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Tue, 31 Jan


NFFN webinar: High Nature Value Farmland

The potential of low intensity farming and crofting methods for habitats rich in diverse wildlife and how we can support them

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NFFN webinar: High Nature Value Farmland
NFFN webinar: High Nature Value Farmland

Time & Location

31 Jan 2023, 19:00 – 21:00

About the event

From Durness in the north, down the western seaboard and across to the Cairngorms, some 40% of Scotland has been identified as High Nature Value farmland. This is where low-intensity farming and crofting methods – primarily livestock production – have created a rich diversity of wildlife habitats. This puts Scotland in an enviable position and this type of farming and crofting should be viewed as a national asset and supported in the face of our global biodiversity and climate crises.

However, historically with the focus on support for intensification and production at all costs in agriculture, this has not been fully recognised. Financial support for HNV farmers and crofters has not been prioritised and the future of these livelihoods, and these habitats hangs in the balance. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity in 2023 to change this with the new Agriculture Bill in Scotland. As Davy McCracken states

‘Some of us have been highlighting this for decades whilst policy makers have paid lip service to the HNV term but done little to support these systems effectively.’

Join HNV farming expert and campaigner Davy McCracken, crofters Domhnall McSween (Sweeney), Helen O’Keefe and farmer Ed Burrell to learn more about the significant environmental, social, cultural and landscape values these systems hold and explore how to achieve greater recognition and support within the future payment framework.


Davy McCracken, Davy is Head of Department of Integrated Land Management and Head of Hill & Mountain research centre at SRUC. Davy is involved in a range of research and demonstration projects investigating the economic, social and environmental resilience of upland livestock systems and seeking to understand the trade-offs associated with changes to those systems.

Helen O’Keefe, Crofter and owner of the Elphin Tearooms and co-creator of the The Green Bowl: Helen’s approach to crofting presents an inspiring vision for embracing diversity in land use and how collaboratively sharing the local marketplace can unlock a prosperous rural community – where a healthy landscape underpins food production to the benefit of higher quality produce and abundant wildlife.

Domhnall MacSween, Domhnall is a Councillor An Taobh Siar agus Nis, full time crofter raising sheep, cattle, pigs and hens and native Gaelic speaker on the Isle of Lewis. He sells meat boxes direct to customers and creates knitting yarn, Harris Tweed and lambskin rugs from his livestock. Also presents TV programmes for BBC ALBA.

Ed Burrell – Ed and Samara farm on the Isle of Islay at Cornabus – in their words ‘A vet & an ecologist learning to farm on the beautiful Isle of Islay. We rear Limousin and Hereford cross calves & Texel cross lambs in a nature-friendly way.’

This event is part of our Agroecology: Enabling The Transition webinar series. A project bringing farmers and crofters together to learn from each other and support Scotland's transition to more sustainable and regenerative agriculture. This project is run in partnership by Pasture for Life, Propagate, Nature Friendly Farming Network, Soil Association, Landworkers' Alliance and Nourish Scotland.

If you have any questions or problems accessing the Zoom link please contact: /

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