Colin Tudge is a biologist by education and a writer by trade. He was born in London in 1943; educated at Dulwich College, 1954-61; and read zoology at Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1962-65. In 1966 he married Rosemary (nee Shewan), by whom he has two daughters and one son. All three children are married, and Colin now has four granddaughters. Since 2000 he has lived in Oxfordshire with his second wife, Ruth (nee West).
Colin has written a great many articles for a great many publications and for a time was on the staff of Farmers' Weekly, then New Scientist, then BBC Radio 3. But mainly he writes books—on natural history, evolution, food and farming, and, lately, on the philosophy of science and metaphysics. He also enjoys public speaking—so far in many universities including Beijing; in three of England's great cathedrals; at the Royal Society; and at meetings of many kinds in all kinds of places including public libraries, bookshops, pubs, church halls, and a hockey club. He has also run courses on farming and related matters at Schumacher College in Devon.
In the early 2000s Colin coined the expression "Enlightened Agriculture", sometimes abbreviated to "Real Farming" and defined informally as "Agriculture that is expressly designed to provide everyone, everywhere, with food of the highest standard, nutritionally and gastronomically, without wrecking the rest of the world". The essential component ideas of Enlightened Agriculture are those of Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and Economic Democracy. The aim is to bring about "Agrarian Renaissance"; a complete re-start from first principles, brought about by people at large. Governments are not going to do what needs doing.
To this end, in 2008 Colin and Ruth together established the Campaign for Real Farming (www.campaignforrealfarming.org); and in 2010, together with Graham Harvey, they launched the Oxford Real Farming Conference as the antidote to the established Oxford Farming Conference. The ORFC is now an annual event: 2015, to be held in Oxford Town Hall, will be the 6th (see www.orfc.org.uk). The ORFC of 2012 saw the launch of Funding Enlightened Agriculture, now known simply as FEA (www.feanetwork.org). FEA seeks to arrange finance of appropriate kinds and provide business advice for farms and related enterprises, and especially for new ones, that are contributing to the grand cause of enlightened agriculture.
Currently (2014) Colin is in discussions to establish a College for Enlightened Agriculture.