London Farming

Topics: Local food, Agriculture, Farm Pages: 9 (1375 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Farming in London’s Green Belt
Mark Holmes

Farming in London’s Green Belt
Background to farming in London’s Green Belt Farmers future confidence and challenges Opportunities / barriers and solutions


Farming in London’s Green Belt Study 2005 Examined current farming activity in London and future activity, completed in May 2005 Investigated London farmers connection to local supply chains Investigated farmers future intention

Farmers’ Voice
Farmers’ Voice is an annual ADAS survey of attitudes & opinions among farmers in England & Wales January 2008 2,310 replies received robust findings to give farmers the opportunity to have their say to inform policy makers and decision makers at national and regional level


Farming in London’s Green Belt Study 2005
Examined farming within the M25 including all 33 London boroughs To increase sample added next concentric layer just outside the M25 Used 2003 Agricultural Census data (For this presentation updated maps using 2005 data) Consultation with sector via telephone & postal survey, focus groups, one to one interviews

Farming in London’s Green Belt Study 2005
2003 Agricultural Census data 423 holdings 0.25 % of all holdings in England Total land managed 13,608 Hectares Of this area about half is rented and the other half owner occupied Farms range in size from 0-20 ha to those larger than 200 ha Less than 10% of the land was organic Contribution excluding diversified activity at 2005 prices is less than £8 million


Arable Crops in London


Grassland in London


Farming within London 2005 Study
The amount of permanent pasture in relation to the amount of stock suggests that a large amount has been given over to equine use Many of the livestock farmers have reduced numbers in recent years mainly due to the lack of infrastructure (access to abattoirs, markets and problems of farming on the urban fringe (dogs etc..)

Horticultural Crops in London 2005


Horticultural Crops in London 1970


Adding value to produce
Over a third of the London farms are adding value as food and drink producers A few selling through own or other farm shops the rest through direct marketing as postal or internet Consultation with farmers’ markets and wholesalers felt there was insufficient supply of organic food produced in the London area the view from farmers was contradictory

Diversified activity very important to London farmers Diversified income account for almost a third of farm income much higher that the rest of the country much more than national average Range of diversified enterprises is extensive


Type of di versification London 2005

Leasing of land
2005 study identified farmers interest in releasing more land for allotments, community growing schemes Need to identify models of land release that suit all parties farmers, community groups, planners


Barriers to diversification London 2005 study
% saying “MAJOR PROBLEM” London Farming sample (151) % 47 23 19 19 12 6 Farmers Voice 2004 sample (1,770) % 35 34 16 18 19 15

Planning legislation Lack of capital Recruiting suitable staff Env ironmental legislation Access to land CAP Reform

2005 study - Access
Most farms have a footpath or nature trail accessible at the moment average length is 2.7km Significant extra length of footpath could be added if improvements could be made 55% of farmers were not interested in making paths/trails more accessible to the public


Farm crime in London greater than many areas of the UK Crime problems are equipment theft, trespass, burglary and vandalism. Around one in four farmers feel that these crimes has had a very great impact on their business. Fly tipping and fires/arson are the other main crimes mentioned by farmers. Recent incidences of crime related to high fuel costs and the stealing of red diesel Crime is seen as a barrier to people utilising public spaces...
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