The potential for collaborative agri-environment schemes in England: Can a well-designed collaborative approach address farmers' concerns with current schemes?

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  2. Dr Steven Emery
  3. Dr Jeremy Robert Franks
Author(s)Emery S, Franks J
Publication type Article
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Year2012
Volume28
Issue3
Pages218-231
ISSN (print)0743-0167
ISSN (electronic)1873-1392
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There is increasing recognition that whilst agri-environment schemes in England have had discernable benefits, their success in relation to certain species and resources has been nhibited by the piecemeal implementation of Environmental Stewardship (ES) on the basis of single farm agreements. In this paper we examine the receptivity of farmers to the idea of landscape-scale, collaborative agri-environment schemes (cAES) based on semi-structured interviewing in three English case-study areas. Using qualitative socio-cultural interpretation we argue that a lack of communication and mutual understanding between farmers; a cultural imperative for independence and timeliness, and; alternative interpretations of risk amongst farmers present potential barriers to cAES. We also argue, however, that if designed appropriately, cAES have the potential to overcome certain concerns that farmers hold about the existing ES schemes. In particular, cAES are likely to gain support from farmers where it is seen to offer greater flexibility; scope for farmer involvement in scheme design; locally targeted and clearly defined aims, and; demonstrable benefits that can be monitored as a record of success. We provide policy recommendations and suggest that cAES have the potential to deliver greater environmental benefits, whilst at the same time encouraging farmers' participation in, and satisfaction with, agri-environment schemes.
PublisherPergamon
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.02.004
DOI10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.02.004
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