ELMS public engagement


NFFN Member
For anyone interested in where things are at re public engagement/ enhancing access.

That's not a bad report actually. The key conclusions seem right to me:

10 Key findings:
1. There is an appetite for providing permissive and enhanced access amongst farmers and land
managers but the intervention rates need to be at a level that provides an incentive to do so.
2. Improving access can be good for everyone – farmers and land managers might benefit at
least equally to those enjoying the access, this might be through new payments, diversification
opportunities, overcoming problematic access and overcoming social exclusion are examples.
3. There are barriers to access for some people including physical, economic, societal and
perceptual barriers. Some of the barriers to greater diversity and inclusion are built into
language, systems and governance; they are institutional and this should be recognised in
order to effect change.
4. Investment in enhancing access should not only be for areas of land or length of path but for
the intensity of benefit to the recipients, for instance small areas of land can provide
transformational benefit for very troubled or traumatised people. In other areas simple changes
(like short connections between public rights of way) can have a high level of benefit for low
5. Facilitators and community champions can work directly with those communities that access
the countryside least to help address access inequalities. They can help ensure that
educational access paid for through schemes reaches those that need it most and support
farmers and land managers to provide well thought through welcoming access and
engagement arrangements.
6. Investments should be long-term; it can be more damaging to have short run potentially token
projects that achieve some benefit then drop away; this is as true for farmers and land
managers as it is for those experiencing access inequality.
7. Educational access can achieve considerably more than it does under Countryside
Stewardship but the focus should be on engaging with people and communities that have
limited experiences of the countryside.
8. Providing new access should not be mandatory for farmers and land managers – it should be
taken up where it makes sense to do so and farmers and land managers are willing to engage.
Advisors and convenors should encourage farmers and land managers to become involved in
target areas where it will have the greatest impact if schemes are to provide value for money.
9. Land management plans should include access plans and identify opportunities to divert
access away from ecologically or otherwise sensitive sites. This could be either by providing
alternative routes or improving the quality of surfacing to encourage use in less sensitive
10. The concerns that farmers and landowners have about anti-social behaviour and that
permissive access may lead to claims of rights of access must be addressed explicitly in order
to give confidence in providing additional or enhanced access.

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

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Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

About this event​