Oxfordshire farmers play vital role in plan to restore nature by 2030

For immediate release

Oxfordshire’s environmental leaders are once more rallying together to demand political action on nature recovery, highlighting the vital role of farmers in restoring nature across the county’s landscapes.

74% of Oxfordshire’s land area is farmland, putting farmers in a critical position to reverse declines. Despite Jeremy Clarkson’s reputation as a climate sceptic, the Cotswolds-based Clarkson’s Farm TV series has drawn attention to the potential for government initiatives and market opportunities to support the sustainability transition. But, with rising costs, tight margins, and limited incentives to practise sustainable techniques, most cannot currently afford to transition their operations to meet pressing ecological needs. Strong government support is essential to empower rapid, landscape-scale change.

“We cannot reach our targets without shifting to sustainable, nature-friendly farming practices. But innovations across Oxfordshire show the potential for land-based sectors to deliver net zero, biodiversity, and natural solutions. Our farmers are pioneering low-carbon techniques, ecosystem restoration, and climate resilience. With the right support, they can lead the transition toward a sustainable rural economy built on healthy landscapes,” said Jayne Manley, Chair of the Oxfordshire Environment Board and CEO of Earth Trust.

“Farmers are custodians of our county’s land, and are well aware that the collapse of natural ecosystems and soil health threaten their livelihood. But farmers need robust investment and good public policies, consistently applied, to help them restore nature on their land and transition to nature-friendly farming”, adds Ben Heaven Taylor, CEO of Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment.

The coalition, led by Oxfordshire Environment Board, is urging residents to sign an e-petition calling for ambitious nature policy ahead of 2024 elections.

Camilla Burrow, Chief Executive of Wild Oxfordshire explains: “If we want to see nature recover across Oxfordshire, we all need to work together. Farmers care deeply about the landscapes they work and the biodiversity of their land. But they can’t shift to more sustainable practices without strong public support.”

“We must demonstrate the political will exists to implement these solutions,” added Helen Marshal, Director of CPRE Oxfordshire. “Help us reach 100,000 signatures so decision-makers take notice and make the natural world investments our county’s farmers desperately need.”

To support the OXEB’s efforts to secure a greener future, visit www.oxeb.org.uk/nature-2030.html  and sign the Nature 2030 petition today.