NFU Scotland | /champions-for-change.aspx

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Champions for Change

As stakeholders representing agriculture and the environment, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and NFUS agree that a sustainable agricultural sector and a thriving natural environment can be mutually supportive of one another.

We also agree that policies for agriculture, the rural economy, and climate change and the environment have in the past combined to give conflicting direction. Champions for Change is a collaborative project to demonstrate that there are real champions within the industry that want to see a powerful change of direction from our current system of land management policies.

We believe that with the right combination of knowledge-exchange within the agricultural industry, input from environmental experts and policy direction from the Scottish Government, there is significant opportunity ahead to make changes in land management that can bring about better outcomes in the face of the climate and biodiversity crises.

The project will:

a) provide a platform to farmers to champion changes which, if scaled up (and appropriately rewarded through future land management policy where necessary) could be transformative.

b) highlight to the Scottish Government that we both want to see:

  • Clarity on direction of travel for future agriculture and land management policy from Scottish Government, in terms of what will be expected of land managers in order to deliver environmental and productivity outcomes – particularly in the context of the Green Recovery from Covid-19.
  • Commitment to fairer, long-term funding for schemes that deliver environmental benefit to allow farmers to deliver biodiversity and climate targets.
  • A commitment to investing in natural capital, genuine environmental improvement and supporting the rural economy play a key role in delivering a Green Recovery from Covid-19.


Neil White

Berwickshire farmer Neil White shares how he’s enhanced biodiversity and reduced emissions on his farm, and outlines what he’d like to see supported by future policy in the below video. Click here to read more from an article from the Scottish Farming Leader.

Sandy Murray


Sandy Murray is a crofter, who has done a lot of conservation work. He has. He has out grassland management for birds, created species rich grassland management, and managed wetland on his croft, as well as taking part in Agri Environment Climate Schemes and restoring peatland through Peatland Management. Click here to read more about the work Sandy has done on his croft.


Willie Thomson

NFU Scotland Combinable Crops Chair Willie Thomson shares how he's provided habitats for pollinators on his farm, and explains why agri-environment schemes are vital in the video below. Click here to read more from an article in the Scottish Farming Leader.

Andrew Barbour

In the below video, Andrew Barbour and his family highlight the many benefits of farming with trees including animal welfare, biodiversity enhancement and carbon capture. Click here to read more about the work.

Martin Kennedy

NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy, a farmer from Highland Perthshire, outlines how the steps he has taken on his own farm, including introducing a soil mapping programme, has benefitted both the wider environment and the bottom line of his business.  Click here to read an article from the Scottish Farming Leader and watch the video below to learn more about the work Martin is doing.

December’s issue of the Scottish Farming Leader featured an article on Champion for Change Martin Kennedy. Martin outlines how steps he has taken on his own farm, including introducing a soil mapping programme, has benefitted both the wider environment and the bottom line of his business.  Click here to read the article

Political Engagement

The launch of Champions for Change, which can be watched below, took place in December 2020. The Ministerial Roundtable featured a lively discussion between politicians and farmers on how farmers can be supported to deliver biodiversity and climate benefits, and the policies needed to enable further change.

In December, Mairi Gougeon MSP wrote an article for the Scottish Farming Leader in support of the Champions for Change project, and the importance of leadership and innovation in driving change. Click here to read the article

 

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