We are looking to build an inclusive network of farmers and landowners that delivers useful support and knowledge through the challenges ahead.
There is only so much that an individual, acting in isolation, can achieve on their own. By working together, helped by an advisor/facilitator, farmers and land managers can deliver greater benefits for soil, water, wildlife and the business at landscape scale.
There are lots of different approaches to landscape scale conservation, but an active and successful farmer cluster group can prove very fruitful. There are great examples across the UK of farmer clusters sharing knowledge, data and ideas; coordinating and overseeing environmental works; bidding for funds and organising agri-environment scheme delivery. As we move to a new system of payments for public goods and shorter supply chains, local collaboration and wider community engagement will become increasingly important.
Over the last few months a few of us in the local area have gathered informally to test the water. We have started to map our farm habitats, meet for farm walks and engage in on-farm demonstration. So far we have discussed pollinators, wetland creation, soil management, food marketing, regenerative agriculture and ELMS. It is now time to take this a step further.
If you are a farmer or landowner in the Evenlode Valley/North East Cotswolds area (loosely the triangle bounded by the A40, A429 and A44) this cluster is for you! All are welcome – whether you are big or small, conventional or organic, pioneering or cautious. And don’t worry if you fall just outside the area – our boundary can flex!
At the next meeting we would work to formally launch the cluster, learn from others (good and bad), set a few priorities and consider the need for funding and a facilitator. You can also join in a farm walk around FarmED - the new centre for farm and food education at Honeydale Farm.
Please do join us.
Where: FarmED, Honeydale Farm, Shipton-Under-Wychwood, OX7 6BJ
When: Wednesday 30th September 2020
Time: 12.00 – 5.00
Lunch (a simple Covid safe collect picnic will provided on arrival)
Welcome to FarmED and The Cluster Group
Cluster Groups – role, function and future (Defra/NE/FWAG - TBC)
Good Practice Case Studies – Lessons to learn from other groups/facilitators
Workshop - defining our boundary, our aims and objectives, governance and facilitation
Next Steps – facilitation, key topics, engaging others, funding etc.
Depart (optional farm walk)
Covid Measures: We shall aim for a maximum of 30 attendees and hold as much of the meeting outside or in the airy FarmED barns as possible. Sanitiser is available throughout the space. Masks are advised when inside.
To Book: In the first instance please send your name, full address and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sophie will then contact you to collect a little more information.
Please do invite anyone else you think might be interested and get in touch if you have any questions.