Farming for the Future on Llŷn
Our natural environment is under ever increasing pressures so we're going to be working closely with our tenants to try a new approach that helps redress the balance.
What’s happened in the past?
One commonly used method of encouraging farmers and land managers to sustain and increase wildlife has been through agri-environmental schemes, which can be quite prescriptive.
Although these have been in part a success, we have continued to see a loss in wildlife and the general feeling within the farming community is that they are unable to use their knowledge of the land to any effect and are not empowered to make strides towards helping nature.
A different approach
Greater success has been seen in some of our European neighbouring countries through the adoption of a system commonly known as ‘payments for outcome’.
This type of scheme places the decision making in the hands of the farmer, and offers payments based on success.
Simply speaking, the more that is offered and achieved, the more payments are made. One scheme which highlights the success of this method more than any is in the Burren in Ireland.
Trialling payments for outcomes
We believe a farmer led initiative has real value in helping us achieve healthy, resilient landscapes that are rich in wildlife.
The Llŷn peninsula, in North West Wales is one of two places (the other being Malham in the Yorkshire Dales) to trial this approach. By working with our tenants to develop a payment for outcome model we aim to inform the future policy of farming support in the Welsh and UK government.
The ‘outcome’ on Llŷn
Here we’ll be focussing on how we can make our coastal slopes and heathlands within the Special Area of Conservation healthier. We want to see the neighbouring fields richer in wildlife with a more gradual transition to productive land.
We are excited by the opportunities to work closely with our tenants to see habitat gain, but also to look at opportunities for diversification within the farm business.
The scheme will start in late summer 2018 and will run for 3 years, by which time it is expected we will be well on our way to helping nature recover.