NFFN sessions at the Oxford farming conferences 2024


Credit: Oxford Real Farming Conference

The Nature Friendly Farming Network is organising or contributing to the following events at the Oxford Real Farming Conference and the Oxford Farming Conference in January 2024.

For ORFC, the full programme is available here and you can purchase online or in-person tickets here.

For OFC, you can book tickets here.

Thursday 4th January - ORFC

Barn to Yarn: Scaling Regenerative Fibre Production

Time: 2 pm - 3.30 pm, Parish Centre

Speakers: Helen Keys, Peter Quigley, Katie Allen, Frieda Gormley

Chair: Deborah Barker

From the first commercial producer of homegrown Irish linen in over 40 years to artisan textiles to native breed livestock, four sector experts share their knowledge of sustainable fibre production. Join us to hear about multiple approaches to crafting a regenerative textile system and the opportunities for boosting local nature-friendly fibre farming.

Influencing Farm Policy in Every Nation of the UK

Time: 2 pm - 3.30 pm, Market Street

Speakers: Martin Lines, Denise Walton, Rhys Evans, Phil Carson

Chair: Will White

The move away from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) since Brexit has represented a golden opportunity to reinvent agricultural policy for a greener future. Since food and farming policy is devolved, each nation has come up with its own agri-environmental schemes. Whether it be AECS, ELMS, SFS, or EFS, the core principles remain the same - public money for public goods. The past few years have not been an easy ride, with delays, mistakes and changes to the various schemes. Despite these stumbling blocks, ambitious agri-environmental schemes have the potential to transform our farmed landscape into one which delivers for nature and for farmers. We speak to four farmers across the devolved nations to discuss their viewpoints on the current policy landscape for farming, and look ahead and explore how policy could be improved.

Slow the Flow: Nature-Based Flood Responses

Time: 4 pm - 5.30 pm, Assembly Room, Oxford Town Hall

Speakers: Nick Chappell, Alex Adam, James Robinson, Sam Kenyon

Chair: Pete Leeson

The Storm Desmond floods in 2015 cost the UK £1.6 Billion. Extreme weather patterns are impacting our farms, either with too much water or too little water. New research now shows the effectiveness of natural flood management and increasingly there is an acceptance that, for many communities, engineering our way out of crisis will not be possible – natural solutions may be the only solutions on the table. Hear from a scientist quantifying the effectiveness of Natural Flood Management (NFM) in farmland across Cumbria, an advisor finding practical management solutions (including trees), and farmers impacted by the extremes and making a difference through actively introducing water-based solutions on their farms. With growing evidence and more examples of practical solutions, this is an opportunity to discuss a countrywide problem, from source to sea.

After Hours: NFFN Meet & Greet

Time: 5.30 pm - 7.30 pm, The Chequers, 131 High St, Oxford, OX1 4DH

We're hosting an evening meet-up as an opportunity for NFFN members or those attending the conference to gather and connect. Come, grab a drink and meet the NFFN team and fellow nature-friendly farmers from around the UK.

Friday 5th January - OFC

Future Farming: Landscape Diversity in 2050

Time: 8am - 9am, room 11

Speakers: Martin Lines, Claire Whittle, John Pawsey, Sam Beaumont

Chair: Sarah Langford

A diverse farming landscape is fundamental to securing future food production, public well-being and environmental health. Stacking enterprises and integrating nature-based on-farm solutions, such as minimum tillage and trees for shade and shelter, could provide numerous solutions. The Woodland Trust, in partnership with the Nature Friendly Farming Network, invite you to hear from practitioners implementing a wide range of practices to future-proof their businesses. Come and be inspired. One small change can be a catalyst for providing food and environmental benefits hand in hand.

Friday 5th January - ORFC

Unlocking Ecosystem Harmony for Managing Pests, Weeds and Diseases

Time: 11 am - 12.30 pm, Council Chamber, Oxford Town Hall

Speakers: Ana Reynolds, Patrick Barker, John Pawsey

Chair: Phil Carson

Launching at ORFC24, the Nature Friendly Farming Network has produced a new toolkit for understanding and implementing farm management systems that reduce pest, weed and disease burdens. Looking at practical implications for reducing pesticides and baselining biodiversity on farm landscapes, three arable farmers will delve into their strategies for improving farm ecosystems, showing how they measure impact and success.

A Future Government’s Farming Programme: Building a Movement for Change

Time: 2 pm - 3.30 pm, Main Hall, Oxford Town Hall

Speakers: Martin Lines, Fidelity Weston, Robert Fraser, Jyoti Fernandes

Chair: Andrew Meredith

Hear from members of the Farming and Land Use Network (FLUN) on their thoughts regarding progress to date on a transformation in agriculture to regenerative practices and agroecological systems and what more still needs to be done to support farmers, particularly ahead of a general election, to help them deliver the UK’s commitment to meeting key environmental and biodiversity targets by 2030 while producing healthy and sustainable food.

FLUN champions the voice of farmers in the vanguard of change, helping to develop and disseminate progressive policy around farming and land use to politicians and civil servants. Its members include Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN), Sustain, Pasture for Life (PfL), Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA), Real Farming Trust (RFT), Soil Association, Woodland Trust and Country Land and Business Association (CLA).