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A knowledge exchange network for researchers and rural professionals who advise farming and land businesses


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How can dynamic models of macronutrient behaviour be developed and applied to guide environmental policy?

Human activities such as industrial production, transport, agriculture, urbanisation, domestic detergent use and sewage treatment interfere with natural macronutrient cycles, unbalancing them, with unintended and largely undesirable environmental consequences. These macronutrient elements - carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus - are central to life processes and their biogeochemical cycles are intertwined in air, land and water. Combatting these effects requires policies that address the future impact of excess nutrients but how can policymakers address the problem? LWEC Policy and Practice Note no 35 The unbalanced cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus: national scale forecasting outlines the latest evidence on how models can be used to help policymakers and environmental regulators to address this problem by demonstrating how multiple pollutants interact and alter in response to changes in climate, land use and atmospheric pollution.

SIP-landbridge workshop - Sustainable intensification: what role for advisers?
As farmers are required to produce more and more from their land the skills and knowledge of the farm adviser are becoming more important than ever. Sustainable intensification is an important approach for farmers and all land professionals but how practical or useful are the techniques and tools being developed, and how willing will clients be to adopt new systems? In association with the Sustainable Intensification Research Platform (SIP), landbridge hosted a workshop at Nafferton Farm in Northumberland on 8th September 2016, providing opportunities for advisers to explore these issues and learn more about the SIP. With a keynote from Michael Winter and excellent presentations from SIP Study Farm leads Gillian Butler, Chris Stoate and Dave Chadwick, the day also featured a farm walk to examine the interventions being tested at Nafferton. The workshop included lively breakout sessions where advisers, their professional associations, representatives of agricultural and ancillary industries, researchers and knowledge exchange specialists considered how advisory professionals might use the findings emerging from the SIP and further refine these based on their own knowledge and expertise in providing advice to clients. Findings from the event will be used to generate recommendations for a forthcoming SIP policy note on the role of advisers in sustainable intensification.


RICS Rural Conference: preferential rate for landbridge members

RICS Rural Mid-Session conference takes place on 10th November 2016 at SNH Battleby in Perth and RICS is offering landbridge members the opportunity to attend at a preferential rate (70GBP rather than 108GBP plus VAT). The full programme and further details can be found here. Topics being discussed include the impact of Brexit on Scotlands economy and the implications of the Land Reform Act. If you are interested in attending, please contact amy.proctor@ncl.ac.uk at landbridge to obtain the promotional code.


New research shows South West farmers concerned by Brexit
Farmers have expressed concern about the unknown implications of Britain leaving the European Union, according to a new survey by experts at the University of Exeter. Almost half (45.8 per cent) of those questioned said the interests of British agriculture will be best served by the UK remaining a member of the EU. More than a third (35.5 per cent) indicated that it would be in the interest of British agriculture to leave the EU. The remaining 18.7 per cent were unable to give an answer. If this group is removed the proportion in favour of remain is 56.6 per cent while 43.4 per cent favour leaving. The 1,251 farmers who took part in the postal survey, by the University of Exeters Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP), were also asked about future Government financial support for agriculture. Only 17.1 per cent thought it would remain at broadly similar levels in the event of a 'Brexit', while 44.5 per cent thought it would not, and 38.4 per cent didnt know. LEEP Director Professor Matt Lobley said: 'This is a robust survey of the views of farmers. The 1,251 respondents represent approximately 5 per cent of all farms in the South West and almost 9 per cent of the regions farmland.These findings suggest that some farmers feel the Common Agricultural Policy has an important role in supporting their work, and that they are concerned leaving the European Union could leave them more economically vulnerable than they are now'. LEEP Director Professor Michael Winter OBE said: 'The UK is a highly urbanised nation. Our research shows that farmers are sceptical about whether the UK government outside the EU would maintain the same level of support for farmers as under the EU. History suggests that politicians would prefer to reform the Common Agricultural Policy.'








"The more knowledge you share, the more you will benefit in return"

Mike Butcher, Agronomist and Landbridge member