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< Return to nature-based solutions in the news

Call to return half of UK farmland to nature

January 13, 2020
News item image Returning farmland to nature will require a reduction in meat consumption

There are signs that the UK government is shifting in the direction of reducing the extent of farmland, and returning swathes of land to nature. Notably, Professor Sir Ian Boyd, former chief scientific advisor to the UK government, has advised that half of the nation’s farmland should be converted into natural habitats. This is estimated to require a decrease in cattle and sheep production by 90%, with farmers being paid instead for the maintenance of ecosystem services like carbon dioxide removal and flood prevention. This will also require reduced meat consumption by British people, so that meat demand is not met by fresh deforestation for farmland in other countries. Read the Guardian article here.