Envi­ron­men­tal Land Man­age­ment Scheme (ELMS)

ELMS (Envi­ron­men­tal Land Man­age­ment Scheme) is intend­ed by Defra as the sys­tem by which pay­ment for pub­lic goods’ ful­ly replaces the Basic Pay­ment and Coun­try­side Stew­ard­ship Schemes for farm­ers by 2028. LEAF is involved in four of the first round of test and tri­als”, one of which is con­cerned with the levers need­ed for high qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion­al access.

ELMS (Environmental Land Management Scheme) is intended by Defra as the system by which ‘payment for public goods’ fully replaces the Basic Payment and Countryside Stewardship Schemes for farmers by 2028. LEAF is involved in four of the first round of “test and trials”, one of which is concerned with the levers needed for high quality educational access.

We are utilising the pre-existing and a successful Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS) developed by the Access to Farmers Partnership) and have trained an initial ten farmers. We are proud that CEVAS delivers training across the plethora of outdoor learning, not just on farm, but woodland and parkland settings too, which is why it is so versatile and successful in its approach. It ensures that those who attend understand the Industry Code of Practice: Preventing and Controlling Ill Health from animal contact. Additionally, it looks at how to ensure visits/opportunities are provide for a wide variety of ages, groups and abilities.

We have also been working with The Country Trust on an amendment to the Agriculture Bill. The amendment will be tabled by Lord Curry a long-time supporter and friend of LEAF Education and the catalyst for the successful Countryside Classroom Partnership. As previously developed by The Country Trust with our signatory support last year, it has been proposed amending Agriculture Bill. Part 1, section 1 (b) which currently states: supporting public access to and enjoyment of the countryside, farmland or woodland and better understanding of the environment;

to:

(b) supporting public access to and enjoyment of the countryside, farmland or woodland increasing understanding, knowledge and skills relating to the environment, farming, food production, and the impact of climate change on agriculture;

Supporting statement

“This amendment allows the Secretary of State to provide specific financial assistance for the work of furthering understanding, knowledge and skills. It differentiates the 'public good' resulting from educating and engaging people from that which arises from supporting public access and enjoyment.”

We completely agree with The Country Trust that countryside, food, farming and climate change education is woefully absent from the new Agriculture Bill. And the phrase ‘better understanding of the environment’ does not articulate the necessity and importance of educating the public about food, farming, climate change and the countryside.

In addition, we are talking to wider partners around our discussion and ask around future ELMS payments. We are working on seeing that ‘educational access’ payments are seen within tier one and tier two of the new three tier system to maximise the positive impact that this will have on young people, moving forward what might have been seen as a nice to do is becoming ever increasingly a need to do – whether this be supportive of environmental understanding and engagement, physical and mental health benefits or a genuine passions and desire in our future generations to be more actively involved in the direction of our natural capital. We would hope to see that funding is also available not just as capital investment but also training and support providing sensible, practical and proportionate guidance to ensure safe, high quality educational visits and experiences.

Finally we are working across sector, with our wider partnership of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom – where there is already support from the Department for Education for schools to look for the Quality Badge – this already includes CEVAS training as part requirement for the Quality badge.