Making the most of ELM for Commons with the Foundation for Common Land

On 15th February we were delighted to have Joe Leaper and Lyndsey Stride from the Foundation for Common Land (FCL) lead a Zoom Webinar session which covered some of the unique challenges and opportunities of managing Commons in new funding frameworks. You can find the slides from the talk here: FCL ELMS for Commons

Lindsey began by introducing the FCL and giving a brief overview of how the organisation has developed and evolved and what its main purposes are.

Joe then presented some insights from the ongoing, lottery funded, ELMs Test & Trial projects FCL are working on. These include:

  1. Landscape Recovery Test and Trial
  2. Road Testing of SFI Moorland

He went on to talk about what we do and don’t know so far about other funding opportunities for smaller commons including the potential to link up multi-common projects under CS+ and other private finance mechanisms that may become available. Joe stressed the need to have a good governance structure and the right mechanisms in place to deal with dispute resolutions and funding distribution as a starting point in order to attract some of the funding sources.

This led on to Lindsey discussing what good governance looks like drawing upon Elinor Ostrom’s key principles before giving an example of a governance structure.

Joe and Lindsey then ran a Q&A session and specifically asked attendees to feed in there thoughts on what opportunities there are for greater collaboration between commons and Herefordshire and what a healthy common looks like to them.

While there is still a lot that we don’t know about the farming support payments being rolled out under the new ELMs scheme,  Joe and Lindsey gave some very helpful pointers and advice on what those involved with the management of Commons can already be doing now to put themselves in the strongest possible position going forward. They want to actively support commons across Herefordshire and invited anyone seeking help to get in touch:

Lyndsey Stride:

Joe Leaper:

There are also lots of open access resources on the FCL website to help and support commoners including instructions and templates for setting up an internal agreement and a ‘Commons toolkit’