Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscape programme for the South Downs
Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes is funded by the Farming in Protected Landscapes Fund (FiPL) and supported by the South Downs National Park Authority. It is a free innovative mentoring and events programme running till March 2025.
What is the Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes programme?
After successfully launching a similar project in South East England, and setting up projects in other protected landscapes, Pasture for Life is delighted to have been awarded Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) funding to run a free, innovative mentoring and events programme, until March 2025, for farmers interested in nature friendly or regenerative farming practices, in association with the South Downs National Park Authority.
At Pasture for Life we believe that farmers learn best from other farmers. Around the country farmers are opening up their farms to share how their low input approach to grazing sheep and cattle has helped protect their farm business from the crippling increases in fertiliser, feed and fuel costs, mitigate the effects of flooding and drought and increase biodiversity.
From mob grazing to conservation grazing, they demonstrate a range of approaches for managing their land and the challenges and the opportunities of farming in this way. The benefits include:
- Improved pasture
- Increased biodiversity
- Improved soil health and landscape management
- Reduced (or removed) workload associated with indoor housing
- Reduced worm burden on stock
- Financial gain
Pasture for Life is now looking to support farmers in the South Downs National Park who may be considering changing how they manage their ruminant livestock enterprises, from increasing grass productivity, to dealing with rising input costs through a greater reliance on natural processes.
For farmers in the region, there are two levels of involvement and participation in the project:
- Joining the overall programme for a comprehensive series of on-farm events & webinars across the national park, covering a wide range of topics. These topics will be decided based on feedback from the project farmers. Farmers will also benefit from a range of supporting documents to support change back on farm.
- A unique opportunity for 36 farmers within the programme to be mentored, enabling them to receive more tailored support and experience, to help explore/implement new ways of managing their livestock enterprise(s).
Anyone joining the programme will receive free Pasture for Life membership (worth £120) until the end of March 2025 (if not already a PfL member). This will enable you to benefit from being part of our engaged and supportive community, as well as the work we do across areas such as the supply chain, marketing and academic research, and access to our forum, which is full of advice and support from other farmers who will often be facing the same challenges as you.
It's important to highlight that farms don’t have to want to receive mentoring to be involved in the project. We encourage all farmers in the area to sign up to the project to receive invites to and be able to attend the events and access the wider range of learning opportunities on offer.
By joining the project there is no expectation that you transition to 100% pasture fed and/or certify with Pasture for Life. Pasture for Life wants to support you at whatever stage in your farming journey you are at and irrespective of your long-term plans. Whether you are in the process of making changes to your grazing system or you just want to learn more before implementing change, we invite you to sign up.
If you are interested in being part of this exciting project, please contact Project Managers Ali Laws - email@example.com or Isabella Goggin - firstname.lastname@example.org (07857 102 162) to sign up, receive more detailed information or discuss further.
Hosting an Event or Becoming a Mentor
Do you have experience or expertise in something that you would like to share with our farmers? We are currently planning the educational events programme, and would love to hear from you if you are interested in speaking at an event or hosting a farm walk.
In terms of mentoring, we are still keen to hear from anyone who is interested in becoming a mentor. Priority will be given to applications from farmers who have 3 or more years experience in mobile grazing ruminants and 100% pasture fed livestock, though we are happy to consider anyone who has at least one season of experience and is based in the South Downs National Park.
Can I join the programme if I am not based in the South Downs National Park?
It is part of the stipulation of the funding that those joining the programme of educational events, free PFL membership, and being mentored as part of the farmer mentoring programme must be based in the SDNP. If you are based just outside the area, please get in touch.
To be a mentor or a speaker at an event, you do not need to be based in the area.
Can I join the programme if I am already a PfL member?
Yes, you are very welcome to join the wider programme or be mentored if you are already a PfL member, however you are not able to receive the free PfL membership.
Do I have to become PfL certified if I join the programme?
No, there is no expectation to become PfL certified.
Do I have to renew my PfL membership at the end of the programme?
You will be given the opportunity to renew your membership at the end of the project (March 2025), however there is no obligation for you to do so. We do not take your bank details in order to sign you up for the free membership.