The Englefield Estate has become the first private landowner to fund places on The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s Farm Resilience Programme to support its tenant farmers in Berkshire and Hampshire as they begin to navigate the biggest changes in land management for 50 years.
The new Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes, including the Sustainable Farming Incentive announced by Defra Secretary George Eustice MP in December 2021, will see farmers rewarded for taking actions that generate environmental benefits, improve animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions.
Now outside the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, and with the phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme over the next six years, farmers in England will be encouraged to sustainably produce healthy food profitably and without subsidy, as laid out in the Agriculture Act 2020.
The Farm Resilience Programme is providing business and environmental skills training and one to one advice to 14 of the Englefield Estate’s tenant farmers.
The programme began in September 2021 with a Business Health Check designed to help improve the processes around measuring costs on the farm. The first workshop followed in November where farmers discussed results of their benchmarking work with industry experts.
Edward Crookes, Estates Director for the Englefield Estate, said: “We are committed to working with farmers on the Estate to ensure that they have every chance to run thriving, sustainable farm businesses in the future, that they are in position to adapt to the challenges presented by the ELM transition and are able to deliver environmental benefits that will slow the rate of climate change, improve biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions.
“Adapting to change and reducing environmental impact is not just the right thing to do, it is critical to business continuity and this programme provides practical support and tools for farmers to be able to do just that.”
By March 2022, a further five business and environmental workshops will be delivered to the Estate’s tenant farmers by agricultural consultants and experts, covering topics including practical cost management, business planning and managing change, and managing your farmed environment.
These are followed by an on-farm visit with a local programme coordinator from The Prince’s Countryside Fund to review the workshop content and create a business action plan.
Beth Summers, Senior Programme Manager for The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said: “We are so pleased to be working with Englefield Estate to provide their farm tenants with access to our Farm Resilience Programme. A recent evaluation, of the Farm Resilience Programme has demonstrated the incredible benefits to farmers’ productivity, profit, and confidence provided by the programme, and we are delighted to be helping the Englefield Estate create a more sustainable future for their farm tenants.”
The Farm Resilience Programme is delivered by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, a UK-wide charity that was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010 and supports family farms and rural communities to ensure their future.
To find out more or to discuss running the FRP near you, visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/farmresilience or contact Beth Summers on firstname.lastname@example.org.