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England Update March 2021

New Steering Group member

Firstly, we would like to introduce you to our new England Steering Group member Nic Renison who joined us in February. Nic is based in Cumbria with her husband and children, and they have been developing their own regenerative farming business since 2012. Her experience and knowledge will be a great addition to the steering group.

To find out more about Nic and the rest of the steering group click here

 

DEFRA Consultations

It has been consultation season at DEFRA and NFFN has been busy attending meetings, preparing, and submitting consultation replies to the following consultations:

  • Reducing ammonia emissions from urea fertilisers
  • Sustainable use of pesticides – draft national plan
  • Regulation on generic technologies

We have outlined the need for change and to look at nature friendly solutions as first port of call, but we are also looking at how the changes to farm payments could support these methodologies.

Sustainable Farm Incentive (SFI) and Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMs)

 

Payments for farming from the Government will be changing this year as we move on in a post Brexit world. Payments will be linked to farmers looking after the environment (such as soil, water, air, landscape) and will be aimed at providing public goods in these areas rather than them being paid on acreage or crops farmed.

 

The first phase of the changes is now underway with the launch this month of farmers being able to apply for the new pilot scheme – the Sustainable Farm Incentive. This along with many farm ‘test and trials’ being run currently will help shape the future ELMs scheme from 2024. This will support the nature-based approaches on farm to achieve the new outcomes required by DEFRA. If you would like to learn more about this go to the DEFRA website

 

NFFN England IPM Projects

 

The two integrated pest management (IPM) projects that NFFN is working on with various partners (PAN UK, RSPB, Soil Association) are now under way. We are establishing how well the Red Tractor Scheme encourages farmers to reduce their pesticide use by creating and operating IPM and also via farmer surveys/webinars establishing and developing new resources to help encourage more farmers to integrate IPM processes into the farming businesses.

 

Nature Friendly Cornwall

We have been part of the new wider Nature Friendly Cornwall project. To find out more click here

 

Conferences and Webinars

 

Many of our members have attended the recent surge of online farming and nature-based webinars and conferences. The NFFN England team and steering groups have also been invited as speakers and as chairs to various related sessions including Oxford Real Framing Conference, Agritech 4.0 and the Low Carbon Agriculture Show. We will hopefully be out and about more in the coming months and will let you know how you can get involved.