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  • Harriet Bell

Second Scorecard Discussion

On the 13th of August the Dartmoor ELMs Advisory Team began discussing what the right model of scorecard was to form the basis of a Land Management Plan for Dartmoor's home farms and commons. The notes from that meeting are available on this website and what follows below are the notes and outcomes from the continued discussion.


Meeting outcomes:


- Two of the team have made a start at the kind of scorecard questions that might work for Dartmoor to use to stimulate thinking about a shared vision for a scorecard and for clarity of thought about what’s wanted.

- It was agreed that we would give everyone until next Thursday (27th August) to reflect on that and add to the draft either by thinking of their own questions or taking what they like from some of the existing examples (except those where they’re clearly private intellectual property).

- The Project Officer reminded everyone that we don’t need an approach that is perfect. We need an approach which has the potential to be suitable for Dartmoor, is comprehensive enough to cover all the public goods and robust enough that we can use it to attribute payments. Then we start the process of making it better by running through it on different farms and commons, taking feedback on board and developing it accordingly. Our budget commits us to starting this work in September, our budget becomes at risk if we under spend against our project timeline in that it may be reclaimed by government.

- As the DNPA we are now allowed to host meetings in person for more than 6 people from yesterday. We can reflect on how we want team meetings to work going forward but this also means we can do more to reach out to the wider community. It would be great to continue the example of hosting events around Dartmoor where we can give people a general introduction to ELMs but also specifically update them on this Team’s work and invite them to contribute their ideas. If you would be interested in co-hosting something like this please let the Project Officer know and we can start to set them up.

- Team agreed we should write a single update on the Test and Trial and everyone should send it out via whichever emails/networks they have. Project Officer will draft, although it may be best when we have settled our scorecard approach, it would be nice to update people on that.

Notes from the general discussion (maybe slightly patchier than usual due to being more field notes and consequently exposed to both movement and rain):

- Value should be multiplied based on number public goods delivered by an action.

- Shouldn’t be about activities ___ particular data. Should be about outputs, prescriptive detail isn’t necessary.

- I think when it’s going from the association to Defra it’s about what we’ve got & how it can be enhanced.

- Do you think on the common it was something like what you’ve got here [on the home farm maybe?] and it was about what you bring to the common and the value of that, rather than I’ve got a right of common so I take payment?

- If we get the scorecard right we can expand it out for the common.

- If we join home farm and common together and it limits are stock [across both] it could destroy us.

- We’re all Dartmoor farmers so we’ve got a whole load of stuff in common. We’ve got to avoid too much prescriptive stuff, stocking rates & stocking prescriptions. We’ve got to come up with something simple & easy to assess. We can add points that move us across different levels. 1-4 should be just us as farmers, 10 is the Tier 3 stuff.

- If you’ve got an SBI they know about the land.

- If you don’t file a tax return as a farmer [proposed scorecard question] then some of these charities may have to review their business models in order to comply.

- Why isn’t productivity included in this?/Because it’s not a Public Good

- We start with what we have got now and what that is delivering and then opportunities to enhance that if it’s financially worthwhile.

- In terms of what’s on that parcel you’re almost going back to the ESA times because otherwise there’s unworkable number of categories.

- What I tried to do is get questions in here [here being draft scorecard] which cover all the outcomes; you’d need to put meters of bank in; you’d put in bank condition; banks inherently deteriorate over time so the next question is there scope to enhance or improve?

- A system where you can pick and choose what you want to do.

- You could almost say that each public good has a pot of associated blended finance for capital costs.

- Each [geographical] area will have its own capital payments.

- Indicator species/we’re still looking at proxy indicators

- We do need to record more so we know what we’ve got.

- An annual or bi-annual farm survey

- I am aware of what’s around but I can’t put names to it.

- We’ve got to claim the public goods you’ve never been paid for.

- They appear ready to jump on us – Defra, RPA, NE - at the moment we out winter cows and it makes a bit of a mess but still attracts lapwing or we may overstock and graze hard when drying off but this is only for short periods of time.

- It’s very difficult because who is the assessor who has the insight and judgement to understand.

- That’s why we need facilitation rather than assessment. Someone to come and offer advice, work with us and find a way to go forward.

- There is a big opportunity here because if you do something like, increase the organic matter in your soil, you deliver multiple benefits. It’s not as onerous as it seems. We can quickly see improvement.

- Some of it is, if you have a SSI there are rules so, if you’re following the rules, you should be able to use being a SSI as a proxy.

- LFA was originally a social/economic pay out so we need to cling to that. The opportunity to use it and the arguments for it are still there.

- We are encouraged to engage with the public. In HLS there was payment for educational access and permissive access.

- Register new archaeological features.

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Advisory Team Meeting Notes

The Advisory Team met virtually on the 10th of September with the intention of developing solutions to the problems identified with commons agreements as outlined in this blog: www.dartmoorhillfarmpro

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