Access To Land
Safeguarding land for local, sustainable agriculture is a growing issue in many parts of Europe. With urban development and infrastructure as competing uses, the overall area of agricultural land is declining. At the same time, farms are getting larger and farmers are getting older.
In the UK the value of farmland in the UK has doubled in a decade, putting it far out of reach of many new and young farmers.
What can we do to make sure that land is available for people to farm organically? How can we help new farmers to get their foot on the ladder and start a business? How can we ensure that when farmers retire their land is not just absorbed into a large farm? What can we do to help landowners provide opportunities for new farmers on their estates?
The Soil Association is working on a number of projects that address these and other issues around access to land. In the UK, our Land Trust holds land in trust for agroecological farming. On a wider level we are part of the Access to Land Network, working with other European organisations to raise awareness of the issues, share resources and case studies, and learn from each other.