Supported by The Linder Foundation, LEAF’s ‘Nature Based Solutions to Climate Change’ project involved working with 10 farmers who are using nature to mitigate climate change and build resilience on their farms.
In the farming world, one year isn’t considered a long time at all; a timescale which doesn’t give much opportunity for change. However, this project has proved that this is not always the case, and that in just twelve months, amongst a group of forward thinking, talented, and adaptable farmers, a lot can be achieved.
Over the course of one year, LEAF supported ten farmers across England. They represent a variety of sectors and business sizes; each was starting out from a different place, but what united them all was their drive and commitment to approach the challenge of climate change through more nature-based farming. During this time, the farmers have completed a carbon footprint tool, met with a bespoke adviser from the industry, took part in workshops and further engaged with LEAF.
The booklet documents each of their unique stories. It outlines their motivations for change and the steps they are taking to make this these changes happen, covering a range of areas and collaborations. Crucially, it sets out the lessons learnt and next steps.
LEAF intends this booklet to be read by anyone inside or outside the farming industry, for widespread peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, and insight into the positive, thriving, and resilient approach of the farmers with whom LEAF collaborates.
In accordance to location and Integrated Farm Management strengths:
Each of the project farmers has used a carbon foot printing tool to input their farm data, and were provided with a detailed carbon report of their business. Two tools were used:
Agrecalc is a carbon footprint tool developed by SAC Consulting together with the Scottish Rural College, a LEAF Innovation Centre. It enables farm enterprises to identify and measure emissions, benchmark key performance indicators, identify mitigation strategies and monitor improvements.
The Farm Carbon Toolkit is an independent farmer-led enterprise, supporting other farmers to measure, understand and act on their greenhouse gas emissions, build resilience and inspire action on the ground.
Underpinning LEAF’s approach to delivering more sustainable farming is Integrated Farm Management (IFM).
IFM is a site-specific, whole-farm business approach that uses the best of modern technology and traditional methods. Attention to detail is key; appropriate and efficient use of inputs, smarter approaches to business planning and the adoption of innovations and new technologies, all contribute to increasing productivity whilst protecting valuable natural resources.