Access To Land

A Learning Platform on supporting farmers’ access to land

A three-year joint learning experience (2018-2021)

The wish to share experience and jointly buildup professional skills around land issues brought together eight land organisations from across Europe in a three-year (2018-2021) EU-funded partnership (Erasmus +) Setting up a learning platform.

The project was a collaboration between Agroecopolis (Greece), De Landgenoten (Belgium), Eco Ruralis (Romania), Regionalwert AG (Germany), Rurbans (Catalunya), the Soil Association (UK), Terre de Liens (France) and Xarxa per a la Conservació de la Natura (Catalunya).

Credits: R.Böhlke, 2021

The partners joined forces to systematise a Learning Platform so as to :

  • Create practical resources documenting grassroots tools and skills crucial for access to land initiatives (how to acquire land and buildings, collect investment, contractualise with farmers, etc.),
  • Make these resources easily accessible to others,
  • Build up the professional skills and knowledge of our organisations’ staff and volunteers who train, advise and support farmers and prospective farmers.
  • Draw from peer learning and European added-value to consolidate and strengthen Access to Land initiatives who face new and increasing challenges (decline of family farming, rising land prices, low rates of generational renewal in agriculture, etc.).

The project was initially shaped in a way to permit face-to-face learning from each other (training sessions, mentoring). In the end, the pandemic had a severe impact on the course of the project. Online collaboration was intensified and, besides publications, project partners opted for organising a series of webinars and producing some videos to share some of their tools and experiences. Mentoring and training sessions, albeit on-line, was a key aspect of the project, as it enabled partners to gain knowledge and advice on some of the burning issues or new areas which their organisations need to address. In this sense, the project was also a helpful incubator for intensifying the usage of remote collaboration tools.

To ensure that the resources produced would be useful beyond project partners, we started by conducting a survey of existing land-related organisations in Europe to identify current knowledge and resources as well as priority needs.

Among the produced outputs are various written publications:

  • Beginners Kit, a practical guide to help setting-up a local land initiative,
  • Guardians of the Land brochure (published in 6 languages) portraying volunteers from across Europe supporting access to land initiatives,
  • a handbook on impact assessment, presenting various approaches for assessing the environmental, social, and economic impact of farms,
  • videos including an interview series on land matching platforms as well as a series of webinars ranging from crowdfunding for access to land to managing land donations.

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