|A survey of farmer attitudes towards collaborative, landscape scale agri-environment schemes.
Our research involves talking to farmers about their attitudes towards a possible innovation in agri-environmental schemes designed to encourage environmental resource conservation and protection at the landscape scale. This needs a little explanation.
The recent White Paper on the Environment argues the need for "creating a resilient ecological network across England". It supports the creation of "widespread and joined-up partnership action" working at "the strategic scale" - but supplies very little detail as to what this might mean in practice.
However, the White Paper strongly supports an earlier review (the Lawton Report) which is much more direct: "A new type of Environmental Stewardship Scheme is needed, particularly to help buffer sites and establish stepping stones and ecological corridors" [Recommendation 16, p 82]. Lawton further states; "Delivering a more effective ecological network may require refinements to the [Entry Level] Scheme, such as rewarding farmers who act cooperatively" [Recommendation 23, p 89].
This research examines farmer attitudes towards acting collaboratively with neighbouring farmers to jointly manage environmental features in a scheme designed to help create more resilient ecological networks from a landscape scale perspective.
Our initial research interviewed a small number of farmers - we now need to compare those findings against the opinions of a larger number of farmers, and we are asking for your help with this. We welcome all views, from those currently with, and those who have chosen not to participate in any agri-environment schemes.
If you are willing to help then please do access the link below - the questions cover issues that may farmers will perhaps have to become more familiar with in the near future.
Many thanks indeed
Jeremy Franks and Steven Emery
SAFRD, Newcastle University, UK
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