BASE-UK: A Knowledge-Sharing Network
As part of the ongoing drive towards encouraging greater environmental responsibility across its rural estates, the Duchy of Lancaster has invited all farming tenants to join BASE-UK, a farmer-led knowledge exchange organisation for individuals interested in regenerative agriculture.
Founded in 2012, BASE-UK is an association created to help those who are passionate about the sustainability, health and growth of the soil to share their experience and collective learning with others. Its name stands for Biodiversity, Agriculture, Soil and Environment and it follows 3 core principles designed to improve carbon management and protect soil health, namely:
- Minimum soil disturbance.
- Residue cover on the soil.
Benefits to members include talks by leading industry experts as well as practical demonstrations and knowledge-sharing with their peers, many of whom also host face-to-face farm visits.
Commenting on the initiative, Duchy Head of Rural Carol Hawkey said: “As part of our commitment to improving biodiversity and soil health across our estates, the Duchy has established an environment fund to help our tenant farmers. One of the focuses of this fund is to support education and training and we are building on the success of the soil health workshops which have been so positively received by our tenants over the last couple of years.
“One of the strengths of BASE-UK is that everyone who is a member is willing to share information and first-hand experience, and that it is primarily a farmer-led forum. It can therefore offer both an education and an information network, local and national, which our farmers can call on for practical advice and to exchange ideas.”
In order to encourage tenants to sign up and experience for themselves the benefits that membership of BASE-UK can offer, the Duchy of Lancaster will cover the first year’s subscription fee for those who choose to join the organisation.