Flete Field Lab is an experimental and collaborative Community Interest Company, researching and developing nature-based remedies for soil and water issues.

Co-Directors Shelley Castle and Frank Foley wanted to start a project that looked at practical interventions which might be replicable and cheap to repeat. We wanted to trial them in real life (hence being a Field Lab) but are delighted to partner with University of Plymouth which brings academic rigour to our trials. Each year we are lucky to work with students from all over the world studying a MSc in Sustainable Environmental Management.

We work with natural materials and have attracted funding for three consecutive years from the amazing Devon Environment Foundation and patronage from the Mildmay-White family of the Flete Estate for which we’re very grateful.

We use biochar made from locally sourced waste materials for soil enhancement, and mycelium (the main underground body of fungi) to improve water quality. We hope to uncover ways to revive ecological health and support adaptation to the multiple impacts of climate change that are increasingly having negative impacts on our environment.

  • Our vision is for a collaboration between people, communities and nature, where practical actions improve soil and water habitats and bring hope for a biodiverse, healthy future.
  • Our mission is to place the tools for nature regeneration back into the hands of the people who love, live and work on the land.
  • The aim of our work is to discover low-tech natural remedies for our most pressing environmental issues that can be shared widely in the UK and beyond.