There is a series of free online workshops on farm payments for livestock farmers in the south west.

The Soil Association is hosting the series of workshops for beef and lamb producers to help prepare for changes and opportunities as we leave the Common Agricultural Policy.

The first part of the pilot programme, which is funded by Defra, will be a webinar that covers the proposed changes to farm payments, the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, public money for public goods and how livestock farms can boost their resilience.

Liz Bowles, head of farming at the Soil Association said: “Farmers across the country are facing huge changes to farming policy – and with that, huge uncertainties. These workshops are a critical opportunity for beef and sheep farmers to come together to ensure that not only are they ready to weather these changes – but that they are able to thrive under new legislation. The time to prepare is now.”

The first webinar takes place on July 1 from 6.00pm to 7.30pm and the programme is free.

To get involved, sign up at

Read more: Sources of help and advice for south west farmers during Covid-19 crisis

Farmers can then take part in a series of themed workshops to explore in more detail some of the topics touched on during part one.

The workshops take place throughout the coming months and focus on animal health planning, benefits of agroforestry, familiarising with the proposals for ELM and grazing management.

Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, the online programme will be followed by face to face meetings in the autumn in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

The programme offers a practical way for farmers to explore the challenges, impacts and opportunities of the upcoming changes and boost their businesses resilience and respond to the climate emergency through the delivery of environmental benefits.

The workshops will explore what the proposed changes mean for individual livestock businesses, and support farmers to develop a seven-year plan.

The Soil Association is able to offer one on one support alongside the opportunity to connect with other farmers to consider potential opportunities for collaboration, businesses and the local economy.