Inspiring and Enabling Climate Action Proposal

With climate emergencies, an international pandemic, poor harvests, and Brexit uncertainty, we are potentially facing a perfect storm. Science tells us that we are reaching a global tipping point and we need to act now to avoid mass extinction and climate crisis.  Government action can be slow due to the complexity of challenges that we are facing in the UK, but communities need support now to help them take local action to become resilient, while also delivering strategically the global targets we must achieve.

In this space, there is a vital role to be played by environmental charities offering support on the ground and helping to realise a bright future by tackling the causes of climate change and building resilience of the communities and businesses it effects. We believe that positive change is possible, but we must act now.

The Farming and Wildlife Advisory SouthWest has been championing and delivering an approach we term as “Integrated Local Delivery” (ILD) in the Southwest of England for over 10 years. The approach inspires and enables farmers and communities to come together to build resilience, supported by an all-inclusive partnership of organisations working together at a local level. 

There is an opportunity to roll out the ILD approach across England and the UK, by training more specialist advisers/facilitators to enable more communities to act now on climate emergencies. As the UK hosted COP 26 in September 2021, we could demonstrate the approach internationally as a delivery framework for locally driven climate action for other countries to follow.


How does Integrated Local Delivery work?

Integrated Local Delivery requires a trained and enthusiastic facilitator to bring together and value all stakeholders within a local area, to scope risks and opportunities at a landscape scale. The approach inspires and enables communities to lead on the protection of their local environment and how they can be connected to a range of locally relevant government, charitable and corporate organisations working together in support.

Integrated Local Delivery:

  • Looks to work within the lowest appropriate national administrative structure (i.e. parish, ward or town), valuing local knowledge, culture, and sense of place of the people that live there.
  • Clarifies which statutory and non-statutory partners have an interest in the area so that they can be involved, and their strategic aims and objectives can be identified and delivered within that administrative area.
  • Seeks to deliver a wide range of strategic objectives within the defined area to maximise the wider landscape scale potential and maximise effective use of public, private and charitable funds.
  • Seeks to strongly support and value the role and knowledge of the farming and local community, valuing and enabling local action and releasing local resources.
  • Connects groups of communities to farmer groups working throughout river catchments to help manage the essential resources of water to build resilience for food supplies, healthy soil, habitat management, biodiversity recovery, natural flood management and carbon capture.
  • Promotes the essential role of facilitation through an independent third party (specialist adviser) to develop or support a local group that acts as the collective discussion forum for the area, with clear lines of communication to those public agencies with legal responsibilities;
  • Incorporates the Parish Council (or other local government framework) into the communication structure of the local group to ensure continuity beyond project timescales.
  • Provides a forum for all those within the defined area to act and offer knowledge and resources to achieve multi objective delivery with an inclusive list of partners.
  • Identifies multiple funding opportunities and match funding through joined up partnership working.
  • Enables people to understand how to take meaningful action, and in so doing improves social cohesion, health and wellbeing.


Why is the ILD approach needed?

Without support, people within communities struggle to interact effectively with an often complex web of governance. This wastes time and resources, with stakeholders duplicating work and sometimes working against each other to attain conflicting objectives, often achieving little. The essential role of an adviser can be the catalyst for swift and coordinated action, enabling the resource of the community to act in a meaningful way, helping with environmental and economic recovery, health and wellbeing.  Policy support for advisers has been nearly achieved 3 times in the last 15 years, but every time a political shock (including recession, comprehensive spending review and Brexit) has meant starting again from the beginning with policy makers. We seek support for grass roots action to circumvent the ongoing endeavours for policy support. Delays in taking action on climate change will be more costly in the long term to government and we feel that there is much to be gained by demonstrating delivery on the ground. Charitable Trust have a unique role in being able to amplify the message, highlight the urgency and enable action to happen now.

You can download the ILD key documents by clicking the links below:


Further Reading on the Integrated Local Delivery Approach

2011 - Research document ‘Inspiring and Enabling Local Communities; an integrated local delivery framework for localism and the environment’ funded by Natural England and carried out by CCRI, presented at many national conferences. Details of other CCRI and FWAG SouthWest projects using ILD can be found here.

2012 - Economics of Co-ordination in Environmental Stewardship - International research by Defra into ILD showed the approach to come out as the most cost-effective delivery framework when compared to other international case studies.


The ILD approach has also been applied to several other projects, including:


In 2016 Jenny Phelps was awarded an MBE for ‘Engaging Communities in Environmental Protection’.


In further case studies projects:


- Presentation at Groundswell 2021:Environmental Land Management (ELM) Scheme – the Catalyst? Realising a shared vision – or missing the opportunity of a generation


- Presentation at Oxford Real Farming Conference: Farming, Community Advice and Support for our Climate and Nature Recovery

- Presentation at Groundswell 2022: Farming & Community Advice & Support for our Climate & Nature Recovery

- Podcast with Green Alliance, September 2022: Giving communities the power to shape their landscapes

- Partnered with Ruralink to introduce the Rural Facilitator course: Ruralink Facilitator


- Presentation at Cereals, June 2023: Using Farm Clusters to Access Blended Finance

- Presentation at Groundswell, June 2023: Answer Time


FWAG SouthWest Aims

Further develop a training course to share the approach so that specialist advisers be upskilled from a comprehensive partnership, being trained how to integrate delivery and funding on the ground to enable action now.

Support the policy of 30 full time advisers/ conveners to roll out integrated delivery across the country in 2022, one in each county to help demonstrate the framework in action through community networks and existing strategic partnerships. (LNPs, LEPs delivering LNRSs)

FWAG SW and partner organisations to roll out training and support for more advisers throughout 2022- 24, through developing a national network for farm advice, with the aim of seeking government support by the start of the new Environmental Land Management Scheme in 2024. Through partnership working, brought together by FWAGSW and Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN), stakeholders are coming together to develop a national farm advice network to help support the transition to agro-ecological farming and its benefits to society. This will help create a structure around the complex architecture of farm and community advice. It will explore the many roles needed to deliver transformational change, and how they can complement each other. It will also sign post to the need of accreditation and the many different training opportunities and skills needed for both farmers and advisers through agricultural transition.  This framework for coordinated training, spatial mapping coverage for advice and support provision including links to agro-ecological education; natural capital mapping and systemising data; advice provision, integrated local delivery, facilitation skills and training.  It will demonstrate of alignment of agro-ecological learning linked to UK Habitat classification and the Global Farm Metric.  It will also create a foundation to support the Real Farming Trust and its development of the College of Real Farming and Food Culture. It will also demonstrate how to develop investment ready farmer led projects for blended finance.

Demonstrate to policy makers from extensive national case studies the economic, environmental cost benefit of funding specialist advisers/facilitators nationally (one per 10 parishes) to integrate funding and release social capital. This would enable locally relevant action linked to the delivery of the 25 Year Environment Plan, build resilience, and respond to climate emergency. These advisers could be supported by Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery (at a county level) in ELM and blend finance from catchment partnerships, LNPs and multiple developing funding streams like BNG, Carbon Markets etc


For further information or if you have any questions please contact [email protected]