Community engagement is increasingly important in a world where divides still exist between urban and rural lifestyles, and also in a political landscape where government is moving towards rewarding farmers and landowners for provision of ‘public and societal goods’. However, it can be a stumbling block for many projects. Just how do we get local people on board with what we are doing? How can we share our key messages with visitors and engage with schools? How can we reach people that might be interested to attend or help with events, surveys and monitoring?
Organising an event such as Open Farm Sunday is one popular way to engage with communities. Selling your own produce direct to local people might be another. But as farmer cluster projects get going around the country, some really novel ideas are emerging. We aim to collate and present some of these stories here on the website, to help encourage and inspire others.