Nearly 50 farmers, agents and officers from national agencies, local government and NGOs gathered for the meeting arranged by the Lincolnshire Wolds FiPL Local Assessment Panel (LAP) on Tuesday 7th November 2023 at Belchford Village Hall.
On a cold morning they were welcomed with a hot drink and a bacon roll before the first session highlighted the current situation with agricultural grants schemes and green finance with presentations by:
- ELMS Update: Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship (Barney Parker, Ashfield Farmed Environment Services Ltd)
- Forestry Commission: England Woodland Creation Offer (Philip Ayres, Forestry Commission)
- Green Investment in Greater Lincolnshire (David Baxter, David Baxter Environmental - advisor to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust)
- FiPL Projects in the Lincolnshire Wolds (Steve Scoffin, Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
After a short break for refreshments, the second session covered:
- Companion Crop Harvesting in Regenerative Farming (Matthew Fisher, JG Fisher Ltd)
- Soil health and a regenerative approach on a large arable/mixed farm (Phil Jarvis, Albanwise Farming & Environment and The Voluntary Initiative)
- Links between Sheep Grazing, SFI and Soil Health (Ian Willoughby, Dyson Farming)
- Sustainable farming – a retailer’s view (Lucinda Langton, M&S Food)
- On Farm Good Practice – Tyres and their Importance for Soil Structure (Darren Longstaff, Apollo Tyres Ltd)
Many of those attending stayed on to enjoy lunch before some went for a further session to look at machinery used by AW Smith & Son on their land on the neighbouring farm.
There has been a lot of positive feedback after the event including:
“Many thanks for a great meeting; the best I had been to for a long time. All good speakers, a copy of any slides you are able to share would be appreciated.”
“Thank you so much for yesterday – it was very informative with some excellent speakers and good discussion with coffee/lunch etc. I know others had a good morning too.”
“Thank you and the team so much for organising a most useful and well attended morning at Belchford. I hope you are pleased with the way the morning went. Good speakers, lots of farmers and a great deal of contacts made and information shared, as well as excellent catering!”
With FiPL having been extended to run until March 2025, there is still funding available for projects that deliver against the outcomes of the FiPL themes of Climate, Nature, People and Place with the extension giving additional funding that could reach £500,000 to be allocated for projects. Each application is capped at a maximum of £50,000 although multiple applications can be made where appropriate. Additional funding is now also available through a national FiPL Historic Building Restoration Grant which will pay 80% of appropriate costs with other FiPL outcomes coming from the Lincolnshire Wolds allocation.
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