At its January meeting, FRIGSE had a presentation from Andrew Montague-Fuller about a recent report on the “The Best Use of UK Agricultural Land”. The report had been produced by a working party led by the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University which had included representatives from the CLA and the NFU.
The report highlighted both the competing pressures on the availability of land and the lack of a coherent strategy by central government for tackling the issue. Taking high and low demand/ supply scenarios, the report identified significant deficits in the availability of land by 2030 under any assumptions. The major areas of increased demand for land were likely to be for food security, bioenergy production and forestry. It suggested that the only real way to reduce the projected deficits in available was by a substantial reduction in waste food, increase in livestock yields, and improved diets, but even if these measures were totally successful there would still be big gaps to bridge in land use.
Among the report’s conclusions was a call for an integrated action plan across all key Government departments to consolidate existing agricultural land use policies and actions and to develop new actions where gaps exist.
The full report can be found at www.cisl.cam.ac.uk/publications/best-use-uk-agricultural-land