Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes programme for South East England

EXCITING NEWS JUST IN...

Pasture for Life has received confirmation that the application to Farming in Protected Landscapes funding for Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes 2024/5 has been successful and will run from April 2024 until March 2025.

A new mentoring and events programme will be coupled with a bespoke skills development package to support farmers and land managers in the Surrey, High Weald and Kent National Landscapes wanting to pursue high nature value farming practices.

More details coming soon...

To register your interest please email Sarah@pastureforlife.org and we will email you information as soon as the programme details are confirmed. If you signed up to the previous Pasture and Profit Programme we will be emailing you shortly to invite you to join the new programme.

 

Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes is funded by the Farming in Protected Landscapes Fund (FiPL), offering a free, innovative mentoring and events programme across the Surrey Hills, High Weald and Kent Downs Protected Landscape Partnerships, for farmers interested in nature-friendly or regenerative farming practices.

 

What is the Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes programme?

Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes is a free, farmer-led programme of farm walks, events and webinars. The programme is run in partnership with Protected Landscapes and is open to everyone farming in the following National Landscapes in the South East: Surrey Hills, High Weald and Kent Downs. See the homepage for other regions of the UK that the Pasture and Profit In Protected Landscapes programme covers.

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

 

Farmer visit to Danesfold Farms certified Pasture for Life to look at pasture pasture management in the early autumn led by Olly Martin Farmer visit to Danesfold Farms certified Pasture for Life to look at pasture pasture management in the early autumn led by Olly Martin

Free Pasture for Life Membership

When you register for the programme,  if you are not already a PfL member, you will automatically receive free PfL membership until March 2024 which normally costs £120 a year. 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. You do not have to provide any financial details when signing up, and you can choose whether to continue with PfL membership at the end of the programme.

 

Farmers visiting Lomas Farm, Kent to learn how David Cornforth manages his pasture and was able to grow grass for his beef cattle despite the severe drought over the summer of 2022. Farmers visiting Lomas Farm, Kent to learn how David Cornforth manages his pasture and was able to grow grass for his beef cattle despite the severe drought over the summer of 2022.

Mentoring

By registering for the Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes Programme, you can apply to be mentored for up to a year by a friendly farmer who understands the challenges, to support you in your transition.

We have trained Pasture for Life farmers as mentors, who have a range of approaches to grazing with sheep and cattle. For instance, some house their cattle over the winter while some leave their cattle out year-round. What they have in common is that they are either working towards 100% pasture-fed with no grain or feed inputs or have already achieved this through adopting some form of rotational grazing. 

Without exception, they find that the way they now farm is more profitable than the system they inherited, that it has increased biodiversity and improved the health of their stock and pasture, and has made their farm business more resilient in times of extreme weather and spiralling costs. The experience has been transformative for them, and they are keen to share their learning with other farmers whether they are just curious to see other approaches or are wanting to change how they farm.

 

Farm walk at Knepp Regen Farming certified Pasture for Life headed by farmer Russ Carrington Farm walk at Knepp Regen Farming certified Pasture for Life headed by farmer Russ Carrington

Signing up

If you are farming in the Protected Landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales, Nidderdale, Forest of Bowland, North Pennines or the Lake District contact rob@pastureforlife.org.

If you are farming in the Protected Landscapes of the Surrey Hills, High Weald or Kent contact sarah@pastureforlife.org.

You can also view our upcoming events, please go to our Eventbrite page here.

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 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 email 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.

Find out more about how to be certified Pasture For Life by looking at our standards or view our upcoming events here.