LENs secures investment into regenerative agriculture in Yorkshire

4 March 2024

Plans to protect and restore the countryside with a pioneering landscape resilience programme have successfully expanded into Yorkshire.

The Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs) programme, spear-headed by sustainability consultancy 3Keel with Nestlé Purina Petcare as founding partner, has completed its first trading round involving Diageo, Nestlé Purina, and farmers in Yorkshire, making it the sixth region in Europe to host LENs.

Nestlé Purina and Diageo have partnered to invest in measures across almost 700 hectares of arable land in the Selby, Thirsk, Vale of York and Goole areas of the county. The investment will support growers to introduce a wide range of regenerative agricultural practices, including reduced cultivation systems, improving nutrient use efficiency and introducing grazing livestock into the rotation. These aim to deliver multiple benefits including increased soil fertility, reductions in on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, and improving habitat for farmland wildlife.

Through LENs, the companies work with supply chain partners to enhance on-farm sustainability and production resilience, as well as delivering improvements in biodiversity and water quality. Openfield Agriculture, a British farmer-owned co-operative, and Frontier Agriculture, the UK’s leading crop production business, are involved to engage their farmer networks to bid for and deliver the investments.

Alan Sargent, 3Keel’s lead on the project, says: “Yorkshire is a great example of how an engaged network of local experts and stakeholders can work together. Yorkshire Water is supportive of the programme, while the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority is also helping to loop in local initiatives and organisations to increase the scope and impact of LENs activities.”

The full list of measures in this inaugural trade are:

  • Using nitrogren-fixing crops (legumes) in arable rotations
  • Adopting reduced/no till cultivation systems
  • Using inhibitors with fertiliser to prevent nitrogen loss
  • Integrating organic manure into fertiliser regimes
  • Introducing grazing livestock into arable rotations to promote holistic mixed-farming systems
  • Establishing cover crops in the autumn to prevent nitrogen and water run off
  • Spring cropping over multiple years to allow time in the calendar for over-wintered cover crops

Most measures will be implemented by participating farmers over 2024, some practices will extend over a five-year period. The ecological impact of these measures will also be monitored, through the LENs Monitoring, Reporting and Verification programme, alongside their implementation.
Preparation for a second round of trading, which will expand the network with new partners, farmers and more hectares of measures, is underway now and is expected to be contracted by summer 2024.


About LENs

Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs) bring together businesses and farmers to invest in and deliver nature-based and agricultural measures that make local landscapes healthier, more productive and resilient.

LENs facilitate collaboration between different sectors such as food and drinks manufacturers, water companies, local authorities, national governments, farmers and land enterprises, to influence the quality of the landscape they all rely on.

LENs negotiate and broker a five-step process in a cycle that aligns with the agricultural calendar:

  1. Identify shared commercial land management needs, such as resilient crop production, mitigating flood risk, capacity of water catchments, GHG emissions & biodiversity management, and quality of life;
  2. Businesses invest jointly in solutions to share the cost;
  3. Landowners and farmers bid together for the investment to implement the solutions;
  4. Results are measured, reported and verified by external experts;
  5. Cycle repeats, building a trading community that connects economic activity, local communities, and the environment.
About Nestlé Purina

Nestlé Purina believes that when people and pets bond, life becomes richer. This is why it is committed to creating richer lives for pets and the people who love them through high-quality nutrition and care. For over 130 years, Purina has been one of the pioneers in unlocking the power of nutrition, providing great tasting products made to the highest standards of quality and safety. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A.  https://www.purina.eu/

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray, and Guinness. Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). www.diageo.com

Media contact

For all media enquiries, contact Carole Scott at 3Keel on +44 7356 125115 or carole.scott@3keel.com