Farmer Networks

Farmer Networks

Farmer networks are groups of farmers who come together with a shared objective – typically this is around landscape scale habitat restoration through farming and changes in land management. It can be easier to secure funding if you are working in a group with like-minded others, and the groups also provide access to support and information. They are often co-ordinated by a paid individual or an organisation.

Management, restoration and creation of floodplain meadows are heavily reliant on the decisions farmers make on how to manage and use their land. We have previously demonstrated that private landowners are the most successful group in restoring meadows (Rothero et al, 20201 and therefore restoration of floodplain meadows by private landowners is a key focus for the next few years. We hope to support this group particularly with practical advice, and to influence those policy mechanisms that could assist them.

We share information with farmers to highlight the distinctiveness of floodplain meadows and provide practical guidance about how to manage them successfully. Through our Steering Group, Ambassadors, existing contacts and organisations such as CLA, FWAG-SW, the Pasture Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) and the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN), we are able to provide advice and information to assist with restoration ambitions. We already work with some Farmer-Facilitation Groups and Farmer Clusters, as these networks are very effective mechanisms for connecting with farmers in a particular area. In addition, funding options for farmers (e.g., ELMS) on the horizon are likely to be organised around the concept of farmer groups.

Our focus therefore has been on developing appropriate information and advice and developing projects where this is an option. We aim to engage landowners in restoring 2,000 ha over the next three years.

Photo of lego figures making hay with a tractor in a field
© Stacy Phillips

Floodplain meadow farmers in their own words

Graham Prince - Floodplain Meadow Restoration

Tim Thompson - Floodplain Meadow Restoration

Rose Dale - Floodplain Meadow Restoration

Debbie Wilkins - Flourishing Floodplains Project

Greg Chamberlayne - Flourishing Floodplains Project

Rob Davies - Flourishing Floodplains Project

Andy and Richard Rummings - Flourishing Floodplains Project


These are also available on our YouTube Channel