• Harriet Bell

Soil Health - a scorecard approach

As the Dartmoor ELMs farmers Advisory Team starts to conclude our discussions on each of Defra's public good themes the objective becomes how do we bring all of these ideas, concerns, possibilities together into a single Land Management Plan framework. Ideally one which can work on both farms and commons.

We've been looking at outside resources as we go and it was great to have Elizabeth Stockdale, Head of Farming Systems Research at NIAB, give a virtual presentation to the Advisory Team on the soil health scorecard on the 29th of June. Elizabeth's presentation was terrific both because of her high level of expertise on soil health, which it's always good to get a refresher on, but also so we can consider the merits of a scorecard approach as a Land Management Plan framework model.

In the discussion that followed one of the key take away messages for the Advisory Team was the focus on functionality; how each farm and farmer will provide the functions Defra seeks in their own way. So what's key for the Land Management Plan is recognising the functions Dartmoor farms protect, the assessment of that functionality, the identification of appropriate indicators, the communities involved in determining functions and the appropriately valuing those functions.

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