Farmers

Agriculture is intrinsic to Devon and central to rural communities.  Over the centuries farming has influenced our landscapes and wildlife and led to the creation of rich habitats such as hedges, ponds, meadows and heaths. In turn agriculture is reliant on functioning natural systems with healthy soils, clean water and pollinators.

Our agricultural sector faces huge challenges.  The complex and ever changing landscape of regulations, markets, funding and policy needs to interact in a way that makes economic and environmental sense and is understandable and deliverable.  Decisions need to be underpinned by the best available research and evidence.

There is a huge amount of information available on wildlife and farming.  These pages will help to sign post to some key organisations and advice, particularly in a Devon context.   To add any information please email  nature@devon.gov.uk

 

Guidance and support

green tractor farming in field

 

Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West (FWAG)

West Country Rivers Trust (WCRT)

RSPB – The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds offer support and advice for farming with wildlife, including support from a local adviser.

Devon Wildlife Trust

SWARM Knowledge Hub – This web resource provides unbiased information on how to make management decisions based on natural resources.

Championing the Farmed Environment – This is a partnership of agricultural, environmental and governmental bodies working together to promote good environmental management through productive farming practices. They have a range of guidance documents on their website.

Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF)

 

Funding

Countryside stewardship.

Add links and info on Facilitation Fund and Farm Clusters / ELM T&Ts

 

Devon farming initiatives and networks

Dartmoor Hill Farm Project 

The Blackdown Hills Rough Grazing Association provides a network for owners, managers and anyone interested in rough, wildlife rich grazing land.

Ruby country net-zero beef farming forum – How can beef farming, a sector so intrinsic to the Ruby Country that it gives it its name, make the move to net-zero whilst continuing to be economically viable? If you are a beef farmer, work in the beef farming sector/supply chain, or if you are a beef farming stakeholder and if you live and/or work in the Ruby Country, you have the opportunity to join this forum and shape the answers to this question.

Food, Farming and Countryside Commission – This charity is bringing people together to find radical & practical ways to improve our climate, nature, health and economy. They have a current enquiry in Devon which is looking at relocalising the food system and engaging more young people in farming.

 

Soil health

Lettuce Field Near CornfieldDevon and Cornwall Soils Alliance – This project, organised by The West Country Rivers Trust looks at building capacity and capability across soils in Devon. They are now running seven feasibility studies to demonstrate a protocol for the assessment of soil health in any of the soil types in Devon and Cornwall.

British Society of Soil Science – This organisation is committed to the study of soil and the application of findings to improve soil health. They provide videos, resources and expert advice to help you understand your soil better.

 

Case studies

High Nature Value Farming in Devon – Four case studies from across Devon show the features, management and obstacles to farming in areas of high nature value.man in white shirt planting at daytime

Clinton Devon Estates has a mix of in hand, shared and tenanted farms across its land. The Estate engages with all those responsible for land management to encourage entry into agri-environment schemes. They are working to promote agriculture that supports sustainable use of resources whilst delivering ecosystem benefits.

Pipers Farm produces meat in a more sustainable way and creates links between ethical producers and consumers. They adopt techniques such as regenerative farming, using native breeds, plastic free packaging and encouraging a reduced consumption of meat.