This is currently an idea being developed by individuals with the support of Surrey County Council through their Surrey's Greener Future initiative as a response to the declaration of a
Land Hands intends to help connect and encourage people to get involved with their local sustainable farms, giving a boost to the sustainable farming sector, including: organic, mixed farms, permaculture, regenerative farming, community farms, agroforestry, and other ecologically friendly kinds of land management.
Land is our greatest resource, and land use is one of the major contributors to the climate crisis. We need to switch to sustainable land management as soon as possible, which requires support for those with land to improve or change their management.
Local food security is also one of the most critical threats of climate change: farms failing due to extreme weather conditions such as floods and droughts; transport of food breaking down due to economic/political barriers; resource depletion of fuel needed for transport; severe soil degradation due to mass mono-cultural unsustainable linear and polluting farming methods; lack of pollinators due to mass biodiversity loss; crop or livestock disease due to single strain crop genetics and lack of diversity; skills and labour loss due to lack of education/ opportunity/ investment.
'Land Hands' is creating an online network of existing sustainable farms and listing opportunities and incentives at various farms for people to work part-time or seasonally.
Once it's up and running, you'll be able to simply sign up and book in to a farm local to you, whether for just an hour a week, or a day a week, or everyday throughout the summer.
Eventually we want to encourage farming subsidies to move away from large unsustainable monocultural farms and instead support small sustainable farms and those who work on them. This requires lots of further research and development, so we would encourage you to get in touch if this is something you're interested in working on.
If successful, Land Hands would also help re-engage and educate people with where their food comes from, encouraging healthy eating, and bringing people together in their local community. Getting more people outside working physically with their hands would improve health and well-being. People connecting better with the landscape will take better care of it, and giving people skills for home growing their food could become increasingly necessary in the future.
Surrey, UK |