The Future of UK Agricultural Policy

Thursday 1 October 2020, 11:00am to 12:00pm


Video of webinar now available online

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, External Organisations, Postgraduates, Public


Registration not required - just turn up

Event Details

Agriculture is set to undergo some huge changes in the coming years as the UK leaves the EU. Join us to discuss how new policies might impact on us all, from the food we produce in the UK to the landscapes we see around us.

The Future of UK Agricultural Policy: How can research and farming communities work in partnership to deliver positive outcomes for food production and our environment?

The Agricultural Bill currently passing through UK Parliament presents ambitious ideas for how public money could be used to support farmers to manage land in ways that benefit society and our environment, known as ‘public money for public goods’. Public goods are essential ‘services’, such as clean air, clean water, mitigation of climate change, that are provided by our landscapes but are not currently accounted for by financial markets.

In this webinar, we will hear from researchers around this theme and discuss questions including:

  • What the agricultural bill includes and what is missing? What is the potential impact of these missing elements?
  • What has worked well with previous subsidy and environmental stewardship approaches, and what mistakes we should avoid
  • What new approaches are needed to ensure that the policy is inclusive and engages with the whole of the farming sector?

This webinar is for everyone whether you have a research or practical role in this area or not…. this policy will affect both what we eat and what we see in the landscapes around us.


Dr Elise Wach splits her time between food production and research about food production. Her own food production has varied over the decades but currently she co-coordinates a productive community garden near Frome in Somerset. Recent research has focused on agricultural and land use policies and their impacts across the UK. Her research in the Scottish Uplands provided an account of agricultural and food systems which existed prior to capitalism and also documented today’s ‘outlier’ farms which are producing a wide diversity of foods. This research counters the perception that the only ecologically viable way to produce food in the uplands is via livestock, and identifies the political factors which have led to predominant land use patterns today. In this webinar, she will discuss the promises and pitfalls of the public goods approach, based on her analysis of public goods-based policies which have been implemented through the CAP for the past 3 decades.Dr Philip Donkersley is a landscape ecologist and entomologist employed at the Lancaster Environment Centre. He is currently working in collaboration with the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology producing a POSTBrief document covering the current state and future of Sustainable Land Management for the UK. Within this project, he is focused specifically on identifying existing metrics and definitions of “sustainability”, as well as cultural, historic and environment impediments that cause difficulties in working towards a more sustainable land management system. Dr Judith Tsouvalis is a human geographer currently working as a Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield. Judith's research is concerned with Defra's co-design of the new Environment Land Management scheme (ELMs) and the reconfiguration of agri-environmental governance post-Brexit (ESRC Governance after Brexit Programme). She has previously conducted research on ash dieback focusing on expert advice to government ('Making Science Public Programme', University of Nottingham), novel approaches to participatory catchment management (RELU's 'Loweswater Care Project'), contested knowledges in the field of precision farming in England (University of Nottingham), and the rise and contestation of scientific forestry in the UK and the British Empire (University of Oxford).

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Video of the event now available online: LU Food Systems webinar 2020-10 'The Future of UK Agricultural Policy'

Contact Details

Name Rachel Marshall