Reports Fringe Farming

How can peri-urban farming flourish in the Bristol region?

Read Bristol Food Producers, Shared Assets and Sustain's joint findings and action plan to develop agroecological market gardens at the edge of Bristol city.


As part of the UK-wide Fringe Farming project, Sustain has worked with Bristol Food Producers and Shared Assets in 2021 to explore and understand the barriers and opportunities for agroecological peri-urban farming in the Bristol area through desk research and action planning with stakeholders. This briefing summarises key findings and recommendations including an action plan to take these forward.

The briefing sets out a strong business case for enabling ‘fringe farming’ to expand in the area, to become a mainstay of a sustainable, just, localised food economy, providing good jobs, education and training, better access to nature, and high quality, affordable food for all, contributing to greater resilience of the city region.

The document also provides information on the current picture of agroecology in the Bristol region, existing regional governance commitments, and case studies from Bristol and elsewhere as sources of inspiration for future mobilisations.

Findings from this briefing focused on the Bristol region will feed into a collaborative process, that includes action research in Glasgow, London and Sheffield, to generate best practice and policy recommendations for agroecological peri-urban farming across the UK.

Key Asks for Bristol City Council include:

  • Provide clear aims and objectives for the asset of the council smallholdings that also take account of social and environmental factors.
  • Resource the Smallholdings and Allotments team to be able to manage the Bristol City Council smallholdings in a way that will maximise the potential of these sites (in terms of food production but also income generation for the council), or outsource this to an external community organisation. This would include reviewing existing holdings and identifying underutilised land. We acknowledge this comes with a financial cost to the council but a huge potential for social, economic and environmental benefits.
  • Implement a process for matching up available BCC land with new entrant farmers (potentially managed in partnership with Bristol Food Producers).
  • Recognise horticultural training as a skills priority for Bristol, with a commitment to making this training accessible to everyone in the city.

How can peri-urban farming flourish in the Bristol region?
21pp - 2021 | 1180Kb


Published Tuesday 10 August 2021

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.

21pp - 2021


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