Thursday, 4 December 2014

Seminar on Agroecology and Sustainable Intensification - 14 January 2015, London

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Trevelyan Hall, St Matthew's Conference Centre, St Matthew's House
20 Great Peter Street
London SW1P 2BU
Free Admission

Dear Sir/Madam

On behalf of the inter-agency Land Use Policy Group (LUPG), I’d like to invite you to join us at a one-day seminar designed to explore the potential for agro-ecological approaches to contribute to the sustainable intensification of agriculture.

In parallel with the promotion of sustainable intensification, there is a growing interest in agro-ecology, as exemplified by a number of reports[1] [2]. Following the previous work we commissioned on sustainable intensification, LUPG has now asked the Organic Research Centre (ORC) to examine  the relationships between the sustainable intensification and agro-ecology concepts via a desk-based study. This project is intended  to explore the extent to which the two concepts are compatible as well as assessing whether agro-ecological systems and strategies are a valid and/or necessary path to sustainable intensification in both the UK and European contexts.

We would be delighted to see you at ORC’s forthcoming presentation of their findings at the St Matthew’s Conference Centre in London on Wednesday 14 January 2015.  More information, including a location map is available at:

We are planning for the event to start at 10.30 am and finish at around 15.30 in the afternoon. We are also intending for all of the feedback received to be taken into account in the preparation of the final report.

The agenda is likely to cover the following themes and will include a panel discussion (including Dr Tara Garnett of the Food Climate Research Network, Prof Tim Benton from Leeds University, Prof Charles Godfray from Oxford University,  Stuart Knight from NIAB, and Phil Jarvis from the Allerton Project (Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust)) :

·        A review of agro-ecological systems and strategies;

·        Assessing the relative performance of agro-ecological systems/strategies against more conventional approaches to sustainable intensification;

·        Establishing whether and to what extent agro-ecological systems/strategies can contribute to sustainable intensification;

·        A discussion on barriers and opportunities to the uptake of agro-ecological systems/strategies.

In order that we can cater for your dietary needs, please let us know about any special requirements as soon as possible.

All responses should be sent to and please feel free to pass this invitation onto a colleague if you are unable to join us on the day.

The final programme will be circulated closer to the date - and we look forward to welcoming you on 14 January 2015.

Yours sincerely
C├ęcile Smith
Scottish Natural Heritage on behalf of the Land Use Policy Group

[1] The Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (2013)  Mainstreaming Agroecology: Implications for Global Food and Farming Systems, Discussion Paper. Coventry University/Garden Organic,%20Journal%20Articles/MainstreamingAgroecology_WEB.pdf
[2] Olivier de Schutter (2011) Agroecology and the Right to Food, Report by the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food,  UN.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Winter's Here

Another Loddington photo snapshot

Late sown wheat just poking through in the late autumn sunshine

Wheat and volunteer beans
As the wet soggy weather sets in...
on a dreary autumn day
the winter beans are peaking through.
We're sharing knowledge with Kelloggs farmers
and everyone's interested in cover crops
It seems a while ago we had showery combining weather
but a fantastic July

and my second favourite picture of the year.. hay making

My favourite picture.. Longwools at Loddington
Rufus on look out duty..
and yesterday home time for some of the Longwools