In our latest team feature meet our Rural Adviser Rachel Brooks.
Tell us about your role as a Rural Adviser?
My role as Rural Adviser is diverse. I advise our membership relating to their land management questions alongside sitting on many stakeholder meetings across our region representing our members’ interests. With the current changes facing agriculture, I work closely with our London policy team to be able to help our members with the challenges they face during this period. Being BASIS and FACTS qualified I like to keep up to date with current practical agricultural issues.
What types of member enquiries do you receive?
A wide variety, everything from agricultural transition and environmental schemes to water abstraction, grant funding, carbon trading and renewable energy. With the changes in agricultural policy and climate change I also look at different markets, public or private, for income rather than just crops.
How has your role changed due to Covid-19?
Zoom has become a big part of my daily life!
From your perspective, what are the big topics that our members should be thinking of over the next year?
The agricultural transition period from the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) to Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM) will be big, with cuts to BPS payments from this year and with ELM not a like-for-like replacement, landowners need to start looking at their businesses going forward. Climate change will also be very topical with COP26 being held in Glasgow this year, agriculture is one of the larger emitters of greenhouse gases but is also a key player in helping get to net zero.