(c) Shelley Abbott

Today's blog is written by Ro Osborne, RSPB Policy Assistant for farming, climate and land use, on our experience at the Groundswell Regenerative Agriculture show and how nature-friendly farmers are leading the way to a Nature Positive future. This blog is the first of three in this series where we will discuss nature-friendly farming, how nature supports food security, and what all of this means for our transition to a Nature Positive food and farming system.

 

While many farmers and policy makers are leading the transition to Nature Positive food systems, we still have a long way to go to make sure that policy supports farmers taking up nature-friendly practices. The RSPB championed the role of nature in our farming systems at this year's Groundswell Regenerative Agriculture show.

 

In June, a team of RSPB staff headed to Lannock Manor Farm in Hertfordshire to attend the Groundswell Regenerative Agriculture Show. This year marked the sixth annual Groundswell, a farmer-led yearly agricultural show that stands out in its emphasis on the theory and application of regenerative practices in profitable farm businesses. Amongst a diverse crowd of farmers, policy makers, agricultural businesses and NGOs, the RSPB hosted a stand to champion the role of nature in our food and farming systems. 

Throughout the week, we met with farmers and policy makers leading the transition to a nature positive farming system and talked with several farmers just starting their journey who are looking for ways to support nature on their land. We were inspired by the work that many farmers are doing to support nature but were reminded of all that still needs to be done make sure that agricultural policy supports nature-friendly practices and embeds the role of nature in achieving our climate and food security goals.

 

 RSPB stand at Groundswell show

 

What did we do at Groundswell?

During the event, we set up camp in the RSPB stand just across the way from the big top tent. Those in attendance may have come across one of our staff members from our Fair to Nature, agricultural advice or policy and advocacy teams. When not sheltering from the sun with an ice cream, we were busy chatting with attendees about the different ways RSPB has been working to support nature in our food and farming systems:

  • In the field, at our very own Hope Farm, where we show in practice how nature-friendly farming can turn a profit.
  • In the farming community through our agricultural advisory services, promoting the Farm Wildlife six key management actions developed alongside farmers.
  • In the supply chain through our work with Fair to Nature – the only UK certification scheme focus on biodiversity and a proven approach to restoring the balance of nature in farming.
  • In policy through our calls for the government to embed nature in our food and farming systems and support farmers in the transition to Nature Positive through policy such as the Environment Act and ELMs.

 

Off the stand, we attended some of the many impactful seminars and workshops throughout the week – with our CEO Beccy Speight chairing a panel discussion on Nature Positive farming by 2030. Her final challenge to the audience was to ask how we can step up the pace of change towards this goal.