COP26 and farming in an uncertain future

Industry leaders join Thrings’ virtual autumn agriculture seminar.

National Farmers Union (NFU) deputy president Stuart Roberts took centre stage at Thrings’ annual autumn agriculture seminar yesterday as food and farming experts gathered online to assess the challenges and opportunities arising from COP26.

Farmers, landowners, land agents, planning consultants, surveyors, accountants and journalists joined experts from Thrings’ Agriculture team to discuss what changes need to be made in the farming industry in light of the global climate change summit.

Stuart Roberts was joined on the speakers’ platform by partner Mark Charter, senior associate Jonathan Thompson and solicitor Diana Miller from Thrings’ industry-leading Agriculture team for the event which was chaired by head of Agriculture, Duncan Sigournay.

Mark Charter, who advises farmers, estate owners and the wide landowner community on a wide range of land matters, highlighted some of the key development issues for landowners and farmers, including drafting considerations for environmental mitigation and biodiversity issues in development and renewables contracts.

Non-contentious agricultural law specialist Jonathan Thompson reviewed the Agriculture Act 2020, the Environment Act – which received Royal Assent this week - and what structure they give the industry from an agricultural lawyer’s perspective. He also focused on some of the priority areas - air, water, soil, Biodiversity Net Gain and resources - and their ramifications and opportunities with this new law.

And Diana Miller, who advises clients on contentious and non-contentious planning matters in England and Wales, environmental issues, investigations and prosecutions, discussed juggling the environment, law and the country’s economic recovery, as well as planning law and farm diversification.

Duncan Sigournay said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Stuart Roberts to this year’s seminar and to hear his thoughts on a number of topical issues, especially given that his appearance coincided with COP26.

“As always, presentations by members of Thrings’ Agriculture team were relevant and as practical as possible. They also flagged up issues including the Agriculture Act and associated Environment Act which are heralding seismic shifts for the sector.”

The seminar - now in its 33rd year – came in the wake of Thrings’ Agriculture team receiving ringing endorsements for their knowledge and expertise from two world-leading legal directories, Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. For more about Thrings’ annual autumn agriculture seminar, please contact Russell Reeves.