Sussex Sustainability Research Programme

Delivering food security and biodiversity conservation through rewilding and community agriculture?

An interdisciplinary project exploring the role of large herbivores in community connected agriculture, conservation and rewilding.

SDGs

SDG 2SDG 15

The team

PI and Co PI details

Principal Investigator

Co-Investigators

Project team

Where we are working

The project will work in South East England.

Delivering food security, community resilience, and biodiversity through rewilding and community agriculture.

Overview of project

This interdisciplinary project will examine a range of low intensity (both management and inputs) approaches to land management in the South East of England. This study aims to contribute to current debates relating to the UK's post-Brexit agri-environment policies and to developing sustainable landscapes.

Full project description

This interdisciplinary project will examine a range of low intensity (both management and inputs) approaches to land management in the South East of England. We will focus specifically on the role of livestock and other large herbivores in conservation and community agriculture, with respect to the delivery of ecosystem services. Stakeholder meetings will be run during the course of the project to engage partners in developing, steering and benefiting from the research. Field and interview data will be collected during the summer of 2018 by two post-doctoral researchers: Rachael Durrant and Nick Balfour. The project will be overseen by Chris Sandom (Life Sciences) and Adrian Ely (SSRP). The preliminary data generated will be used in a NERC proposal to be submitted in 2019. It is hoped the study will contribute to current debates relating to the UK’s post-Brexit agri-environment policies and to developing sustainable landscapes.

Timeline and funding

This project began in December 2017 and will run until July 2019. The total funding for this project is £98,230. 

Project poster

Sandom project poster

Events

On Wednesday 6 March a panel event entitled “Working with Nature in Farming and Conversation,” was held in the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) to discuss the findings of the Delivering food security, community resilience, and biodiversity through rewilding and community agriculture SSRP project.

The event was split into two sections, the first being a workshop with interviewees from the above project. This gave them an opportunity to discuss with other key participants the findings of the project, identifying what these might mean for them and how they could affect their work/organization in the future.

The second section of the event invited further delegates to participate in an engaging panel debate on the “Options for Reviving an Agri-Environment Policy”.

The panel consisted of:
• Vicki Hird - Farming Campaign Coordinator, Sustain
• Gareth Morgan - Head of Farming and Land Use Policy, Soil Association
• Lisa Norton - Head of Land Use Group, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre Gavin Ross - Head of Environmental Land Management (ELM), DEFRA
• Tony Whitbread - Ex-Chief Executive, Sussex Wildlife Trust & Member of Knepp’s Advisory Board

News story about working with nature panel discussion