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  • Harriet Bell

Third Scorecard Discussion

On the 27th of August the Dartmoor ELMs Advisory Team continued discussing what the right model of scorecard was to form the basis of a Land Management Plan for Dartmoor's home farms and commons.


  • Now [X team member} had put some meat on the bones, it’s great but it’s far too complicated on a parcel level. Detail needs to be simple at a parcel level. I quite liked the ORC’s Public Goods Tool. It matters more what it’s telling you than what it looks like.


  • I’m still of a mind of a simple approach and working from the Land Management Plan as base data, colour coding each public good to a spread sheet. It needs to be farm based, identify what you already have, then when you drill down the nitty gritty we need some extra elements from the greater good. I think we need to start with a disadvantaged area uplift. I like the Basic, Better, Best approach. Then you could have a collaboration multiplier. The selection list has to be national. The most important thing is that it starts with a map. I still like the one that’s diagrammatic. Then I like something that’s app based, walk the farm, marking what you’ve got. If we don’t move forward now we never will, bailer cord to cable cord, move away from the paper format, I quite liked the fieldmargin app.


  • I looked at [X team member}’s scorecard which is great, it expands out the CSF template which helpfully raises 10 questions to each public goods theme, efficiently going from what you’ve got now to what you could have.


  • Just talking about the app, it absolutely is a great tool and a brilliant way to go but what we do must be available to everybody. You need to be able to do paper or a device. My draft survey has far too many questions because I was trying to turn every question into a yes or no answer, I was just trying to show how the questions could turn to scores and then go into a diagrammatic form. An awful lot of those questions would be whole farm, only some would need to be at a parcel level.


  • I think we’re getting two things confused, the application process and the running and monitoring process. It’s about getting your baseline and knowing what you’ve got. What [X team member]’s trying to build is a basic picture of your farm and your farm business, what’s out there is the next stage, what we need to do is keep it quite simple and I think that the simplicity will then aid the monitoring. So let’s decide what are businesses are, it’s about what we’re doing now. Then you can use whatever system to go beyond that. If people aren’t able to do it they’ll find someone who can. You need that number of questions. We need to split this down between as an application and then ongoing monitoring, trying to ...

Do people want business information about the farm included in the scorecard to reflect that farm's are businesses?

  • In terms of these agreements we don’t want the RPA looking through our farm management details, it’s about the ELMs elements, I doubt one thing can do everything.


  • This has already been discussed in the consultation document on the Financial Statutory Implement [?]. I was on a call yesterday and someone said “we want the public to feed in to provide comments”, I don’t think that’s useful, it’s about the information we want to be in the public domain. It may be too late for us to have our say but it’s about publishing a bare minimum about what you hope to achieve but for the payment it’s about this project has been delivered in this location for this amount of money.


  • As much as I would like to say no I don’t want my business information on it, personally what I think about delivering public goods is that it will take changes in my business to deliver public goods so as much as I don’t want it there because they’re intrinsically linked you may need some element of financial information to help you make those decisions. Maybe there’s an option, you have your scorecard approach and building business benchmarking into it is separate and your choice.


  • I don’t think the dragonflies care about the finances. I feel very strongly that if we can’t amongst us have a good look at all these scorecards no one else will. We’ve got to stop being dinosaurs. You don’t need a phone signal to produce what we’ve got to produce. We can do it more efficiently with a computer.


  • My business is my business and the one thing I do know and the one thing Defra clearly don’t understand is the varying dynamics of farm businesses and structures. The more information we put in there the more they’ll use that against us to make us look silly or compare us with someone we shouldn’t be compared with. It’s frustrating because if you look at the national pilot they want to know every aspect of my business.


  • Same point, would wholeheartedly support that, business information isn’t relevant and some people would be put off. If it’s really important maybe we can have extra points if people choose to include it.


  • I agree entirely, what I’m doing as a business is none of their business. On what was said in one of the last points we need a structure to this. We need an application process and then a monitoring system. Not everyone’s going to do it on a map, it needs to be all things to all people, whether it’s a scorecard or a different name it’s just gathering information which is then quantified in order to attract the funding. It’s got to be simple.


  • One thing about questions is I think if we’re to actually get anywhere with making an improvement the question has to address the route source of the public good, so we need to wheedle out really good questions. I agree that our business is our business up until the point where we accept public money and then I think you have to share public things, where certain stuff is shareable and certain stuff isn’t.


  • What I find is that until we know what the tiers are it’s difficult to say if we want separate out the same scorecard for all the tiers. With not wanting to put all your farm business data into this that could potentially end up in the public domain. What I think I tried to do with the scorecard isn’t a piece of paper, it’s a computer application, it’s just very basic because that’s my computer programming skills. Someone who is more computer literate than me could quickly take that information and make it into a very good pictorial presentation and also have it that your answers could trigger suggestions for improvement like they do with the Hen Harrier Project that can help you decide if you want to improve or not.


  • I still think we’re getting confused, the scorecard is about assessing not what we’ve got but where we are and where we’re going. We’ve done a very good stab about setting up a land management plan but then you can move yourself up the score by doing certain actions and you decide where you’re going to be on the slider. The Tiers should be built into the slider [scorecard] so all the basic stuff is at the bottom of the scorecard and then once you move up to the middle on the scorecard that’s the Tier 2 stuff and you may not want to go there immediately but you may decide to do different things, working your way up and down, which leaves the control to you over what you’re doing but rather than focussing on what you’re going to deliver rather than deciding by public good. I’ve always felt that we’re trying to chase the public good stuff, the more you chase it the less likely you are to catch it. Tell them what we’ve got and then tell them what boxes it’s ticking. Most people understand what they can do to go up and down the scale, they know very well what the public goods mean, so what you’re trying to do is set levels within each of the public goods so if you multiply that up you have permutations of options. Keep it simple


  • I would say we should only concentrate on Tiers 1&2 because I believe Tier 3 will be outside our day to day scope. I strongly believe it’s not questions that form decisions. Maps, land management plans, we don’t know what they’ll be what data they have, will it map what’s on the ground or the potential, it’s about tying in that visual back to the scorecard. I just think we need to identify what is there today, it can’t be individualistic, prescriptions under a heading ticking what you hope to achieve within the timeframe. It’s about recognising that we should be able to self-monitor.


  • I’m losing the will to live again. Let’s try it, if it doesn’t work we can review it and improve it. We need to just back our horse and go for it.


  • We just need proof of the outcomes, how we get it is up to us, each individual farmer can do what they want to get to that outcome.


  • The important thing is recognising what it is we’re actually trying to collate. We need to record all the things we have to do by law, then we move on to what we actually need to record to work out what we’re delivering for this scheme. Then we need a tier of questions about what we wish to deliver. Then a matrix sat behind will site us. The farmer face can be very simple but the data behind it needs to wrap around it. Why can’t we import data created into our farm software systems so we can use it to inform our business decisions without giving government access to it. We’re complicating the questions too early.


  • Scoring need to reflect landlord/tenant challenges/limitations and reflect the fact that tenant's face limitations.

What’s wanted in summary:

  • Colour coded for each public good

  • No business info

  • Visual representation of how you’re doing

  • Few questions as possible

  • No duplicating of questions

  • Basic straightforward questions that anyone can understand

  • Value what you have

What comes next:

Harriet work up with ORC, James and “great and the good” and update on timeline for first draught ready to trial out.

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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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