New film highlights sustainability collaboration between Lancaster University and Lake District farmers

Jim Beary, farm manager at Levens Farming Partnership with KTP Associate Dr Laura Giles and Phil Scott from Lake District Farmers © Food Story Media
Jim Beary, farm manager at Levens Farming Partnership with KTP Associate Dr Laura Giles and Phil Scott from Lake District Farmers

A collaboration between Lancaster University and farms in the Lake District aims to help move farmers towards net-zero meat production.

Scientists from Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) and environmental accounting experts at The Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business have been working with the Lake District Farmers (LDF) organisation on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project.

A film has also been made to highlight the ongoing work.

Research towards the project includes soil assessment and lab testing on five case study farms that supply LDF and are transitioning to regenerative farming practises.

The research data will be put through a soil carbon modelling system and then given to the Pentland Centre which will design a financial framework.

The results can then be shared throughout LDF's supply network and beyond.

LDF was founded in 2009 to facilitate a quality driven and sustainable supply chain for family run fell farms in The Lake District.

Prof John Quinton and Prof Jess Davies from LEC and Prof Jan Bebbington from the Pentland Centre are providing academic support for the project.

Dr Laura Giles has been appointed as the KTP Associate and will be working on a full-time basis for 24 months with LDF.

Phil Scott, head of purpose and sustainability at LDF, said: “Our hope is that with our research, we will be able to support and enable farmers, particularly in the upland areas of the UK, to transition to more sustainable models that focus on reducing carbon emissions, enhance biodiversity and provide nutrient dense food.”

Prof Jan Bebbington, director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, said: “I am very happy to be collaborating with both soil scientists and a practice partner to create better accounts of how ecological impact can be articulated in a form that will be meaningful to a business.

“The KPT partnership outcomes will be valuable to individual businesses as well as informing accounting advisors about how to deal with wider impacts.”

Prof Jess Davies, director of the Centre for Global Eco-innovation at LEC added: “We are excited to be working with Lake District Farmers and their farmers in this Knowledge

Transfer Partnership.

“We work with many innovative businesses on their net zero journey through the Centre for Global Eco-innovation, where we first came into contact with Phil and the team.

“It’s brilliant to have the support of this KTP to take the next steps on that journey together – developing the science around understanding soil carbon in farms where new regenerative practices are being trialled and collaboratively exploring how to integrate that into the business.

“These sorts of collaborations are critical if we are to get to net zero.”

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