Concerns about access to land for landless and land-poor farmers have been prevalent for years, in the UK and beyond. As Richard Munton observed in a recent paper on landownership in the UK, agricultural land is ‘... increasingly valued for its provision of multiple rather than single goods and services’ (2009: p. s54), meaning that land prices bear little relation to agricultural production, certainly anywhere within commuting distance of urban areas, and small scale farming is effectively squeezed out. Maintaining access to land has thus become a burning issue, certainly here in the UK, although as yet attempts to address it have been relatively small scale and piecemeal. In contrast, the situation in France has begun to change in the last decade, thanks to the work of Terre de liens (Tdl), a nation-wide initiative to acquire and hold land for small scale organic and peasant farmers. With over 100 farms now in its care, Tdl offers genuine opportunities to landless and land-poor farmers in France, both to farm and to connect with their local communities. Building on a recent paper by Martin Large (2012), published in the Star & Furrow, this article seeks to address the intriguing question of whether a similar approach to land ownership and administration could yield similar results in the UK.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2014|