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Farmers in Greater London urged to join biodiversity drive

Sustain's London food growing is seeking London’s peri-urban farms to help track nature and give wildlife a boost, through their new Growing for Nature campaign.

Bird. Credit: Daniyal Ghanavati | Pexels

Bird. Credit: Daniyal Ghanavati | Pexels

The new campaign run by Capital Growth and supported by the Mayor of Londoni, provides training and materials to help landworkers to identify and record species on their sites and create habitat for wildlife. 

Farmers are encourgaed to take the 5 minute survey by 31 May to be entered into a draw to win prizes worth up to £400 to help their farm.

According to DEFRA data, there are over 170 farms around the outskirts of London who are growing grain, grazing livestock and producing fruit and veg for the capital. However, very little is known about most of these farms and Capital Growth is working to find out more.

"We know that many farmers are keen to support wildlife so we are particularly interested in how London’s peri-urban farms are contributing towards habitat management for nature in the capital and how the Mayor of London can support them to do more over the coming years" commented Rachel Dring, Capital Growth Coordinator

With the alarming loss of nature in the UK - data shows that 1 in 6 species in the UKii are at threat and the UK is in the bottom 10% of countries for biodiversity abundanceiii – farms have the potential to provide sanctuary for insects and mammals, with many farmers using nature friendly and organic farming principles. 

But there are also barriers and challenges for farmers who must balance nature conservation with making ends meet. Sometimes this means taking hard decisions to remove hedges, drain wetlands or use more chemicals to increase yields.

Capital Growth is working with the GLA’s Nature Recovery Strategy Team to better understand these tensions and gain a clearer picture of how farms around London’s edge are supporting nature and how they'd like to do more.

London’s farmers are invited to do a short survey and become part of the Growing for Nature campaign.  Answer 10 simple questions about how you manage your site, what habitat you have and what kind of wildlife you monitor.

Submit a survey by 31 May and be entered into a prize draw to win £400 in vouchers of your choice.

Take the survey



i Capital Growth are working in partnership with the GLA's Nature Recovery team, who are undertaking an ambitious project to develop a biodiversity baseline for London that will inform local Nature Recovery Strategies in each borough.  



Published Monday 8 April 2024

Capital Growth: We believe everyone should have the opportunity to grow food as part of a healthy, resilient food system and we are working with our network of growers in London to make this happen.

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