Professionalising farmers, businesses and land owners
Small scale and traditional landscapes offer opportunities for both land owners, businesses and farmers. In various projects Lifescape provides support to farmers that work on nature conservation, businesses that want to brand the surrounding environment and land owners with valuable properties.
Professionalizing agricultural nature conservation
In the Netherlands more and more farmers situated near ecologically significant areas organize themselves into Agricultural Nature Associations (ANAs) to face the challenges of the demand for agricultural nature conservation and earning a decent income at the same time. The Farmers and Agricultural Nature Conservation project provides support to these ANAs for them to professionalize to increase their chance to success in both aspects. Meetings have been held with farmers to assess what knowledge they need to be able to fulfil their goals and exchange visits have been organized to successful ANAs in other regions and to visit the South Downs Branding Initiative. Also trainings are provided for the farmers with regard to the environment of their region, communication, marketing, project management etc. In this way many farmers and their ANAs have gained the knowledge they need to successfully run a company that earns money while protecting the local landscape. Another focus point of this action is to support initiative with regard to branding of landscape products and diversification of farm activities.
Contact: Province of Brabant, E-mail HVissers@brabant.nl, telefoon: 0031 736818482
Selling local products
In theAudomarois Marshlands in France the Parc Naturel Régional (PNR) de l‘Avesnois has supported local farmers to open a shop with local products in the city of Saint Omer. In this way the local farmers can earn a living from selling their products while maintaining their traditional ways of agriculture. This shop has two functions. The first is to provide the farmers with a means to earn enough money while using their traditional production methods. This helps preserve the threatened and typical local landscape. The second function is to link urban inhabitants to the countryside, because they are informed about the landscape where the products are coming from, and how they are produced. The PNR has supported the farmers through facilitating a feasibility study, looking for funding, organizing trainings and providing them with other important knowledge.
Contact: Parc Naturel Régional de l‘Avesnois, Luc Barbier, telephone 0033 327775160
Providing training for tourism businesses
The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) developed a community capacity building programme with trainings to make businesses that offer visitor services aware of the landscape identity so they can use this to brand their products. Businesses are involved by offering them training workshops. These workshops are specially aimed at tourism businesses. With the workshops the High Weald AONB unit raises the awareness of the special nature of the High Weald landscape. With this knowledge people can implement key landscape messages into their promotional material. In this way local businesses are involved in propagating the value of the area to visitors and in a lesser way to the local people. When using this method it is important to consult local people as well as visitors to see if the messages are understood and to keep the key messages to a minimum. Otherwise the information material might be tuned to the wrong target group or distracts the reader too much from the main selling points.
Contact: High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, E-mail Gerry Sherwin, telephone 0044 1580879592
Using GIS to preserve ancient woodland
In the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) a project has been implemented with regard to mapping ancient woodland elements on private land in order to protect and restore them. Ancient woodlands are sought through comparing current maps in a Geographical Information System (GIS) with maps from sometimes hundreds of years ago and by making site visits to check the data. As a result it can be shown which ancient woodlands do not fall under any protection measures at the moment. Local land owners who own ancient woodland elements are contacted and informed about the cultural and natural value of their assets and receive free advisory services to report on the condition and necessary actions of their site. Besides that events are organized for landowners to inform them about relevant issues. This is a good way for landowners to become proud of the woodlands they own. The information is also communicated to spatial planning officers of local communities so they can take the ancient woodlands into account.
Contact: High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, E-mail Sally Marsh, telephone 0044 1580879500