Action area 6: Land access

More agroecological producers have secure, long-term access to land

Access to land for aspiring or experienced farmers can be a challenge. Land prices now outstrip the potential returns from small-scale farming so that fields which could be used for food production are often sold for housing, as an investment, for carbon off-setting or other more lucrative uses. This contributes to a widening gap between urban and rural areas, which is leaving whole communities disconnected from the land and dependent on an industrialised food system which is contributing to ill-health and climate breakdown. 

Thankfully, many communities throughout the UK are finding creative ways to come together to protect our green, rural spaces for food growing and landscape recovery. Examples of this work taking place in the North include the creation of community land trusts, share farming, community buyouts and land matching pilots. However, more work is needed in terms of helping would-be growers and land owners to understand the different options available to them and how to finance and run these projects. 

To address these challenges, our strategy outlines the following steps:

Our goal: More agroecological producers have long-term secure access to land.

Desired outcomes:

  • More agroecological enterprises are in share farming arrangements.
  • More community/commons owned farms exist. 

Example activities that were identified as supporting these immediate outcomes – and which should therefore be urgent priorities for funding – are as follows:

  • Running a northern land matching service.
  • Facilitating a progressive landowners working group.
  • Offering training and support for collaborative grant funding and crowdfunding.