Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes

Surrey Hills, High Weald, Kent Downs

 

Field trip Field trip

Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes is funded by the Farming in Protected Landscapes Fund (FiPL) and supported by the Surrey Hills, High Weald and Kent Downs Protected Landscape Partnerships.

What is the Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes programme?

Pasture for Life (PFL) is launching a pilot programme for farmers in three Protected Landscapes in South East England: Surrey Hills, High Weald and Kent Downs. At PFL we believe that farmers ultimately learn best from other farmers, and through this initiative we want to support farmers who would like to move towards rotational grazing or 100% pasture-fed ruminants.

Rotational grazing and feeding 100% pasture can bring a multitude of benefits, including:

  • Financial gain

  • Improved pasture

  • Increased biodiversity

  • Improved soil health and landscape management

  • Reduced (or removed) workload associated with indoor housing

  • Reduced worm burden on stock

Education, Membership and Mentoring

There are three parts to the programme, which is free to join and runs until March 2024.

Firstly, we will be running an educational programme of farmer-led events, farm walks, and webinars from experienced farmers and experts in specific subjects to support farmers in subject areas such as adding value to livestock, soil health and setting up mobile grazing systems. We will be working with the farming community to explore and understand how we can best promote farmer to farmer learning, and will develop the programme based on input and feedback from participants.

To view our upcoming events, please go to our Eventbrite page here.

By joining the programme you will also receive free membership with the PFL for the duration of the project (until March 2024) worth up to £150. Being a member of PFL includes a range of benefits such as access to the forum (including 3000+ historical threads) and PFL newsletter updates which are full of useful information. Please note that if you are already a PFL member, you are not eligible for free membership.

In addition, once you have joined the programme there will be an opportunity to be part of our farmer mentoring programme. Applicants will be selected and matched with mentors who have experience in mobile grazing and 100% pasture fed ruminants. We will be prioritising farmers who farm over 35 hectares, but encourage all farmers to apply whatever size your land-holding. During the course of the mentoring, your mentor will visit your farm at least twice and there will be at least one opportunity for you to visit your mentor’s farm. You will also receive 12 hours of follow up mentoring advice (for example, emails or phone calls). Your mentor will receive a fee and expenses from the PFL in return for mentoring you.

Please note that by joining the programme you are not expected to become PFL certified, or transition to 100% pasture fed/ 100% mobile grazing. We want to support you whatever farming system you are currently using. 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.

How to join the programme

To be eligible to join the programme, you must be based in one of the following three Protected Landscapes; High Weald, Kent Downs and Surrey Hills.

To sign up, simply email sarah@pastureforlife.org to receive a short form. This will give you access to the educational programme of farmer-led events and activities, and also your free PFL membership (if you are not already a PFL member).

If you are interested in also being one of our mentored farmers (in addition to the educational programme and the free PFL membership), please email sarah@pastureforlife.org to receive the application form.

We are currently recruiting for our cohort of farmers to be mentored starting in September 2022, so if you are interested then please get in touch!

 

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 have now recruited the majority of our mentor cohort but 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 East.

For more information about being a mentor or sharing your knowledge at an event, please contact sarah@pastureforlife.org or call Deborah on 07543286709.

FAQs

Can I join the programme if I am not based in High Weald, Kent Downs or Surrey Hills?

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 one of these three areas. If you are based just outside one of these areas, please get in touch.

To be a mentor or a speaker at an event, you do not need to be based in one of these areas.

Can I join the programme if I am already a PFL member?

Yes, you are permitted 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 2024), 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.

If you have any queries about the programme, please contact one of the project managers Deborah Barker (deborah@pastureforlife.org) or Sarah Gillett (sarah@pastureforlife.org).

Find out more about how to be certified Pasture For Life by looking at our standards. Pasture For Life standards for certification

To view our upcoming events, please go to our Eventbrite page here.