The Beacons of Excellence programme looks to develop peer-to-peer learning and explore the benefits of regenerative agriculture and agroecology. Building on LEAF’s legacy, it will take our work to another level of knowledge generation and exchange. The first year of this programme was kindly funded by the Ashden Trust.
Supported by The Linder Foundation, LEAF’s ‘Nature Based Solutions to Climate Change’ project is assisting with the work of 10 farmers who are using nature to mitigate climate change and build resilience on their farms.
LEAF have teamed up with global crop protection and seed company Corteva Agriscience in the search to develop new LEAF demonstration farmers as emerging leaders in sustainable farming.
Developing five net-zero farms across the four nations and overseas to demonstrate practical knowledge and help farmers achieve the National Farmers’ Union target to be net-zero carbon by 2040.
NCS is a four-year, ground-breaking industry-led research project to support farmers in reducing agricultural emissions by increasing pulse cropping in arable rotations and substituting 50% of imported soya meal used in feed with more climate-friendly home-grown pulses and legumes.
The Jordans Farm Partnership is an innovative partnership between LEAF, The Wildlife Trusts, Jordans and The Prince’s Countryside Fund to promote sustainable farming practice and address rural development issues.
Vitacress Farm Excellence with LEAF Marque certification is an outcomes-based approach to measuring environmental improvements through ecological appraisals and surveys, individually tailored conservation management plans and bespoke LEAF Sustainable Farming Review Reporting with KPIs and action plans for continuous improvement.
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) is proud to partner with Vitacress on the Farm Excellence programme in line with their Wilder strategy to promote sustainable farming and nature’s recovery. Arcadian Ecology and Consulting is a wholly owned subsidiary of HIWWT who have worked with Vitacress Farm Excellence to provide professional ecological and farm advice.
Monitoring of Environmental Practices for Sustainable Agriculture Supported by Earth Observation will be conducting research on the monitoring of environmental practises. The three year project aims to carry out continuous and systematic monitoring of sustainable agricultural practices on a territory wide and all year-round basis. A toolbox of services will be developed, enabling monitoring organisations to adapt to requirements stemming from EU policy reform.
This project is focused on SHOWCASing synergies between agriculture, biodiversity and Ecosystem services to help farmers capitalising on native biodiversity (SHOWCASE) and is dedicated to the integration of biodiversity into farming practices. The project aims to deliver new insight and innovative tools facilitating the agricultural sector’s transition towards more sustainable farming, and thus help meet wider societal needs.
LEAF works on the project alongside the University of Reading and has recruited a range of farmers across the UK as part of a European wide network of Experimental Biodiversity Areas (EBAs). The farms have taken part in a trial looking at how different species of cover crops differ in their frost tolerance, helping to illustrate the interactions between biodiversity and agriculture. The project is also exploring the incentives that effectively motivate farmers to integrate biodiversity practices into production and strategies to encourage the implementation of biodiversity management on farms.
SolACE (SOLutions for improving Agroecosystem and Crop Efficiency for water and nutrient use) looks at ways to improve agroecosystem and crop efficiency for water and nutrient use. A number of LEAF potato growers have been sharing their expertise with project partners, other farmers and scientists. We will also be leading on the dissemination and communication aspects of the project, including developing factsheets, short videos and policy briefs. SolACE runs for five years.
IPMWORKS is a 4‑year horizon 2020 project that aims to promote the adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies through an EU-wide network of farmers. The IPM Networks consist of 5 existing national farm demo networks and 24 new hubs of demo farms. These networks will facilitate peer-to-peer knowledge sharing at a national and EU-level and demonstrate to farmers the tangible economic and ecological benefits of adopting IPM strategies.
LEAF play a key role in the monitoring and evaluation of demonstration activities to support farmers in learning about the technical and economic effectiveness of the demonstrated strategies and to help to motivate farmers to apply these strategies on their own farms. We also support the development and building of IPM Networks, dissemination, communication and training and network sustainability. To learn more about the project, visit the website and publications webpage.
SEAMS (Sustainability in Education and Agriculture using Mixtures) is a four-year project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and coordinated by the James Hutton Institute. The project aims to develop, promote and implement crop species mixtures as a sustainable crop production system for Scotland and a resource for knowledge exchange on food production, agricultural ecology and environmental sustainability to a wider audience including school groups.
This H2020 funded 3‑year project looks at the potential of soil as a carbon sink whilst promoting the implementation of regenerative agricultural practices. AgriCaptureCO2 is developing an innovative, robust, and scalable solution to measure carbon capture in soil. The project aims to make soil carbon measurements more accurate and cost-effective by combining satellite images with farmers’ data and soil samples. A commercial platform will be launched to facilitate large-scale zero emission aspirations, through monitoring and reporting on regenerative agricultural practices, as well as measuring and monitoring soil carbon sequestration. The project will also support and accompany farmers on the journey to regenerative agriculture by building a community of practice. The ultimate goal: to promote regenerative agriculture as a solution in the fight against climate change while providing agronomic and economic benefit.
Through webinars, on-farm debates, farm demonstration days and more, LEAF will contribute to developing a European Regen Agri Network that engages and connects farmers, scientists, businesses, and other relevant actors. LEAF’s existing network of LEAF Demonstration Farms will also play a pivotal role in promoting knowledge exchange and promoting Regenerative Agriculture and the AgriCapture platform to farmers. The LEAF Marque team are also involved in reporting on the use of Earth Observation in Regenerative Agriculture. To learn more about the project, visit the information portal and the pilot farms webpage, and find out how to get involved here.
The overall goal of DiverIMPACTS (Diversification through Rotation, Intercropping, Multiple Cropping, Promoted with Actors and value-Chains towards Sustainability) was to achieve the full potential of diversification of cropping systems for improved productivity, delivery of ecosystem services and resource-efficient and sustainable value chains. DiverIMPACTS was made up of 34 partners and the project was funded under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s framework programme for research and innovation. The project was completed in 2022, with key outputs of the project being available here.