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Hannah Pitt

Dr Hannah Pitt

Lecturer in Environmental Geography

School of Geography and Planning

+44 29208 79632
Glamorgan Building, Room 2.69, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am Lecturer in Environmental Geography, currently researching skills and work in commercial horticulture. My research explores interactions between community, places, and sustainability. I focus on these in the contexts of food systems, and engagement with outdoor spaces. I specialise in collaborations with third sector organisations and communities, and have particular interest in understanding human-plant relations.  

I am co-convenor of the Environment Research Group  in the School of Geography and Planning. 

Current projects:

  • Knowing to Grow: Sêr Cymru II Research Fellowship which aims to enhance resilience of knowledge and skills dimensions of agri-foodsystems. It focuses on horticultural production– large scale fruit and vegetable growing- with case studies in Wales, the UK and EU. Knowledge network mapping will identify where systems are vulnerable, and how power dynamics affect future resilience. 
  • Finding pathways towards transformation of traditional farming in marginal areas: British Academy funded research to explore farmers’ concerns and opinions about diversifying their production, and the pressures of meeting the demand for more UK-grown plant-based food. 
  • Good Work for Good Food: An international collaboration to develop and promote a shared vision for good work across the food system.
  • Resilient Green Spaces: A partnership working to pilot alternative re-localised food systems using communities and their green spaces as the driving force for change across Wales. 
  • The Careoperative: An international leadership collective focused on Transforming (food) Systems.

Previous projects

  • Evaluation of Food Power examining the role and potential of local networks working to reduce the causes of food insecurity.
  • OMG! Data research partner developing an information management tool for organic market gardners
  • Investigating potential for bluespaces to enhance individual and community wellbeing with Canal & River Trust
  • Understanding reasons for under-use of urban waterways amongst marginalised communities.
  • Evaluating civil society programmes aiming to promote food sustainability and food related education.
  • PhD - an ethnography of community gardens as place making.


  • Social Farms & Gardens
  • Tyfu Cymru
  • Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming
  • Canal & River Trust
  • SOCOPA - Somali Community and Parent Association Leicester.
  • Garden Organic
  • Soil Association
  • Alliance Homes














Book sections





Current priorities

I am leading the project "Knowing to grow: Increasing the reslience of plant centred food production skills". This research is supported by the Sêr Cymru II programme which is part-funded by Cardiff Univeristy and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, this research aims to enhance the resilience of knowledge and skills dimensions of agri-food systems by informing policy, theory and practice.

Knowledge and skills are essential for growing and producing food; ensuring their future availability is therefore vital for resilient agri-food systems. This project considers how to meet knowledge requirements for future food supply chains, focusing on the case of horticultural production. It will draw on international experiences and stakeholder expertise to inform strategies to enhance food security in Wales and beyond.

Research experience

I led collaborative research between the Canal & Rivers Trust and the Sustainable Places Research Institute to understand reasons people do not access their local waterway, and how they might be encouraged to do so (details here.) This used a selection of case studies centred on different waterways, using participatory techniques to engage various communities.The research builds on previous work for the Trust to examine the socio-environmental impacts of inland waterways in England and Wales, and develop an framework to measure the outcomes.

My background is in human geography and social anthropology with an emphasis on environment and sustainability. I am particularly interested in relationships between community, place, and sustainability. I explore innovative methodologies which enable both people and nonhumans to fully participate in social research, with a focus on plants.

Research projects

  • Finding pathways towards transformation of traditional farming in marginal areas, 2021-22
  • Resilient Greenspaces, led by Social Farms & Gardens, with Dr Angelina Sanderson Bellamy (UWE Bristol), 2021-2021. 
  • Evaluation of Food Power, with Dr Ana Moragues-Faus and Dr Andrew Williams (Cardiff University), 2017-2021.
  • Rethinking Healthy Spaces, with Dr Des Fitzgerald (Cardiff University), Dr Victoria Bates & Dr Lucy Selman (Bristol University) and Dr Oli Williams (Leicester University), 2017-
  • Canal & River Trust Understanding waterways' contribution to community wellbeing, 2018-2019.
  • Canal & River Trust Understanding barriers and motivations to accessing waterways, with Prof. Terry Marsden (Cardiff University), 2015-2017
  • Leicester Young Ecology Adventurers, research partner, with Dr Thomas Smith (Cardiff University), 2017-2019
  • Alliance Homes, Evaluation of Growing Together Project, with Mat Jones (UWE Bristol), 2015-2017
  • Garden Organic – Evaluation of Food Growing Schools London, with Mat Jones and Dr Emma Weitkamp (UWE Bristol), 2014-2017
  • Food for Life Partnership Phase 2 Evaluation, with Prof. Judy Orme and Mat Jones (UWE Bristol), 2014-2015
  • Pembroke 21C Scoping Report for Supporting Sustainable Living, 2011-2012



For 2021-22 I am teaching on under-graduate modules: 

I have taught on a range of under-graduate Human Geography modules at Cardiff University including:

  • Culture, Space and Place
  • Field Study Visit to New York
  • Citizen Geographies
  • Geography and Environment
  • Study Skills
  • Contemporary Geographical Ideas

I have taugh on post-graduate modules at Cardiff Univeristy and University of the West of England Bristol including:

  • Creating Sustainable Behaviour Change
  • Communication Campaigns
  • Local Food and Sustainable Development


Education & Qualifications

  • PhD Cardiff University School of Geography and Planning, 2014, title "Growing Together: An ethnography of community gardening as place making".
  • MSc Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy (Distinction), Cardiff University School of Geography and Planning, 2004.
  • BSocSc in Social Anthropology (First), Manchester University in 1997.

Honours and awards

Grants Awarded

  • Sêr Cymru II Fellowship, Welsh Government/ ERDF, 2018-2021.
  • Food Power, co-investigator for independent evaluation, Sustain / Big Lottery Fund, 2017-2021.
  • Rethinking Healthy Spaces, GW4 Crucible Seed Funding, co-investigator 2017-2018.
  • Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme, student project Eastern European Migrants’ Experiences of Cardiff’s Greenspaces 2017.
  • Leicester Young Ecology Adventurers, research partner, Heritage Lottery Fund, 2017-2018.
  • Alliance Homes, co-investigator for independent evaluation, Big Lottery Fund, 2015-2017.
  • Garden Organic, co-investigator for independent evaluation, Big Lottery Fund, 2014-2016.
  • Pembroke 21C, awarded tender for research, Welsh Government Supporting Sustainable Living fund, 2012.
  • Graduate College Cardiff University Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives - co-applicant for grants awarded for conference   and seminar, 2011 & 2013.
  • Cardiff University President’s Research Scholarship - full PhD funding, 2010.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy/ Advance HE, 2021
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society with the Institute of British Geographers, 2014-

Academic positions

  • 2018-2021 Reserach Fellow, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University.
  • 2015-2018 Research Associate, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University.
  • 2014-2015 Research Associate, Institute for Sustainability, Health and Environment, University of the West of England Bristol.

Previous Employment

  • External Affairs Officer, National Trust Wales
  • Assembly Information Officer, Wales Environment Link
  • Volunteer Coordinator, UNA Exchange

Committees and reviewing

  • 2015-2017 School representative to Cardiff University Research Staff Association (CURSA).
  • 2016- 2018 ATHENA Swan Self Assessment team, School of Geography & Planning

External Committees

  • 2016-2019 Trustee, UNA Exchange
  • 2010-2013 Wales Advisory Group, Coed Cadw - The Woodland Trust


I am interested in supervising PhD students on topics including:

  • knowledge and skills in food systems and production
  • relationships between people and plants
  • community interactions with green and blue spaces

Current supervision

Ali Taherzadeh

Ali Taherzadeh

Research student