UK farmers who meet the sustainability challenge (report)
A new report commissioned by the Land Use Policy Group and funded by Scottish Natural Heritage has taken a unique approach to help UK farmers meet the sustainability challenge by using the experiences of farmers that have ‘redesigned’ their farming systems utilising natural resources, such as clover grass leys in the crop rotation, to secure a healthier future for the environment and their businesses.
The aim was to investigate how the science of agroecology can play a central role in the way our green and pleasant land is managed in the future.
Analysing the practical experiences of a group of farmers from Scotland, England and Wales the report aims to unravel farmer expectations, risks and opportunities to help form future policy in the UK based on agroecological farming practices.
The group of fourteen farmers involved in the study were quite diverse and wide ranging – from small scale to large commercial enterprises with on-farm approaches covering agroforestry, pasture-fed livestock systems, organic and integrated farming with direct drilling and/or integration of livestock in arable operations.
The report has recommendations for further action to support agroecology, including the need to develop a support programme to facilitate the transition towards more sustainable farming systems.