Better together: how facilitation groups are transforming nature recovery

Engaging Communities
Event Name Better together: how facilitation groups are transforming nature recovery
Start Date 8th Apr 2021 2:00 pm
End Date 8th Apr 2021 3:30 pm
Duration 1 hour and 30 minutes
Description
A free webinar exploring how farmers are working together across the country to bring about positive environmental change.

In this webinar, we look at the vital role that Farmer Facilitation Groups are playing in supporting nature’s recovery across the country.

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Natural England’s Brian McDonald, Manager of the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund, will open the discussion with an overview of how the collaborative approach adopted by Farmer Facilitation Groups around the country is leading to impressive results on the ground.

He will share some of the wide-ranging achievements of the 136 groups in tackling the biodiversity and climate crisis, and will put forward the case for the collaborative model as a solution to addressing pressing environmental issues on a landscape-scale. (20 mins)

We then have three short presentations from Group Facilitators who will give an insight into how the farmers and landowners within their groups are working together in different landscape areas to bring about tangible environmental improvements.

Case studies

Herefordshire Meadows: Sowing the seed for farming's future (15 mins)

Caroline Hanks, Group Facilitator, and James Hawkins, and Chairman for Herefordshire Meadows

The uplands connection: a story of farming collaboration (15 mins)

Chloe Palmer, Group Facilitator for Hope Valley Farmers in the Peak District

Joining forces to tackle landscape challenges (15 mins)

Philippa Chadwick, Group Facilitator for the Cocker Catchment Farmers Group in Cumbria

After the presentations, there will be an opportunity to put your questions to our four speakers. (20 mins)

About our speakers:

Brian McDonald has worked in land management and nature conservation for over 25 years. He worked with groups of peasant farmers in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe for over three years in the 1990’s, and has since worked in both urban and rural development in the UK. He has been a team leader and Senior Adviser in Natural England: coordinated Natural England’s work across the Thames Gateway; developed and project managed the Nature Improvement Areas programme and, more recently, with Defra, scoped and set up the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund which has created more than 130 farmer/land manager groups with over 3,600 members. He has worked with a range of organisations in partnership and developed and applied monitoring, evaluation and action research.

Caroline Hanks is a freelance farm environment adviser and facilitator of Herefordshire Meadows; a group of farmers and landowners across Herefordshire who are managing and restoring diverse swards of all kinds. In addition to Natural England Facilitation Funding that supports the 63 group members to collaborate, other private, NGO and government funding ensures that wildflowers and herbal leys are playing a key part in the transition to future farming systems to benefit soil, sward, livestock and human health.

Chloe Palmer is a Farm Environment Adviser based in the Hope Valley in the Peak District. She has been giving conservation advice to farmers for over 20 years, and following a 12 year career with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, became an independent adviser ten years ago. As well as providing advice to farmer clients, she facilitates three farmer groups in the Peak District; Hope Valley Farmers, Bradfield Farmers and the Peak District Estates group. She is also currently the Catchment Adviser for the Little Don NFM project near Stocksbridge in Sheffield. She is a freelance agricultural journalist writing regularly for the Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer and Arable Farming magazines.

Philippa Chadwick grew up on a working hill farm in the Lake District, and has worked alongside farmers at West Cumbria Rivers Trust for over 6 years. She has been the facilitator of the Cocker Farmers Group since it started in 2017, and is also one of the Trusts Natural Flood Management Project Officers.

About the organiser

White Peak Farmers is a Facilitation Group consisting of farmers who work together to deliver environmental improvements in the White Peak area. The group is supported by Natural England’s Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund.

The Networks for Nature: Facilitating Collaborative Farming project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund through the South West Peak Landscape Partnership.

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