Fenland SOIL is a not for profit members organisation that aims to inform and develop ‘whole farm’ land use policies, aimed at achieving climate change mitigation and biodiversity enhancement in the Fens, and to help establish an agreed set of numbers for GHG emissions for deep, shallow and wasted peat soils.
Fenland SOIL was set up in 2021 as part of the work carried out by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Independent Commission on Climate as a dedicated team with farmers at its core to tackle climate issues relating to agriculture and peat in the Fens. We hope that by acting as a united front and showing proactivity we will be able to positively influence and help shape policy so that it is fair and realistic for those that will be implementing it. We feel that ‘the best defence for farming is to stop being so defensive’.
The group, chaired by John Shropshire (G’s Fresh, CPICC Commissioner) and operates across five workstreams each led by a champion, the Fenland Farmer’s Dialogue Group (Nick Allpress, Allpress Farms, LAPTF), Landscape Mapping (Ian Holman, Cranfield University), Nature Based Systems (Mike Maunder, University of Cambridge), Measuring GHG Emissions (Chris Evans, UKCEH), and Economics (Mat Smith, F Smith and Sons, NFU County Chairman).
Across the workstreams Fenland SOIL brings together farmers and growers from across the Fens, academics, conservationists and other key local stakeholders to address our common problem in a holistic way.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has awarded us £50,000 a year for 2 years, to be match funded by contributions from farmers and growers through membership payments in a banded payment scheme.
We have also managed to secure funding through project grants such as our Natural England Peatland Restoration Discovery Grant, and through charity or philanthropic organisations.
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