In Scotland, 73% of our land is farmed. Agriculture is the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, and farm wildlife is declining fast. This makes Scotland’s farmers a vital part of the solution to the collective challenge of restoring our climate, nature and health.
Our three farming programmes – Farming for the Future, the Rural Innovation Support Service and Landscape Leadership – have one aim: to support and enable farmers to transition to more climate and nature-friendly ways of farming. Because practices like agroforestry and improving soil health also often improve business resilience, we believe they are good for the health of people and profits too.
The programmes bring farmers together in different ways – in farmer-led working groups, at on-farm events, in field labs and at residential sessions - to build the networks that allow for knowledge sharing and for collective experimentation. Farmers can be very isolated and we believe it’s easier to try new things together. We bring experts into the mix, often farmers themselves, to help share best practice.
The statistics and case studies below give a flavour of the impact of our work across all programmes since 2015, and you can find links to each programme at the bottom of the page.
Farmer Philip Bews of Westray now uses 20% less fertiliser, and has been able to keep 20 more yearling calves on his farm (almost 12% of his herd) since learning how to manage soil at one of our events.
Sheep farmer Graeme Bethune had one troublesome field that would only grow rushes, no matter how much money he threw at it. Until, that is, he came to one of our events, and learned how to recognise soil compaction.
Our Farming for the Future programme brings farmers, land managers and crofters in Scotland together with experts to share knowledge and best practice around nature and climate-friendly farming.
Landscape Leadership unites land owners and managers who want to work collaboratively towards transformative environmental change at the biggest possible scale in Scotland..
The Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) connects farmers and land managers with the right people from all along the food and drink supply chain and helps them develop a viable, innovative project.
Farmer David Henderson of Net Zero Arran speaking now at our online Futureproof workshop: "The trouble with farmers… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…