Agriculture is intrinsic to Devon and central to rural communities. Over centuries, farming has influenced our landscapes and led to the creation of wildlife rich habitats, such as hedges, ponds, meadows, and heaths. However, over the last 50 years, agricultural intensification, led by the drive for food production, along with other land uses, has led to huge losses of wildlife habitats and species.
Our vision is for Devon’s prosperous farming economy to meet our production needs, protect and enhance the environment on which it depends, and provide public benefits, such as wildlife, access, and flood control.
- Board lead: Robin Milton, Exmoor farmer and Chair of Exmoor National Park Authority
- Working Group leads: Paul Cottington, National Farmers Union, Gary Rumbold, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West and Tim Youngs, Blackdown Hills AONB
Devon Farm Advice Report
The Devon Farm Advice Report sets out the findings of a review of the current provision of environmental advice for farmers in Devon which was undertaken between January and May 2022. The farming sector is going through a big transition and under huge pressure to manage land differently for a multitude of reasons. Provision of good independent advice, particularly in relation to climate and nature, will be essential to help Devon’s farmers through this uncertain period.
The need for the review is set out in the Devon Carbon Plan, produced by the Devon Climate Partnership. The review was managed by Devon County Council on behalf of the Devon and Torbay Local Nature Partnership which is leading the Food, Farming and Seas theme within the Devon Carbon Plan. This findings of this review will feed into the development of the Devon, Plymouth and Torbay Local Nature Recovery Strategy, in which high quality advice to famers on nature recovery will be an important output.
Other current work
- Sharing learning from the Environmental Land Management Trials in Devon.
- See the Environmental Land Management Tests & Trials findings report produced by the Devon Local Nature Partnership.
- Upstream Thinking – Working Wetlands and Mires on the Moors (Dartmoor & Exmoor)
- The Blackdown Hills Rough Grazing Association provides a network for owners, managers and anyone interested in rough, wildlife rich grazing land.
- Dartmoor Farming Futures is an experimental pilot project aimed at developing a new approach to the management of the public and environmental benefits associated with Dartmoor’s moorland.
- Campaign for the Farmed Environment – FWAG SW coordinate work in Devon – contact Louise Stratton (CFE SW Co-ordinator)