This publication brings together the latest evidence about the performance of the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) in England.
Summary of evidence
The CFE was launched in November 2009 as an industry-led alternative to regulation. Formal targets were set in order to assess the Campaign’s performance and a programme of monitoring and evaluation was put in place to monitor progress and to provide a wider assessment of the Campaign. This paper provides a high level summary of the evidence collected during the Campaign.
Entry level stewardship option uptake
Choosing key in-field target options within Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) is one method through which farmers could participate in the Campaign. This paper focuses on the uptake of the relevant options since July 2009 and provides a summary of the position in December 2012.
Field verification of Campaign uptake and delivery of environmental benefits
Uptake of a range of voluntary measures, each with a set of management requirements designed to maximise the environmental outcomes is a key element of the Campaign. Monitoring and evaluation of voluntary measures were carried out by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) on a sample of farms that responded to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) surveys of land under environment management in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Spring interview and field visits were undertaken to assess whether measures were implemented according to management requirements. A range of condition assessments were carried out in the summer, autumn and winter depending on the target benefits of the measures. Condition assessments for 2012 will be available later in 2013.
Evaluation of partnership, local and wider impacts
An evaluation of the CFE was undertaken during the period March to September 2012 by Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI). The evaluation examined the institutional arrangements, operational processes, and implementation of the CFE. The methodology included observation of meetings at national and local levels, interviews with representatives of partner organisations, and an on-line questionnaire for wider stakeholders. A media analysis was carried out, and a range of monitoring and evaluation reports were also reviewed to provide a holistic picture of the overall impacts of the Campaign over the period 2009 to 2012.
Farmer attitudes and evaluation of outcomes to on-farm environmental management
This research by CCRI, FERA and the University of Exeter explores the link between (mainly arable) farmers’ attitudes to environmental management, the practices they adopt, and the perceived and observed environmental benefits arising from formal agri-environmental schemes, voluntary management through CFE and informal provision. The project had 5 main elements: a comprehensive literature review, an analysis of the Farm Business Survey (FBS) Countryside Maintenance and Management Activities module, telephone interviews with 10 expert farm advisors, in-depth, face-to-face interviews with 60 case study farmers and environmental assessments undertaken on these case study farms.