Building resilience into Scotland’s rural sector through working with nature and technology

Funded by the University Innovation (UIF) from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), this project raises awareness of the variety of options available to land managers through recent research and technological advances.

  • Funding type: UIF
  • Team: Food & Footprint
  • Topic: Environment, Regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture focuses on restoring ecosystem functioning with an emphasis on promoting soil health and drawing from the knowledge of those who farm the land. By improving ecosystem health, farms not only optimise natural processes that underpin agricultural production, but build natural capital, providing benefits that cascade throughout the wider countryside. Basically, a healthier ecosystem enhances the delivery of public goods including food production, carbon storage, biodiversity and flood mitigation. This project highlights how technology and regenerative agriculture both have a critical role to play in tackling the triple challenges of food security, climate change and biodiversity loss.


Precision farming and regenerative agriculture guides

While focusing on three farming systems: arable, extensive and productive, we have produced three practical guides to highlight precision farming and regenerative agriculture practices, which farmers may be able to successfully integrate within their business to improve farm resilience.

  • Arable: Ecosystems services are the benefits provided by Scotland’s natural capital. For arable land, these services include food production, carbon sequestration, water quantity and quality and nutrient cycling. These services can be enhanced through different forms of regenerative agriculture including agroforestry, crop rotation, cover crops, and minimum tillage, along with many other practices.
  • Extensive: Extensive grassland systems in Scotland are typically low input systems and as they are constrained by environmental conditions, they are relatively unproductive. Such systems are challenging to manage and can require significant time, labour and thought.

  • Productive: Increasing uncertainty around input costs, alongside more extreme weather patterns, has sparked interest in more sustainable farming practices.

Building resilience into Scotland’s rural sector through working with nature and technology