News

Stage 3 - Government Amendments - April 2020

April 2020 - there are a series of updates to the 'hedgerow and boundaries' option and the Arable Offer as a whole in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. These changes are being reviewed to assess the influence on alley cropping uptake and a response in progress. 

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Stage 2 - New Environmental Land Management - Testing and Trials

This proposal for a grant undrpinned by ecosystem service valuation, was taken into the testing and trials phase. Ministers and advisers at Defra are in widespread agreement on the environmental benefits of agroforestry, the task now entailed delivering the most effective mix of policy measures in the several new agri-environment schemes.  The proposal therefore evolved, not into a completely new grant, but into amendments to the woodland creation grant. Adapting an existing grant system with a prexisting funding structure was deemed the most streamlined approach. Especially given only 4 amendments are necessary. The principle problems with the existing woodland creation grant are as follows:   1. ...

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Advocacy Stage 1 - New Environmental Land Management Proposal - November 2017

  Food & Forest was founded in November 2017 in part to contribute to the root and branch revue of agricultural policy taking place following the referendum vote. Coming off the back of a summer research project, all evidence pointed to "alley cropping" as a farming method, falling through the administrative cracks, meaning it remained inelligible for environmental funding despite a growing evidence base showing clear benefit.  All Forestry Commission woodland creation grants, for example, don't allow any agricultural activity to take place at the same site. In May 2018, we submitted a proposal to the 'Health and Harmony' consultation highlighting...

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The Joy of English Walnuts

There are 120 varieties of walnuts growing in our orchards in Kent, which we care for in partnership with the national trust. These walnut trees were planted almost two decades ago as an experiment. Not all of them survived, however the few that did take advantage of the Kent soil and those trees now produce dozens of kilos of nuts each autumn. The Fernor variety in particular taste delicious, they’re almost creamy. We enjoy getting our hands dirty behind the scenes, taking risks, nurturing and harvesting our English walnuts, and they are unique in that they have had zero treatment...

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