Red clover (Trifolium pratense) growing in the Battleby meadow ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

The Role of Agroecology

There is an ongoing debate about how we can continue to produce the required levels of food the world needs while we minimise environmental impacts. The 'sustainable intensification' concept has been proposed as a way to join these two objectives, although the concept is subject to a range of interpretations.

There is also a growing interest in how agroecological approaches can make a contribution to the world's food security.

Agroecology is about integrating ecological principles into the design and management of agricultural systems. It incorporates the long term protection of natural resources as an element of food production.

The Land Use Policy Group has produced a number of research reports and organised seminars to look further into the role of agro-ecology and sustainable intensification.

The most recent ones looking at Transitions to Agroecological Systems: Farmers' Experience and Promotion of agroecological approaches: Lessons from other European countries.

In 2015 we published a report that looks at agroecological approaches to ‘sustainable intensification’ – one option for meeting food demand while minimising environmental impacts. Agroecology is integrating ecological principles into the design and management of agricultural systems: Role of Agroecology in Sustainable Intensification.

Agroecological Transitions 

Case studies - Lakes Free Range Egg; Home Farm; Pitt Hall Farm; Durie Farms; Balcaskie Estate.

Seminar presentations

Edinburgh - June 2015

Agroecology and sustainable intensification - Nic Lampkin

Agroforestry and sustainable intensification - Stephen Briggs

London - Jan 2015

A farmer's perspective on agroecology - Phil Jarvis