At Shared Assets we believe that our land and natural resources should work for everyone.
Land based social enterprises are pioneering the development of new models of land management that deliver shared social, economic and environmental benefits, but they face significant challenges.
We undertake research, policy and advocacy work to identify what needs to change so that common good approaches to land management can thrive.
We work on a range of policy issues that are standing in the way of common good land use.
Practitioners, landowners and policy-makers all need knowledge and information about current best practice and existing models and challenges. A strong evidence base will also be crucial to make the case for systemic change.
Our research spans a broad range of land-based issues, and is communicated through our publications, thought-pieces and events. We bring together our knowledge of innovative approaches to practice on the ground, with the latest research and policy recommendations where necessary. Previous research partners have included the Forestry Commission, the National Trust and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
We worked alongside CPRE, the countryside charity, the New Economics Foundation, and Who Owns England? to produce this report on the declining state of county farms – farms owned by local authorities meant to help new people into farming – in England, and suggest how they can be revitalised to increase the amount of land used for the common good, by helping deliver a diverse, thriving and ecologically abundant farming system.
We were funded by Power to Change to find out more about people in England using land for social and environmental benefits (who we call ‘common good land users’), particularly focusing on the activities of such groups, their networks, the barriers they are facing, and the support they require to succeed. From this research, we produced a detailed report giving a snapshot of the sector in 2019, and four ‘quick guides’ aimed at various audiences interested in learning more about common good land use – potential common good land users, current common good land users, landowners, and funders and policy makers.
You can see the research report here, and the ‘quick guides’ to common good land use here.
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Common good land use
At Shared Assets, we meet and work with many inspiring land-based social and community enterprises. These models of common good land use illustrate some of the most successful examples of enterprising community-led land management in the UK. Here are some examples.
The Oxford Real Farming Conference is an established start to the new year and this year we will be there in force with our Research Coordinator Kim Graham, our Projects Officer Ọlá Ayòrindé and our Director Mark Walton all in attendance. Below Mark looks forward to some of the highlights of a packed programme.
CPRE, the countryside charity, is releasing a new research report today on county farms that we helped put together – but what is a ‘county farm’, and what did we find out? Research Coordinator Kim explains below.
Mark Walton has a look through the manifestos to see what the major parties are saying about land – and reflects on the difference between the piecemeal approach to land issues in England and the more strategic approach taken in Scotland.