Making Farmland Work for the Public Good: Handbook for Local Authorities

This month, Shared Assets attended a seminar in Brussels on the topic of 'Making Farmland Work for the Public Good', bringing together 70 local authorities, public agencies, community organisations and researchers from Wales, Scotland, Wallonia, Flanders, France, Catalonia, Italy, Romania and Germany.

Materials from across the network in Brussels, March 2023.

The seminar was run by the Access to Land Network for the Ruralization Project, which we have been working on for the last 4 years with a consortium of partners across Europe. Alongside other workshops on the programme, we helped to host two workshops for seminar participants: 'Identifying public land and its potential', and 'Land as opportunity in times of multiple crises': enabling discussion on different strategies that make public land accessible to people to allow food systems, communities, and land itself to thrive.

At the conference, the network was excited to announce the new handbook for local authorities, co-authored by our Non-Executive Director Kate Swade:

(Text from the Access to Land Network)

"The Access to Land Network has released a new handbook to provide guidance for officials and staff of local governments on how to make a difference in the way agricultural land is used and shared, for the benefit of people and the planet.

Local action is key to a regenerative future. Land and the access to farm land is an important element for building healthy local communities - one that often has been overseen in the past by political decision makers. But land can be used for actively shaping policy – and to strengthen local economies.

The present handbook is inviting Local Authorities to imagine the different role they may take one with regards to land - no matter if they are land owners or not.

Packed with ideas, tools, and field-based examples, this 100% numeric resource is easy to navigate and well-illustrated. It hopes to inspire and enable many authorities to take action across Europe to protect farmland and make it work to for the public good.

This handbook is a resource that is free of charge, for online consultation. Eventual adjustments can easily be made and it may evolve over time."

Find the handbook below and feel free to share this resource as widely as possible!

Quick glance infographics: how local authorities can work as owners, facilitators and regulators to enable access to land.
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