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Things we've learned

Bigger, better, more joined-up conservation on farms

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If you want to encourage more of the right wild plants and insects on a group of farms, what parts of your farm should you target to get the best results? This is the question conservation scientist Dr Robert Hawkes explored with colleagues from the University of East Anglia, the Breckland Farmers Wildlife Network and Defra.

Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot 

In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.  In this post, Lisa Applin (Rural Payments Agency) and Tom Lewis (Future Farming and Countryside Programme) share the results of the application process, what the team learned and what they will do next.

Things we learned about co-design at this summer's agricultural shows 

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Defra staff at an agricultural show

We recently published a blog post about the things we learned at this summer’s agricultural shows which took place up and down the country. At most of those shows, we ran co-design taster sessions for members of the farming community, so they could get a sense, first-hand, of how they could shape our policies. In this post, we're going to talk about some other things we learned that directly relate to co-design. 

What we’re learning about collaboration through tests and trials

Two people in conversation at an agricultural show

One goal of Defra’s Future Farming and Countryside Programme is to help farmers and land managers achieve bigger, better environmental benefits. There’s a lot that farmers can do individually on their own land, but there are often circumstances where it makes more sense for several people or businesses to join forces and collaborate on something that benefits all of them, as well as the environment. We want to encourage more collaboration like this.

Things we learned at this summer's agricultural shows

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We went to these shows intending to talk about the changes coming in the farming sector, but just as importantly, to listen to concerns and learn from different experiences. Some themes emerged from the conversations we had. This post is about what we heard, and how we're responding.

Tests and trials: the latest evidence

We recently published the latest evidence report which pulls together our findings from tests and trials. The report gives an overview of everything we’ve learnt across our 78 tests and trials over the last 6 months. In this post, I’d like to share a summary.  

Regulation workshops: what we did next 

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We ran some co-design workshops in November with farmers and other experts to help us work out how the regulatory system needs to change. We shared the outputs of that work on the blog. After those workshops, we began planning the next phase of our co-design work on regulation. I’d like to share our progress in this post.