Currently in the UK, the entire country’s farmland is in the hands of less than one per cent of the population. Land prices have escalated, increasing by an average of £2000/acre over the last 10 years or so. This can be blamed on a number of issues, property speculation playing a large role. Raising capital to fund a smallholding is also becoming harder, taking out a mortgage to fund a small-scale farming project is no longer an option available to many.
With the average age of a UK farmer being between 60 and 70 and farming skills being undermined, something needs to be done to ensure the future of our food system. Relying heavily on imports, large scale production and fossil fuels we need to build a sustainable food system that is based on small-scale producers. Efforts must be made to make it easier for small scale food producers to gain access to land and also learn skills that are being lost as larger scale production takes over. It must be made easier for young people to gain access to land and build knowledge and skills to farm it in a sustainable manner.
The Landworkers Alliance is campaigning to facilitate access to land for those who want to farm, and for more effective land distribution. Supporting access to land in this way promotes small scale farming which in turn leads to social equality and food security.
Learn more about land access in the United Kingdom and The Landworkers Alliance.