Oxfordshire farmers who’ve received our reports have:
- Used their Opportunity Report to feed into farm planning and Countryside stewardship applications;
- Begun to consider agroforestry on their land, and have gone on to speak with relevant consultants;
- Thought about trees as assets to support their farming business into the future, for example planting shelter belts so that they maximise cooling shade for livestock in increasingly hot summers or planting new hedges.
Many farmers have up until now seen trees and hedges as a cost to their businesses, but we encourage report recipients to think of them as tools in their farming toolbox. While currently many farmers are looking at Countryside Stewardship, ELMS and potentially Biodiversity Net Gain as simply a way to offset the loss of BPS, there are in fact a multitude of ways in which trees, hedges and agroforestry can be used to support business diversification and build the climate resilience of farmland and enterprises.
These issues are not limited to land managers – local communities in both rural and urban areas are also intrinsically linked with nature and food systems. This is increasingly recognised in funding requirements for land managers, such as ELMS and the England Woodland Creation Offer, with schemes requiring not just access or amenities for communities, but genuine engagement and opportunities for collaborative enterprise. In recognition of this, we also offer our Opportunity Reports to parish councils, and have now supplied them to over 80 Oxfordshire parishes. As the most local form of government, parish councils have responsibilities for the wellbeing of their local community, are well rooted in local communities and have longevity. Above all, local residents have a strong long-term interest in their “home patch”. We encourage parishes to consider nature recovery opportunities on parish or community land, as well as develop mutually supportive relationships with local landowners that can support nature recovery alongside productive agriculture.
So far, our opportunity mapping service is only available in Oxfordshire, but we are working with Oxford University and the LandApp to extend the mapping to other areas of the country.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries, or to request a report for your land or parish. You can also request a report via our website, where you can view an example Opportunity Report and find out more about our organisation.