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Dr. Julian Park:  design and academic consultant Contact

Dr. John Finn:  academic consultant  Contact

Richard Cooke:   design and academic consultant  Contact

Dr. Clare Lawson: updated text July 2008  Contact

Louise Truslove: updated text March 2012 

Special Thanks to:

IT services, University of Reading for advice on web publishing. The RSPB and Game Conservancy Trust for reproduction of articles. The Rural History Centre and Dr. T. R Wheeler for photographs and the companies, institutions and organizations who kindly granted permission for outside links.

All photographs. Richard Cooke/Julian Park unless otherwise credited. All other illustrations Richard Cooke

Also see other work published by the authors

The Agri-Environment: a textbook and practical guide to farm conservation



The English countryside encompasses some of the most varied landscapes in the world, from majestic Moorlands to gentle pasturelands. Much of our countryside has been shaped by farming over hundreds of years. 90% of UK land area is either woodland or farmland. On the one hand , regular food supplies are essential to the economy and population. However, the environment has become a vital consideration. Major advances in agricultural technology over the last few decades have allowed farmers to reduce some of the natural limitations imposed on agricultural production. This undoubtedly brings about benefits in terms  of the quantity (and quality) of food produced, but has also led to growing concern about the long term sustainability of agricultural systems.

Agricultural intensification has led to a loss of biodiversity, changes in landscapes, pollution (for example nitrates in water), reduced countryside access, and threatens many important wildlife areas. The protection and management of many sites depends on individual landowners and occupiers and there are now a variety of schemes and instruments in place which attempt to reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment. They operate at multiple levels; from encouraging traditional farming practices and protecting landscapes to specifying management regimes that will reduce water pollution.

Proposed Outcome

This package will address the specific subject areas of current importance and concern, relating to agriculture and the environment with the aim  of giving a broad understanding of the underlying issues. There are also links to relevant outside sites, documents and databases for those who want to pursue a specific subject area in greater detail.


Instructions for Use

External Hyperlinks are all blue. Use Navigator tools to find your way back to the ECIFM site. We accept no responsibility for quality of information, subject matter and/or opinions expressed on external sites.

REFERENCES: If at any time you need to consult the reference list for a subject, click on the book icon at the foot of each page. All subjects are referenced separately. Access can also be gained to references from the course directory. Each reference section contains hyperlinks to websites used during the construction of ECIFM.


Useful Sites

Useful sites relevant to agriculture and the environment:

Natural England

Farm and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG)

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

University of Reading

School of Agriculture, Policy and Development

BSc. Agriculture

BSc. Agricultural Business Management

BSc. Environmental and Countryside Management

BSc. Animal Science

BSc. Consumer Behaviour and Marketing

BSc. Food Marketing and Business Economics



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