Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

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Land use in England - priorities for food, nature and climate

delivering an effective land use framework | sustainable land management, net zero & maximising resilience | food production | technology & data | nature restoration

Morning, Thursday, 17th October 2024


This conference will examine land use in England and priorities for food, nature and climate.

With the new Government setting out plans in their manifesto to introduce a land use framework, the conference will be a timely opportunity to bring stakeholders and policymakers together to examine priorities for its development, as well as the direction of policy in the new parliament.

In assessing issues that have been raised by stakeholders concerning the management of competing land use needs, sessions in the agenda will consider effective allocation of land to meet both stakeholder demands and national objectives, and the way forward for tackling net zero targets. Areas for discussion include food production, nature restoration and climate adaptation, as well as the role of land in supporting renewable energy and social wellbeing.

Delegates will explore strategies for building long-term food security, which is a key national ambition for the new Government, and priorities for using land to address challenges for food production. They will discuss the way forward for maximising quality and productive farmland for food production, options for managing increased costs, the role of ELM schemes in mitigating financial barriers, and key issues for improving biodiversity to mitigate risks to future food production. They will also consider opportunities for repurposing poorer quality farmland for nature restoration and renewable energy.

We expect discussion on how a collaborative strategic direction to address nature recovery could be developed. Challenges will be examined for the implementation of sustainable land management at scale, including concerns raised by some stakeholders, such as encouraging greater uptake of regenerative farming practices, options for improving soil health, as well as options for improving public access to nature through accelerated woodland creation.

Further areas for discussion include priorities for leadership and monitoring impact in future policy, the role of local knowledge and adaptability in coordinating an effective land use framework, priorities for delivering climate change mitigation through better land management such as implementing carbon sequestration measures and reducing agricultural emissions output, and key issues for incorporating technology and data into land use practices to inform decision-making.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Lord Cameron of Dillington, former Chair, Land Use in England Committee; Sue Pritchard, Chief Executive, Food, Farming & Countryside Commission; and Professor Lee-Ann Sutherland, Director of International Land Use Study Centre, The James Hutton Institute.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • land use framework: assessing policy proposals and priorities for the new government - whether ambitions go far enough - what is needed from policy and key stakeholders if national targets are to be achieved
  • strategic priorities: evaluating trends in demands on land in England - implementing effective land use coordination - holistic approaches for building long-term sustainability and productivity
  • net zero: maximising land use to reduce emissions - options for utilising the right land for renewable energy - evaluating best practices for sustainable agriculture
  • food production: overcoming barriers to maximising domestic food production - expanding uptake of regenerative farming practices - adapting to climate change
  • sustainable land management: exploring approaches to maximising resilience - improving soil health and water quality - assessing the role of ELMs and environmental schemes
  • nature restoration: unlocking nature-rich habitats to tackle biodiversity loss - increasing public footfall and access to nature within local communities - next steps for woodland and landscape conservation
  • leadership: strategic priorities for the coordination of local and national land use and management - addressing concerns over the application of a potential framework - implementing a multifunctional approach
  • innovation: opportunities for utilising technology and data to tackle land use issues - developing novel approaches and engagement with emerging practices

Keynote Speaker

Sue Pritchard

Chief Executive, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Keynote Speakers

Sue Pritchard

Chief Executive, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission

Professor Lee-Ann Sutherland

Director, International Land Use Study Centre, The James Hutton Institute

Lord Cameron of Dillington

former Chair, Land Use in England Committee


Lydia Collas

Head of Natural Environment, Green Alliance

Susan Twining

Chief Land Use Policy Adviser, CLA

Richard Reynolds

Senior Agronomy Advisor, Anglian Water

David Baldock

Senior Fellow, Agriculture and Land Management, Institute for European Environmental Policy

Professor Richard Pywell

Science Area Head, Biodiversity, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Jenna Hegarty

Head of Policy, Nature Friendly Farming Network

Carolyn McKenzie

Director of Environment, Surrey County Council