countryside

Farming is intricately connected to the environment in various ways. The relationship between agriculture and the environment is a critical aspect of modern farming practices. Please share information, resources, tools and experiences on the multifaceted dimensions of how farming intersects with the environment.

Quantifying environmental impact is becoming increasingly important for farm businesses. This public goods tool from the organic research centre is a useful resource for measuring the sustainability of farms.

Land sparing vs land sharing is an important discourse in modern farming. See our land sparing & land sharing topic page for more on this.

Related Organisations

Content below is from across the PEP community and is not necessarily endorsed by Stewards or by PEP

Connected Content

There are around 3.2M ha of woodland in the UK. This is set to increase substantially over the coming years due to a range of policy, social, environmental and commercial drivers, including Net Zero, Biodiversity Net Gain, ELMs, Local nature recovery plans and carbon trading.

A free to use online data hub building on the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) data package providing spatially relevant local information to farmers, land managers and advisors.

The development of a forage network which will recommend a pathway to gaining optimum benefits from forages through realistic actions​. This project, which runs from September 2023 for 6 months, will: Bring together a network of stakeholders to understand the best approach for improving forage systems, considering potential opportunities and barriers to uptake​ Create a roadmap, which can be used to achieve benefits for livestock sectors through changes in forage systems​

The UK Government has set a Net Zero target for 2050. Land use and management has a key role to play in this, with the NFU setting an even earlier target of 2040.

Natural capital refers to the stock of natural resources and ecosystems that provide essential benefits and services to agriculture. In the context of farming, natural capital encompasses the fertile soil, clean water, biodiversity, pollinators, and healthy ecosystems that play a crucial role in sustaining crop and livestock production. These natural assets are the foundation of agricultural sustainability, productivity, and resilience.

Henry Dimbleby's National Food Strategy, reported in July 2021

This page is to connect organisations, projects and resources that have an interest in improving the quality of our water sources.

RSK is a global leader in the delivery of sustainable solutions. Our family of over 150 environmental, engineering and technical services businesses works together to provide practical solutions to some of the greatest challenges societies have ever faced.   

The Claydon Opti-Till® System, is a holistic approach to crop establishment which delivers consistent, high yielding crops at low cost, providing maximum profitability. At the centre of Opti-Till® Seed Drilling System is the Claydon direct strip Hybrid drill, with its unique leading tine technology.

Policy plays a critical role in shaping the agriculture industry in the UK and Europe. Government policies can have a major impact on the way that farmers operate, the crops they grow, and the prices they receive for their products. Policy has a major effect on how land is managed and environmental outcomes.

The Voluntary Initiative is an industry led programme to promote the responsible use of plant protection products (PPP's) through schemes, tools and messages advocating an IPM-based approach to sustainable agriculture.

Although the term management implies direct manipulation, the practice of wildlife conservation and management includes efforts aimed at preserving or restoring rare species and their habitats and indirect manipulation of wildlife populations through modification of habitat or resources. From: Encyclopedia of Ecology, 2008

George Eustice presented the response to Henry Dimbleby's National Food Strategy on 13 June 2022. Read the full text at the link below, or the Executive summary

Lots of people and organisations take photos in agriculture, of people, landscapes, fields, buildings, machines, animals, crops, insects, plants, the natural environment or just the countryside.  

One of the schemes of ELMs

Countryside COP, organised by CFEonline, provides a platform to hear how the UK farming can help tackle climate change and improve sustainability. From 20-24 November 2023, ADAS hosted a series of webinars exploring how to improve climate resilience in the agricultural sector.

Scientific paper by Andrew Balmford & colleagues published in Nature Sustainability 2018:

Help us collate the knowledge sources, organisations and initiatives out there that are seeking to improve the farmed environment

Payments for environmental goods and services

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects.

Cambridge Environmental Assessments (CEA), part of RSK ADAS, provides novel solutions for an increasingly demanding regulatory world. Our team specialises in higher tier approaches to chemical risk assessment, including the design and conduct of higher tier studies tailored to address specific regulatory concerns. This encompasses agrochemicals, biocides, veterinary and human pharmaceuticals, food additives, novel foods, cosmetics and general chemicals.

This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects.

Initiative led by Jenny Phelps to bring together farm advisors to enable joined up discussions and collaborations farm advice.

As custodians of the landscape all farmers have responsibility to the wildlife and nature on their farms.  There are many networks, organisations, advisors and initiatives seeking to help farmers enhance wildlife and biodiversity. Increasingly this is being supported by Defra through ELMS and Local Nature Recovery schemes 

Environment Digest is a quarterly publication that provides a synopsis of recent news, reports and other materials that are of interest to the farming community. With a particular focus on how agriculture links with the environment, each issue focusses on articles across sustainable food production, climate change, water and waste management, soils and biodiversity. Environment Digest principally focuses on stories and policy changes that are relevant to England and/or the UK with a slant towards the arable sector.

Environment Systems is an environmental and agricultural data consultancy. We are trusted providers of evidence and insight to governments and industry across the world.

A partnership of agricultural, environmental and governmental bodies, promoting good environmental management through productive farming practices.

WWF funded report by Stockholm Environment Institute at University of York and UK-CEH looking at issues around nitrogen use in the UK 

As part of the Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Program, White Horse Energy are developing a transportable pelletiser to process agricultural residues and perennial energy crops behind the farmgate. This will provide farmers with a diversified and increased revenue stream without interfering with existing operations. For more information, read on.

The founder and chairman of Environment Bank, Professor David Hill, recently sat down with New Scientist to discuss the future of farming and food. The interview explores how changing approaches to agriculture are essential in preserving the ‘natural capital’ of global biodiversity and prosperity for farmers.

Join us at Woodland Valley Farm to explore how farming and biodiversity can support each other.

The agricultural industry is heading toward a more sustainable, profitable, and efficient future. Future Farming Expo will bring together forward-thinking Scottish farmers, advisors, and rural businesses over two days for knowledge hubs, discussion, and networking across a busy exhibition hall.

We need more woodland for people to enjoy, for nature, to sustain our timber security and to help reduce the impact of climate change.

Pathways to Sustainability - Scaling the Transition of Global Agriculture

  The Public Goods Tool (PG Tool) has been in constant use since its creation in 2011 (https://www.organicresearchcentre.com/our-research/research-project-library/public-goods-tool/)

Concerns over the increasing cost and environmental impact of high inorganic nitrogen (N) inputs have led to a reappraisal of the role of legumes, particularly clover, in maintaining soil fertility in improved grasslands.

Our food system accounts for 1/3 of all global emissions - so why has it hardly been talked about at previous COPs? Will this ever change?

CO2, CH4, GWP, N2O, CO2e? It’s not all about carbon – and the most important emission from agriculture isn’t carbon dioxide. See HERE  AHDB's glossary of terms regarding carbon and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

The delicate balance between food production and biodiversity preservation is one of the most critical challenges facing humanity. As the global population keeps growing, demands for food have increased substantially, leading to intensifying agricultural practices to boost yields. However, as we outline in this Issue Brief, this intensification can massively impact biodiversity and the environment - negatively and positively.

Scientists are working to understand how plants engage with soil microorganisms, so we can reactivate them.

Increasing the amount of C stored in soil is beneficial from a climate change mitigation perspective.

The Mitigation Options for Phosphorus and Sediment projects (MOPS) aims to determine the effectiveness of different treatments for controlling diffuse pollution from agriculure.

The Big Tent is the annual meeting of the Network and an opportunity for participants to hear from, and engage with, researchers, business leaders, policy-makers and voluntary organisations working for change in the agri-food system to meet the UK’s net zero 2050 goal. 

Balancing food production and ecosystem function.

The discussions at COP28 highlight the critical role of agricultural innovations in achieving food security and climate goals sustainably.

Powerful long-term drivers are increasing both the demand and supply of quantified environmental impact information in food systems. 

Carbon footprints are presented within the contemporary media, commercial entities and frequently by government agencies as a proximate measure for sustainability.

During this online workshop we aim to review existing knowledge gaps and identify key areas where future research efforts should be focused.

How rising competition for land threatens international and environmental stability, and how the risks can be mitigated.

Pathways to Sustainability - Scaling the Transition of Global Agriculture

Water from farms may be contaminated to different degrees. The level of contamination will determine how they should be managed.

The relationship between wetlands and livestock farming is complex and a subject of growing importance in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Our farmers and consultants discuss how they have adapted to cope with drought and flooding on their farms and the practical changes made to withstand these weather events.

Defra's policy document from 2018

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