ADAS and Fera have worked together to undertake an evaluation of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of Natural England’s Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund (CSFF).
CSFF provides funding for individuals or organisations to promote cooperative action between farmers, foresters and other land managers in a defined land area with the aim of delivering co-ordinated land management and environmental improvements at the landscape scale.
Since the CSFF launch, 98 groups have been established with the number of successful applications increasing each year.
This project was a desk study which aimed to evaluate the success of the Facilitation Fund with respect to both quantitative environmental objectives and social capital outcomes.
The project also involved the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework in order to assess future group activity. This work helps Natural England’s understanding of:
- the delivery of landscape-scale environmental action through the CSFF; and
- the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the delivery of advice and training.
Increased trust and collaboration
The report highlights that the funding has facilitated a more engaged, collaborative and environmentally aware farming community. Although it is too early to comment on environmental outcomes, there are initial signs of positive results to come from the work of these groups thanks to increased trust, confidence and collaboration at a landscape scale.
You can read the report for Phase 1, Phase 2 and several case studies of the different CSFF groups here