Authored by Kim Graham, our Research Coordinator, this literature review explores practices which think differently about public ownership or management of land. The review builds on previous work examining County Farms as an opportunity to deliver a diverse, thriving and ecologically abundant farming system.

In ‘Reviving County Farms’, the report from the first phase of research which the current project seeks to build upon, we suggested that County Farms could deliver wider public benefits which would help address some of these issues - from being a much-needed potential source of local food, to supporting people to lead healthier lives and do more meaningful work, to enhancing biodiversity, in order to build greater community resourcefulness to withstand similar future crises.

The Research Team for this project - Shared Assets, the New Economics Foundation, and CPRE, the countryside charity - believes there is an important role for publicly held assets and local communities to play in this work. However, we understand that the traditional model of local authorities owning and managing farmland may not always be the best way to achieve this in the current context, where years of austerity, and now the pandemic, have put extreme pressure on local government budgets, and the lives of the public they support.

In order to provide inspiration for the future rejuvenation of County Farms, and perhaps the broader repurposing of publicly held land in the UK for the common good, this Literature Review summarises some of the most promising and relevant examples of public ownership and management of land from the UK and further afield.

You can financially support what we do at Shared Assets to reimagine land for the common good, by donating here.
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