Englefield Estate has become the first private landowner to fund places on the Prince’s Countryside Fund’s Farm Resilience Programme to support its tenant farmers.
The Berkshire and Hampshire farming estate, covering 14,000 acres, will fund places on the programme as its farmers begin to navigate the biggest changes in land management for 50 years.
There are 23 let farms, covering 3,500 acres of commercial forestry, a Home Farm of around 1,700 acres, 330 residential properties and 150 small commercial business premises.
The new Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes, including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, will see farmers rewarded for taking actions that generate environmental benefits and reduce carbon emissions.
Now outside the EU’s CAP, and with the phasing out of the BPS over the next six years, farmers in England will be encouraged to sustainably produce healthy food profitably and without subsidy, as laid out in the Agriculture Act 2020.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s programme is providing business and environmental skills training and one to one advice to 14 of the Englefield Estate’s tenant farmers.
The programme began in September 2021 with a Business Health Check designed to help improve the processes around measuring costs on the farm.
The first workshop followed in November where farmers discussed results of their benchmarking work with industry experts.
Edward Crookes, estates director for the Englefield Estate said: “We are committed to working with farmers to ensure that they have every chance to run thriving, sustainable farm businesses in the future.
"They are in position to adapt to the challenges presented by the ELM transition and are able to deliver environmental benefits that will slow the rate of climate change, improve biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions.
“Adapting to change and reducing environmental impact is not just the right thing to do, it is critical to business continuity and this programme provides practical support and tools for farmers to be able to do just that.”
By March 2022, a further five business and environmental workshops will be delivered to the estate’s tenant farmers by agricultural consultants and experts.
These will cover topics including practical cost management, business planning and managing change, and managing your farmed environment.
These are followed by an on-farm visit with a local programme coordinator from the Prince’s Countryside Fund to review the workshop content and create a business action plan.
Beth Summers, senior programme manager for the charity said: “We are so pleased to be working with Englefield Estate to provide their farm tenants with access to our Farm Resilience Programme.
"A recent evaluation, of the Farm Resilience Programme has demonstrated the incredible benefits to farmers’ productivity, profit, and confidence provided by the programme.
"We are delighted to be helping the Englefield Estate create a more sustainable future for their farm tenants.”
The Farm Resilience Programme is delivered by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, a UK-wide charity that was founded by Prince Charles in 2010.