Brexit, the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, has offered the UK government a unique opportunity to fundamentally reform UK agricultural policy. The new policy - called Environmental Land Management (ELM) – will reward farmers for the delivery of environmental public goods like clean air and water, biodiversity, and healthy soils. It could lead to the biggest changes in land management since the end of World War II and everyone has a view on it. However, not all views are necessarily heard. Our research contributes to a better understanding of how farmers feel about the changes underway and how their participation in the co-design of ELM contributes to more effective, democratic government policy.
In this online exhibition you will find short videos, photographs, and quotes from farmers expressing their views about the new policy and what the proposed agricultural transition means for them. As the development of ELM and our research continue, we want to use this platform to invite the public to participate in this process as well and we invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section.
During the Great Yorkshire Show of July 2021, we went to ask farmers what they thought about the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) policy.
Hopes and fears
During the Great Yorkshire Show of July 2021, we went to ask farmers about their hopes and fears linked to the new ELM policy.
Faces of Change
While the process of co-designing the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) continues, there is a growing controversy and uncertainty about how the policy will look and how it will work for farmers. “I think there are early signs that the two-way process is working”, Mark Bridgeman said during the Great Yorkshire Show. For Richard Betton “what we are doing is sending out signals to the president of Brazil to cut down more rainforest to grow more soya for Europe because we are closing our farming down”. What is the best direction for farming in England and in the UK?
Mr. John Wadland, whose farm is in the area of Leicester, shares his views about the ELM.
“It’s not rocket science”
Fay Johnson shares the way they started implementing farming practices that her grandparents were using.
Oliver is taking part in the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) pilot, which is part of the ELM. He is a beef and sheep farmer in the south of Leicestershire focusing on grassland management and the rotation of livestock. This is a new way of doing things on his farm and it benefits the animals, the grass, and the wildlife. However, it requires more time in moving the livestock and fencing the plots. Will the SFI provide strong incentives and guidance for other farmers to change their practices?
- The research project - Agri-Environmental Governance Post-Brexit - is conducted by Dr Ruth Little, Dr Judith Tsouvalis, Dr David Rose, Dr Jose Fajardo, Jessica Lyon, Professor Charlotte Burns and Professor Sue Hartley.
- Photographs and films by Jose Fajardo
- Editorial advice from Kieran Hanson, Kenawa Films