Rural climathons – transitioning to net zero


A climathon brings people living in rural communities together to discuss and deliberate topics that can sometimes be contentious and polarising. Our events in Gloucestershire are creating spaces for dialogue on net zero in the context of agri-food, farming and energy. Developed in collaboration with local actors, each climathon consists of two phases: an introductory webinar and an in-person workshop, which includes an outdoor activity and time for the development of locally relevant net zero solutions. We continue to work with our partners to explore how certain solutions from each event may be implemented. 

This research builds on climathons in livestock farming communities in Cumbria and Cornwall, organised by the CCRI and supported by the British Academy

Forest of Dean Energy Climathon

How might we decarbonise electricity and heat at scale in the district?

This took place in April, in partnership with Forest of Dean District Council, and brought together more than 40 local stakeholders and industry experts to develop locally relevant solutions to support the district to decarbonise. It consisted of an introductory webinar and the in-person event in Coleford, where participants worked in teams to identify and design solutions. Find out more in our report and see our illustration below. Also watch the video to hear from those involved in the event and see the council's news release Residents and businesses come together to discuss tackling the climate emergency.

Farm of the Future Climathon

What might a climate resilient farm look like?

This took place in February and, in collaboration with partner Strutt and Parker, brought together farmers, residents, local non-governmental organisations and other key stakeholders to develop locally relevant solutions for climate resilient farms. It used a farm on the Gloucestershire-Warwickshire border as an example. It consisted of an introductory webinar on day one and an in-person workshop on day two at Blackwell Village Hall. Find out more in our report, blog Empowering rural communities on climate action and illustration below. Also see Strutt and Parker's piece Climathon event can unlock new ideas for farms and estates.

Cotswold Climathon

How can food, farming and land use help achieve net zero?

This took place in September 2023 and saw local councillors and employees of non-governmental organisations and universities in Gloucestershire come together for two days of collaboration, deliberation and creative thinking. Project ideas for tackling the climate crisis through food, farming and land use in the Cotswolds were developed – read our report which summarises the outputs and see the video and illustration.



Rural climathon playbook: lessons from adapting the climathon method to vision food and farming net zero futures in rural communities.