” …. now they’re digging ancient summers, bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the fiery sheaves (Tams).”

Welcome to the new Living Field web site. 

Latest ….. Mundified barley for 1600s health and wellbeing …. Banana flowers, custard apples, fresh coconut: the veg market at Little India …. a short visit to The Library of Innerpeffray …. Update to Hedge and tree page with new photos ….. Ken Kennedy’s Moon rills and Apollo 15 …… our Meadow containing a diversity species sown in hay and pasture mixes from the 1700s and 1800s .….at last the secret is revealed in the Vegetable map made real and see more drone images at Garden from the air  ….. and download Veg posters from Open Farm Sunday ….. Resilience to the 2018 droughtdownloadable pdf of The Barley Timeline by Jean Duncan ….. Boosting small scale seed production through the UK and Ireland Seed Sovereignty programme by Maria Scholten ….. Note on new photographic exhibition at Cyanotypes by Kit Martin. Survey of Pollinator plants in the gardenThree grain resilience a 150 year retrospective….

The Living Field is run by staff at the James Hutton Institute, Dundee, UK. We work through outreach, education and shared experience to promote sustainable production of food and other products from the land.

The garden had its share of Painted lady butterflies in early August 2019, favouring field scabious and knapweed (Living Field)

The web site opened in spring 2014 to celebrate 10 years of the Living Field Garden. We hope you enjoy visiting the site. You will find news and updates of all current activities (Regular Content) and reports of long-running themes and collaborations (Projects and people, below).  

Regular content
  • New images, articles and opinion pieces are posted frequently under Notes and Images, the most recent listed in the left hand margin.
  • The News page links to what’s going on in the Living Field project, updates to the web site and matters topical.
  • The Garden relates the evolving habitats and and living plant exhibits in this centrepiece of the project, created in a corner of the Institute’s farm in 2004. 
  • The Year records the seasonal cycle in the croplands through the quarter days and cross quarter days.
  • Our About page gives more on the history, aims and funding of the Living Field.
Cattle (and sheep) country, mainland Orkney at sunset 30 May 2019, mid way between beltane and the summer solstice (gk-images)
Projects and People
  • 5000 years is a long term project on the innovations that have sustained life in the maritime croplands and more widely since the neolithic. We begin with 5000-Plants – fibres, dyes, weeds, and coming soon  – cereals and legumes. 
  • People profiles collaborations with the Living Field in art and science, including Jean Duncan (archaeology, food, Capsella), Tina Scopa (plant pressing workshops) and the family of Slovenian artist Vida Fakin.
  • Global field presents an occasional series of articles through  Urban-field and Water-field, for example: Inle Lake Burma, Dundee’s waterfront, winter floods in the croplands and the hills around the Parthenon.


The Living Field is presently managed by Gladys Wright and Geoff Squire but exists through the efforts of many people. For more information on origin, aims and charitable funding, please see the About page.

For the Living Field project, garden, CD, centre and general enquiries: gladys.wright@hutton.ac.uk

For this web site, The Year, the 5000 Years project: Geoff Squire at geoff.squire@outlook.com or geoff.squire@hutton.ac.uk

Beech tree on the site of the Iron Age hill fort at Dron, centre of an area supporting sustainable food production for thousands of years (Living Field)

All images on this site are taken and prepared by the Living Field team unless stated otherwise. Please respect our ownership of these images . The Living Field is funded by charities and is not profit-making.

Photographs on this Welcome page change with the turning of the year. The current images were taken between the second cross-quarter day, Beltane, in early May and past the summer solstice and into August.. 

Timber extraction, mainly SS, 35 years after planting on what was then rough grazing (www.livingfield.co.uk)

Quote at the top of the page is from John Tams’ song ‘Man of Constant Sorrow’.

Living Field Images (top of right hand column): current image is a photograph by Ken Kennedy, from Dundee Astronomical Society, of the moon’s surface, uploaded 20 July 2019. Click image to see Ken’s commentary at Moon Rills and Apollo 15.

Spring barley north of Nigg, 12 August 2016


sustainable croplands