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    AHDB Landscape Recovery Project


    This project aims to to examine what action farmers and growers are taking with regard to new agricultural policies in the context of the Landscape Recovery (LR) pilot scheme in England and the removal of Direct Payments. How are farmers preparing for the changes and challenges ahead? Are they engaging with LR? Are they participating in the pilot? Are they planning to expand, diversify or to leave the industry or have they made any plans to mitigate the loss of direct payments? How do the partcipants plan to collaborate with each other? The project will involve online surveys, in-depth group and individual interviews with farmers, land managers, land owners and other key stakeholders.


    The first round of applications for Landscape Recovery (LR) pilot projects run by DEFRA closed on Tuesday 24th May 2022 and responses are expected by Friday 8th July 2022. The first round will focus on 2 themes:

    • Recovering and restoring England’s threatened native species. Projects under this theme could recover priority habitats, improve habitat quality, and increase species abundance.
    • Restoring England’s streams and rivers: improving water quality, biodiversity and adapting to climate change – these projects could restore rivers to a more natural state, reduce nutrient pollution, benefit aquatic species, and improve resilience to climate change (for example by reducing flood risk).

    This project aims to collect evidence from participants of LR pilot and non-participants to understand how farm businesses are adapting to the changes in policy. Specific objectives are:

    • What are the key factors LR participants have taken into consideration in their planning that others can learn from?
    • How do farmers expect LR will impact on their farm business finances – what are the expected costs and benefits?
    • Is there a difference in attitude between the more progressive farmers/growers and others?
    • What are the farmers attitudes towards collaborating on environmental issues?
    • How do farmers feel LR could be improved?
    • What are the barriers to participating in LR?
    • How is the collaborative partnership managed?

    Qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews (focus groups and/or one-to-one) supplemented by online surveys will be undertaken with farmers, land managers and landowners representative of the main production sectors across a range of farm sizes, geographical locations and land types.

    Funding Body

    Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)

    Lead Organisation

    Harper Adams University


    Jess Corsair and Sarah Baker (AHDB)

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