Possibly you are thinking, that’s all very well, but my land isn’t suitable for growing food (please hold that thought until you see some of our innovative case-examples!). According to the Scottish Government, 77% of Scotland’s agricultural land is classed as rough grazing or permanent pasture and has, historically, only been used to graze sheep or cattle. As discussed, farmers in these areas have some of the lowest incomes and the highest environmental impact due to the nature of ruminant meat production.
What Farmers For Stock-Free Farming proposes is a shift away from financially and environmentally unsustainable ruminant farming, towards farming carbon capture in the form of native forest and ecosystem restoration. The Scottish Government is already piloting new systems of support for this critical work, without which Scotland will fail to make its ambitious climate change targets.
Experts agree that just reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is not enough, we must also remove carbon dioxide (CO2) the atmosphere. Fortunately, we have experts with over 350 million years’ experience in doing just that – trees! One study shows that regenerating native forests on all rough and permanent pasture throughout Scotland would remove 1,052 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere – the equivalent to offsetting more than 22 years of total current Scottish emissions!