitch Up! last year. From national radio and TV coverage to entries spanning everything from a cheesemaker to a shoe brand, turkeys to natural soaps, the possibilities and appetite for innovative, sustainable mixed land use in our circular community are really exciting.

“In the end, 2021’s winning entry really surprised us, as it was something we’d never even considered – which is the great thing about this competition. Now the word is spreading even further, we can’t wait to see what this year’s Pitch Up! brings.”

Basingstoke Gazette: Tim May. Credit: Credit: Matt Austin/Kingsclere EstatesTim May. Credit: Credit: Matt Austin/Kingsclere Estates (Image: Kingsclere Estates)

Pitch Up! 2021 winners Daisy Sharp, 26, and Dan Davies, 26, who live in London, were chosen for their sustainable pet food brand, Monch.

For Monch’s first rabbit food range, Daisy – who has a background in horticulture, photography and looking after rescue rabbits – forages ingredients like chicory, dandelions, plantain wildflowers, willow and hazel growing abundantly on Kingsclere’s organic land, and dries them naturally on-site.

The 2022 Pitch Up! logo colour is drawn from images of Daisy’s forage.

“Pitch Up! is perfect for people who have an idea, but need help to make it happen. The Kingsclere team has really helped bring Monch to life, and it’s grown bigger, better and faster than we ever thought,” said Daisy Sharp and Dan Davies.