This year has continued the momentum of the first year of the Fringe Farming Initiative. Rob Logan chaired and presented 2021’s fringe farming work at the Oxford Real Farming Conference in a workshop, Scaling-up Peri-urban agroecology: Future Strategies, Policy and Practice, which attracted 80 attendees. The workshop was delivered in partnership with Chiara Tornaghi from CAWR, Coventry University, Mark Walton from Shared Assets and Pauline Shakespeare from the Ubele Initiative / Rootz into Food Growing.
Later in the month of January, the Fringe Farming Report came out with national and local policy recommendations to support opening up peri-urban land for agroecological food production. The report was based on research and action planning with multiple stakeholders in 2021’s four city regions (i.e. Glasgow, Sheffield, London and Bristol), national practitioner (hosted by our partner, the Landworkers’ Alliance) forums and policy focus groups. The report will form the basis for much of our work in the coming year.
In March, Aryo Feldman took on the role of Peri-urban Farming Officer. He will be filling the shoes of Rob Logan who was highly valued and made wonderful progress with the Fringe Farming Initiative.
Future highlights for the year are:
- Existing regional partners in Bristol, Glasgow, London, Sheffield, with Shared Assets and Sustain, will actively follow up 2021 city-wide actions plans through collaborative working with local and regional authorities to increase access to land and resources for peri-urban agroecology.
- New area-based partners, including FoodSense Wales (Cardiff), will join and undertake action planning to highlight opportunities, barriers, and what resources are required for next steps.
- Further case study-based documents will be produced, sharing legal, financial, site planning, and community development processes for setting up peri-urban market gardens.
- At a national level Sustain, Shared Assets and Landworkers’ Alliance will step up policy work to address the barriers to more peri-urban food growing; including events bringing together policy makers, practitioners, and civil servants to share policy recommendations, case studies and develop concrete next steps. A national policy briefing will be published in relation to these national events.
- Farm visits with regional and national government will be organised to highlight the integration of peri-urban farms into regional economies and their contribution of public goods.
- Landworkers’ Alliance will pilot with peri-urban farmers, appropriate online and other communication tools for ongoing learning, exchange and mutual support, building on the popular forums of 2021.
- The Fringe Farming partnership will be consolidated to build broader visions and strategy based on action learning across regional action plans and national policy engagement
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Fringe Farming: The Fringe Farming project is a collaboration with partners across the UK to understand barriers, identify land opportunities and local actions, and develop national policy to enable agroecological farming at the edge of cities as part of a green economic recovery.
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