Photo from James Rebanks Instagram
This month we begin by hearing from James Rebanks, Cumbrian sheep farmer and bestselling author, about what it means to be a commoner, and his vision for landscape restoration. James is working collaboratively with his neighbours to regenerate the valley they farm on. They have created a community interest company for fundraising, and support each other across multiple farms.
Next, we hear from Erica ten Broeke, Landscape Manager at Commonland, a Dutch NGO on a mission to transform degraded landscapes into thriving ecosystems, with equal focus on the land and the communities that live and work there. They are creating the infrastructure and support to enable whole regions to address biodiversity, climate change, regenerative agriculture and revitalise communities all in one.
Last month we heard from Alfonso and Yannick of La Junquera, who are involved in one of the ‘proof of concept’ landscape restoration projects that Commonland has committed to, with further projects going on in the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa.
The themes discussed by James and Erica in this month’s episode are clearly linked, and demonstrate just how much community resilience can be achieved when farmers are able to collaborate. The kind of support that Commonland provides could help farmers to collectively navigate the tensions many are experiencing on small family farms today, which were explored by Col Gordon in Landed.
This episode of Farmerama was made by Jo Barratt, Abby Rose and Olivia Oldham. A big thanks to the rest of the Farmerama team Katie Revell, Fran Bailey, Annie Landless, Eliza Jenkins and Dora Taylor. Our theme music is by Owen Barratt.
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