CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

A sustainable future

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 February 2016

An uncertain future

An uncertain future

Archant

Find out how Kent land managers are preparing our landscapes and making changes to the rural economy as we face an environmentally uncertain future. Words by: Allan Buckwell

The flooding in many areas of the UK this winter, together with coverage of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December, has focused attention again on how we must adapt to meet an environmentally uncertain future.

While grand summits are vital in setting and coordinating international policy, change will only happen when all citizens and businesses are engaged. Farmers and landowners have a special and important role to play in tackling the causes and effects of climate change.

The rural economy is particularly sensitive, as land-based activities depend directly on climate conditions. Many landowners and farmers in Kent and across the UK are already making a contribution to creating a more sustainable future and a secure supply of food, through changing the way they work and the crops they grow.

A recent report by the European Landowners Organisation demonstrated how the everyday work of farmers and landowners in seeking to maintain and increase soil carbon levels and capturing carbon from the atmosphere in woodlands and forests is critical to mitigating changing climate impacts. It also shows the adaptations required to keep food-supply chains reliable and the rural economy prospering.

The CLA represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses across England and Wales and we are very aware of the measures our members and the wider rural community are taking to adapt to a changing climate. Here are nine ways.

- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: through precision farming, rotating crops with nitrogen-fixing legumes, reducing inputs such as fertilisers, using anaerobic digestion to treat farm and animal wastes and produce biogas.

- In Kent some fruit growers are using hydroponic technology to reduce soil use and building more advanced energy-efficient storage units so that crops such as apples can be available from local growers throughout the year.

- We are seeing more knowledge-intensive farming techniques which reduce soil disturbance and help farmers target fertiliser where it is most needed, rather than applying it uniformly across the whole field. This reduces costs, boosts yield and reduces harmful impacts on the environment.

- Conserving carbon: by low-tillage or no-tillage farming, which reduces the oxidation of soil carbon by encouraging sustainable woodland management and adjusting to shifts in the distribution of pests and diseases.

- Creating new woodland is one of the most effective ways of carbon storage, but it also helps make our rural landscape more resilient to extreme events. Trees slow water runoff and increase water absorption, preventing soil erosion, alleviating flooding and improving water quality.

- Replacing fossil fuels: through using energy crops, forest biomass and manure to produce biofuels and biogas, managing our forests sustainably to increase growth.

- Maintaining water resources: by investing in farm water storage, applying sustainable drainage systems, using effective irrigation methods and adapting crop rotation to make the best use of available water.

- Providing ecosystem services: through creating wildlife migration corridors, conserving grassland, maintaining, restoring and creating wetlands, ponds and water meadows and monitoring and controlling alien species.

- Increasing diversification, applying environmental land management to enhance rural tourism, diversifying energy supply and reducing energy use and applying speculative planting to minimise yield variability.

Find out more

The Country Land and Business Association is the membership organisation for owners of land, property and business in rural England and Wales. Allan Buckwell is Chairman of the CLA’s Kent branch

If you would like to know more, have a look at the CLA’s Talking Climate Change blog www.talkingclimatechange.wordpress.com.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kent Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kent Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kent Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

On the banks of the Medway and boasting great shopping, dining and cultural attractions, our county town is great to visit at any time of year

Read more
December 2018

In the final month of the 50th Anniversary of the Kent Downs AONB and 40th of the North Downs Way, we’ve chosen 25 places to visit and enjoy in the Kent Downs this winter

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

This walk is the best way to take in the majestic beauty of the Weald of Kent, linking the North Downs Way at Trottiscliffe with the South Downs Way near to Eastbourne

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Counteract all that festive over-indulgence with a winter walk through National Trust-owned Kentish countryside

Read more

This characterful little country town draws history lovers from near and far. Let’s explore Churchill’s beloved Westerham

Read more
November 2018

From Napoleonic forts and wartime shelters to ancient chalk mines, we explore some of Kent’s underground visitor attractions

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Wandering through a festive market with mulled wine in hand is one of the pleasures of the season, so we have picked some of Kent’s best Christmas markets to do just that

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Steam trains, vineyards, tea rooms and a surprising maritime history. We take a look at all this and more on offer in tempting Tenterden

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Being so rich in history, it is hardly surprising that Kent is also a hub for hauntings and ghostly activity. We have gathered 9 of the spookiest locations in Kent to visit if you dare!

Read more

It may have been swallowed up by Greater London, but it still feels more like an idyllic Kentish village

Read more
October 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life