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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

13 June 2022 – Two new regenerative nature project models from CISL, the East of England Landscape Enterprise Network , and Poole Harbour Nutrient Management Scheme offer blueprints for land management that supports improved biodiversity and water quality through more sustainable agriculture. 

Modelling Nature-Positive Land Management: Lessons from the East of England Landscape Enterprise Network (LENS) 

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About

This report takes readers step by step through the LENS1 East of England project that links management and investment in landscapes to the long-term needs of business and society, ending with lessons learned and a look ahead. It provides a guide for public and private sector organisations around the country looking for ways to mitigate risks from the degradation of natural resources on which they rely. For policymakers and regulators, it illustrates an effective, scalable approach to help deliver on the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan and its commitments to address the climate and biodiversity crises. 

The report explains how University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and 3Keel, acting as facilitators, used the LENS model to bring together disparate key players and overcome two common barriers to effective landscape interventions:

  • how to deploy funding from multiple disparate private and public sector parties seeking different outcomes in an efficient, equitable and accountable way
  • how to create a governance structure that provides all stakeholders, including farmers, with the agency, confidence and trust to unlock funding and manage vested interests.

Initial funding partners included Anglian Water, Cereal Partners UK, Essex and Suffolk Water, Nestle Purina and Northampton County Council. These have since been joined by Affinity Water and Cargill, with £2.4m raised for the second project round launched in spring 2022 with 71 farmers taking part. The scheme's rapid growth reflected farmer interest and ambition, and the additional partners which enabled a doubling of budget and a 250% increase in scale, covering more than 250,000 hectares. The scheme will continue at least until 2027 and up to 120 farmers are expected in 2023.

Over time, LENS East of England aims to generate large-scale, measurable improvements for the region in water quality, flood mitigation, biodiversity, water resources, (GHG) emission reductions, carbon sequestration and regenerative agriculture.

Click here for more information on LENS projects and how they operate.

Authors and acknowledgements

Dan Sokell, Catchment Lead, CISL

The editorial team wishes to thank: Polly Ghazi, Gemma Cranston, Laura Deltenre, Zoë Harris, Alison Thompson and Aris Vrettos for their significant contributions and guidance.

Citing this report

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and 3Keel (2022). Modelling Nature-Positive Land Management: Lessons from the East of England Landscape Enterprise Network. Cambridge: The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

 

Modelling Nature-Positive Agriculture: Lessons in farmer-led nutrient management from Poole Harbour

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About

This report takes readers step by step through The Poole Harbour Nutrient Management Scheme (PHNMS), a new approach designed to curbing farm nutrient losses and achieve cleaner waters on protected coastlines, in order to prevent a potential Water Protection Zone and further regulation in the Poole Harbour catchment. The report ends with lessons learned and a look ahead.

The ground-breaking PHNMS in Dorset is a leading example of potentially transformative nature-based solutions. Backed by the National Famers Union (NFU) and local councils, and managed by Poole Harbour Agriculture Group (PHAG), a farmer collective, PHNMS will be run as an Environment Agency 'approved scheme’. Whilst its primary goal is to reduce nitrate runoff from farms, it has the potential to deliver co-benefits for sustainable, productive agriculture, biodiversity, and carbon and climate goals. PHAG, partner and other catchment stakeholders are to meet the following objectives:

  • Provide a framework for delivering nutrient reductions into Poole Harbour from the agriculture sector whilst enabling offsetting by other sectors, including water companies and developers.
  • Influence the development of an effective Nutrient Accounting Tool that farmers can use to account for nutrient losses to the environment.
  • Enable the trading of nutrient allocations between farms.
  • Focus on improving water quality by reducing nitrogen and, in time, delivering additional environmental benefits such as reducing phosphate, sequestering carbon or biodiversity gains.

Authors and acknowledgements

Natalie Poulter, Paul Cottington and Dan Sokell. 

The editorial team wishes to thank: Polly Ghazi, Gemma Cranston, Laura Deltenre, Zoë Harris, Alison Thompson and Aris Vrettos for their significant contributions and guidance.

Citing this report

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Poole Harbour Nutrient Management Scheme (2022). Modelling Nature-Positive Agriculture: Lessons in farmer-led nutrient management from Poole Harbour. Cambridge: The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.


1Programme entity owned by 3Keel

Published: June 2022

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of CISL, the University of Cambridge, or any of its individual business partners or clients.

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Copyright © 2022 University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). The material featured in this publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.