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Locally-led Inquiries in Cumbria, Devon and Lincolnshire

This part of the Commission’s work provides an opportunity to delve deeper into issues in three counties in England:

  • Cumbria
  • Devon
  • Lincolnshire

The Commission is partnering with local stakeholders to identify priorities for their area. Local groups drawn from across the local food, farming, countryside systems, as well as from health, housing, local businesses, academics and more, will work on issues that are important to them, generating examples of new and good practices.

Each inquiry is taking a different approach and focusing on different themes. They are being coordinated by Sue Pritchard, Josie Warden and Becca Antink on behalf of the Commission, working in partnership with local coordinators in each county.

We will update these pages as the work from the Locally-Led Inquiries develops. If you have a specific query, please get in touch via email.



The Commission is partnering with several organisations and institutions who work closely with both the food and farming communities and other local communities in the county to identify themes for investigation. These will develop into research and engagement projects delivered by the local partners. Wider stakeholders and the public will be engaged in these initiatives.


The workstreams in Cumbria are still under development. The emerging overarching theme is the relationship between landscape, food and farming and seeks to understand what is needed for communities to be genuinely engaged in shaping changes to their area.



The work in Devon is being chaired by Commissioner David Fursdon. He has convened a Local Leadership Group made up of individuals and representatives from organisations across food, farming, health, economic development, education and civil society. Together this local group have identified key themes for investigation. Each thematic group has a Chair and members from the leadership group who will now focus on the issues and bring in wider stakeholders to the discussion.


  • New entrants to farming 
  • Environment and biodiversity 
  • Health and thriving communities 
  • Food and livestock farming


Approach and theme

The Commission identified the importance of looking at soils and soil health in Lincolnshire. This was chosen because it is an iconic area in the UK countryside also known for intensive, industrial agricultural practices.  Such practices have had seriously detrimental effects on soil quality, water quality and other environmental boundaries. 

We are partnering with the Lincoln Institute for Agriculture and Technology (and supported by The Ashden Trust) to explore how farmers and growers be encouraged and enabled to consider new and emerging science for more sustainable agriculture, and to identify the practices which can support the behaviour and practical changes needed. This will be explored via 2-4 projects working with local farmers and engaging with established networks and ongoing research initiatives in the county.