Brighton & Hove’s Farmland: Potentials for a more local and ecological food supply

Briefing

The City of Brighton & Hove has made impressive progress toward improving access to healthy and sustainable food for its residents. Recent research and consultations have indicated a great potential for farmland surrounding Brighton & Hove to be used to further this progress. Much of the farmland surrounding the city is owned by the City Council. This land, referred to as the Downland Estate, comprises 10,000 acres of farmland. While the Downland Estate is providing multiple benefits, with improving farming practices in many areas, there is scope for the Estate to better contribute to the City Council priorities of supporting economies, jobs and homes, children and young people, health and wellbeing, community activity and environmental sustainability. In particular, agroecological farming demonstrates strong potential to meet soil and water conservation
objectives while also meeting objectives for sustainable farm livelihoods, local food, outdoor access and education and protection of water supplies and biodiversity.

This paper discusses the current farmland usage around Brighton & Hove and provides information about other ways in which the estate could be managed, drawing on examples from other council farmland estates in England and evidence from farms in and around Brighton & Hove.

This briefing was produced by the ISSC-funded ‘Pathways’ Transformative Knowledge Network.