Farming with Nature - Earthwatch

Farming with Nature

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We support farmers and agri-businesses to re-imagine the way they farm and produce food.  

Intensive agricultural practices are a major driver of biodiversity loss, soil degradation and water pollution worldwide. But farming and nature can go hand in hand. At Earthwatch we support farmers and agri-businesses to re-imagine the way they farm and produce food in balance with nature.  

Farming with nature means…

  • Learning to ‘read’ nature in order to adapt and evolve with it. 
  • Working with natural processes and closing local nutrient cycles. 
  • Replenishing and protecting soils. 
  • Adapt agricultural practices to local soil, water and weather conditions. 
  • Supporting biodiversity on and around farms. 
  • Minimising use of chemical inputs and pollution to the environment. 
  • Creating resilient and flexible systems  
  • Minimising carbon emissions from chemical inputs, soils, intensive animal husbandry, machinery and transport. 
  • Improve crop protection using natural elements such as beetle banks and species rich meadows. 

Our Work

We use a combination of learning and research  that can be tailored to the needs of individual farmers and businesses. These approaches are designed to address all stages of the transformation in the supply chain, so that we can support transformation from the early start of exploring the challenges all the way through to testing and scaling innovations. This approach is supported by three monitoring tools that address key aspects of a healthy farm system – biodiversity, soil health and freshwater quality. 

Farming with science

Earthwatch partners with groups of farmers to create learning networks in which farmers can collectively study their impacts on water quality, soil health and biodiversity. We provide easy tools and visualise and interpret the data to make it easy to understand what they mean. We facilitate discussion and peer-learning and involve stakeholders and experts to investigate what measures could be taken to become more nature inclusive.

Agribusiness Innovation

We support agribusinesses to conduct applied participative research to develop and monitor new farming practices, integrating better farming practices and helping organisations meet their sustainability targets. Our techniques are especially well equipped to make research practical and easy to understand so you can involve your farmers and easily disseminate and scale results throughout your farming network.

Our Tools

  • Soil Health Toolkit

    Soils are essential for all life-sustaining processes on our planet. They support biodiversity, clean water, climate regulation and so much more – and yet they are being degraded at an alarming rate. Earthwatch’s Soil Health Toolkit platform is a place to share data, generate new knowledge and increase awareness and action to improve soil health across Europe. The Soil Health Toolkit measures soil texture, infiltration, colour, earthworm count and vegetation cover.

  • FreshWater Watch

    FreshWater Watch is a global project run by Earthwatch in which individual researchers and local communities monitor, protect and restore their local freshwater resources. We empower groups all around the world to measure the health of their rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, wetlands and reservoirs. The resulting data provides the robust evidence needed to support efforts to improve water quality. The fresh water data collected is presented via an open-access portal.

  • Biodiversity Monitoring

    We are developing a simple-to-use biodiversity monitoring tool for farmers, organisations and groups to use. This tool, currently in its pilot phase, will help farmers to easily understand and record a baseline of biodiversity for their farms and to monitor how changes to their farming practices affects biodiversity.

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