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Shared Assets response to HoC enquiry on the future of UK land after Brexit

Kate Swade

Building on our blog about ‘Brexiting the current land system‘ we recently submitted a response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into The Future of the Natural Environment After Brexit. We argued that there are significant opportunities to create a new, replenishing relationship between people and the environment, by considering the future of land use in its fullest sense.

William Hook, Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero)
William Hook, Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero)

Read our full response here. Our position can be summed up in a few brief points:

  • The key principle of any renewed subsidy scheme should be public money for public goods
  • Too often, discussion and debate about agricultural policy focuses on single issues – either the business model of farming, or the biodiversity impacts, for example. We believe that a successful approach to considering land use and management must consider key sectors like agriculture but also recognise that land management has important implications for public health, recreation and community cohesion. Land use must be understood in relation to its potential to contribute to social value.
  • There is an opportunity to create a more regional and local approach to sustainable land use and to food economies. Any system of subsidy needs to be backed up by a robust and nuanced governance and administration structure that recognises both social value and local and regional contexts.
  • We need a national conversation about what land should be for and how it should be managed and paid for. We need mechanisms that allow people to have a say in how land in their area or region should be used.
  • In our view, the concept of Common Good Land Use offers a way of thinking about what
    • Creates livelihoods
    • Enriches the environment
    • Produces the things people need
    • Creates shared environmental, social and economic benefits
    • Offers community control
    • Contributes towards a more sustainable society

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