The landscape itself is one of the most beautiful and diverse in England, requiring varied approaches to what is grown and how it is farmed and managed. The area attracts many visitors for its food and hospitality, famous for the Cotswolds and historic Forest of Dean, bringing real strength to the county.
If our urgent environmental targets are to be met, land uses must reduce emissions and increase sequestration. The debate is complex.
We know globally approximately 25% of emissions come from the agri-food system and that locally Gloucestershire County Council has set an ambitious target for reducing the county’s GHG emissions by 80% by 2030.
The impact of meat from imported intensively-farmed animals fed on grain is not comparable to local animals raised on pasture as part of a rotation. We must meet the challenges of climate change and nature restoration, while ensuring we have resilient supplies of nutritious food.
Despite world-leading environmental work, a current shortfall is reported in addressing the county environmental targets and the food and farming system is not clearly recognised as a key contributor within the Gloucestershire plan. How we use our land is a key contributor to solving many of the crises of our age: access to food, housing, green space, climate change, transport and employment.