Agroecology: facilitating mindset change

Agroecology – farming with nature – is only just creeping into the mainstream in Scotland. The aim of the project is to widen the understanding of agroecological practices.

“We’ve always done it this way” / “What will the neighbours think if I start growing thistles?” / “It might work on a smaller farm, or a bigger farm, but it wouldn’t work on my farm”

These are just some of the thoughts farmers might have when they hear about different approaches to farming.

This project is designed to help farmers who are already using agroecological approaches learn from each other; and to invite more farmers to dip a toe in the water and try something new. This is a partnership project with Landworkers Alliance, Soil Association Scotland, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Pasture Fed Livestock Association and the Nature Friendly Farming Network.

Events: online

10th Mar Setting up a small-scale poultry business with Gilly Dixon-Spain, Jenny Macdonald and Jill Russell (book online)

Events: in person

10th Mar Future proofing the farm: reducing inputs and improving soil health with Doug Christie, Prof. Lorna Dawson and Dr. Ali Karley, on-farm in Fife (book online)

11th Mar Crofting: managing for biodiversity with Phil Knott, Wildlife Croft, Sleat Peninsula on the Isle of Skye (fully booked)

17th Mar Agroforestry for growers in Scotland with James Reid and Rosa Bevan, Tap o’ Noth Farm, Rhynie, Near Huntly (book online)

Past events

Pasture-fed in the Borders with Matt Griffin, Edston Farm, Peebles

Integrating livestock into arable systems with Johnnie Balfour (details online)

Sheep health and nutrition with Poppy Frater, Katharine Sharp, Victoria Ballantyne (details online)

Soil health for growers (details online)

Agroforestry in the uplands with Andrew Barbour & Nikki Yoxall (details online)

An introduction to silvoarable systems – integrating fruit trees and crops with with Rachel and Roger Howison, Parkhill Farm, Newburgh (details online)

An introduction to the principles of regenerative grazing, followed by a farm visit with Nikki Yoxall, Grampian Graziers Dingwall Community Centre and Blackwells farm (women’s event) (details online)

Livestock within an agroecological farming system at Whitriggs farm, Hawick (details online)

Composting and fruit tree pruning/agroforestry at East Neuk market garden, Fife (details online)

Crofting, grazing and the potential of NoFence technology with Domhnall MacSween, Air An Lot and Shona Morrison, RSPB Scotland, Isle of Lewis (details online)

The Green Bowl: running a crofting township food hub hosted by Helen O’Keefe and Tessa Dorrian, in Sutherland (details online)