Farmer-led Projects

Piloting an Outcomes Based Approach (POBAS) Phases 2 and 3

Piloting an Outcomes-Based Approach in Scotland is an established NatureScot-led project working with farmers and crofters across Scotland to engage with a range of farm types. In Phase 3 we are working with 80 farmers in clusters in Shetland (in partnership with the RSPB), Outer Hebrides, Skye, Argyll, Strathspey, East Lothian and Galloway. We are developing and testing innovative approaches to delivering environmental outcomes on farms and crofts. In particular, the project is testing the implementation of a less prescriptive, results-based approach, where the level of payment received is dependent on the quality of the outcome delivered

The pilot takes forward the concept of delivering outcomes as a place-based approach founded on the principles of greater farmer engagement, innovation and flexibility, providing better value for money and improved environmental outcomes that can help to contribute to more sustainable and resilient land-based businesses.

Phase 1 & 2 ran from April 2019 – March 2021 and received positive support and feedback from participating farmers, crofters, and stakeholders.  This initial phase focused on working with farmer clusters to identify environmental outcomes that could be delivered for different farm types in their region; developing habitat scorecards for measuring quality of outcomes and monitoring, and setting out the basis for trialling actual payments and management on the ground in future years.

Phase 3 will run from April 2021-March 2023.  Climate and soil outcomes will be tested, along with baseline monitoring using scorecards/guidance.  We will develop payment rate proposals and potentially pay participating farms.  Depending on budgets, this phase may also include capital works to test how scoring picks up habitat improvements.

Further information

Strathspey. ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Natural Capital DIGITAL (Iceni) App

This project is developing a farmer-friendly app and digital platform to enable farmers to better manage natural environments.  The project has been supported through CivTech, working with a small innovative start-up tech company (Iceni) to develop a mobile app and a digital visualisation platform. The aim is to empower farmers to respond to the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and ensure that farmers are empowered as agents of change with actionable data and the right advice, whilst ensuring what they do is aligned to wider environmental monitoring.

Further information

Scotland's Natural Capital Programme

Natural Capital Assessment Template

This project initially funded development of a template for farmers, crofters and land managers to carry out a basic assessment of natural capital on their land.  The template was developed by Cumulus Consultants Ltd.

We have now entered Phase two of the project, which involves piloting and testing the template in the field with 50 land based businesses. This is being delivered by SAC Consulting and Cumulus Consultants Ltd. We are testing with a variety of enterprise types across a wide geographic range. Feedback is being gathered from land managers and advisors involved in the process in order to further refine and improve the template. 

The template has the potential to be used as the basis for whole farm plans in the future.  It is based on strong existing evidence from the Natural Capital Protocol, which is an internationally standardised framework for the identification, measurement, and valuation of impacts and dependencies on natural capital in order to inform business decisions. The NatureScot template seeks to ensure that biodiversity is embedded within the assessment itself.

Hawthorn hedge and ox-eye daisies growing on a field margin at Ballathie Estate near Stanley. Tayside and Clackmannanshire Area.©Lorne Gill/NatureScot


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