Duchy College, part of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG), has been awarded almost £1.3 million from the The National Lottery Community Fund to run The Farm Net Zero project, which aims to help the farming community move towards net-zero carbon emissions.

The project will create opportunities for farmers in Cornwall to learn about economically beneficial changes they can make to farming practice, through bespoke farm carbon footprint calculating, targeting soil health, peer-to-peer learning on effective action, and support networks for farmers and their surrounding communities.

We are excited to be a part of this, bringing our water quality expertise and farm advice together to inspire communities to act on climate change.

Our Head of Land Management Hazel Kendall said: “Being a partner in Farm Net Zero strengthens our collaboration with Duchy College, enabling us to extend our joint soil carbon activity in the specific target area of East Cornwall, which includes Bodmin Moor.

“We will also be extending our reach into other community groups and interests through outreach events encouraging practical tips and education.

“This will build on our Citizen Science interactions, with the aim to boost understanding and transfer ideas from sustainable farming practices into wider uptake such as community or amenity spaces, domestic gardens, allotments or horticulture.

“Our joint ambition is to demonstrate and incorporate simple steps towards climate resilience, with healthy soils playing a fundamental role in this as well as our experience of smarter steps for water conservation and boosting biodiversity.”

The timeliness of the project’s announcement falls perfectly within the current focus on food, farming and the environment due to Coronovirus and the flourishing interest in climate action. We will be promoting the positives that sustainable farming brings to our local communities through the farmers themselves driving the project, demonstrating linkages with food production, climate mitigation choices and a mutual understanding of how we can all play a role in this.

Nick Gardner, Head of Climate Action at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We’re delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, people and communities across Cornwall will be taking action to reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.

“From 25 years of funding environmental projects across the UK, we know that local community action is at the heart of delivering solutions that not only minimise the impact on the environment, but also offer additional benefits that people and communities can reap.

“In the last few months we have been reminded that communities truly understand their places and spaces, and so often play a vital role in responding in a crisis, and we’re confident with people in the lead communities can tackle climate action and responding to the climate emergency.”

To find out more visit TNLCommunityFund.org.uk