People Need Nature policy report just published

Published on Jan 3 2017, this report was written by Miles King et al of “People Need Nature”

Called “A Pebble in the Pond: Opportunities for farming, food and nature after Brexit”. You can download it here.

Miles King has provided this summary:

As England prepares to leave the EU we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the way we support England’s land managers.  This report shows how leaving the EU will enable us to channel money from the public purse to land managers in such a way that they can both produce food, help nature and provide all the other benefits society needs.

The last forty years of farm subsidies from Europe via the Common Agricultural Policy has contributed to a dramatic decline in nature on farmland – land that covers three quarters of England. The vote to leave the EU means we have to create a new system to support farmers to produce the food we all need.

This is an opportunity that cannot be ignored.  If England grasps this opportunity, the UK’s departure from the EU will yield benefits for nature and society that will be felt by generations to come.

  • The damaging subsidies that existed within the EU can be altered in order to protect and restore our countryside rather than damage it.  Nature, and the people of England will benefit from these changes.
  • Farmers are paid too little for the food they produce and in some cases are paid less than the cost of production. Supermarkets and others in the supply chain take most of the profit, leaving the farmers with the risks. This is an opportunity to tackle that injustice.
  • Subsidies currently paid to highly profitable farmers can be redirected to support small-scale sustainable farming, which benefits nature.
  • Landowners who provide benefits to society such as carbon storage or flood alleviation can be supported.
  • The UK’s unique Heritage Sites – from natural heritage, to historic buildings, to archaeological sites – can be protected for the future.
  • Far more action is needed to stop damage to nature from farming. Where an outright ban is not needed, a polluter pays principle can be widely adopted. Urgent action can be taken as a result of leaving the EU, to reduce the hazards of pesticides, to benefit nature, improve human health and produce healthier food.
  • Greater transparency in the way our countryside is managed and our lands are farmed can result from the UK leaving the EU, benefitting British farmers, society, our nature and environment.
  • A new relationship between people and food can be developed. Educating children about where food comes from and how it is produced, is the first step to understanding the true cost and value of food.

The report explores the relationship between farmland, food, people and nature; and identifies ways in which that relationship can be strengthened.

2 thoughts on “People Need Nature policy report just published

  1. Ruth & Colin…hello, ‘August’ greetings from Hartland, N Devon…this paper came up in my Academia feed today; I am not qualified to evaluate it in its specialized context, ie generic field of research…but it certainly looks relevant and valuable (published Oct ’16..) ~ possibly of of interest as potential grist for your forthcoming Schumacher short course?

    Kindest and best, DLlF

  2. Hi,

    I am a commercial pig farmer in Zambia , Africa.

    We are attempting to ranch 2000 pigs entirely outside – we haven’t got there yet, but we have seen that it is better to get as closer to natures production methods than to fight it. It makes both financial and ethical sense.
    I am glad to see your enthusiasm for Real Farming – I look forward to a time when you can provide resources and shared ideas for farmers such as myself, who have few models to follow.

    Keep up the good work

    John Atkins

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