Farming and Conservation: Pathways to Coexistence


images from the seminar

This seminar, part of the Grand Challenges Seminars 2024, seeks to explore the challenges encountered by farmers and conservationists who may be seeking very different outcomes from areas of land. The seminar will attempt to examine these challenges and hear potential solutions from both academics and practitioners from different contexts. Core topics to be discussed include: traditional agricultural practices and how much they relate to current practices; economically feasible routes for sustainable farming and conflict mitigation strategies; farming requirements for populations and the negative effects of farming; how we change and develop policy to reflect sustainable practice; and nature based solutions that reflect biodiversity and conservation requirements.


Guest Speakers

Professor Amy Dickman, University of Oxford 

Amy is a Professor of Wildlife Conservation and is the director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. Her research focuses on large carnivores. She predominantly works on projects that improve human-carnivore coexistence across the globe.


Professor Julia Aglionby, University of Cumbria

Julia is a Professor in Practice and focuses on the governance of common land and legal pluralism. She is also the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Penrith and Solway.


Iain Tolhurst MBE, Tolhurst Organic 

Iain has run Tolhurst Organic for over 40 years, and it is one of the longest running organic vegetable farms in England. Tolhurst Organic has won numerous awards, including the PETA farming award in 2023 and has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for the Soil Association BOOM Awards in 2023.



Professor Amy Bogaard, University of Oxford

Amy is a Professor of European Archaeology focusing on farming practice in Europe and Western Asia. She uses archaeobotanical study to open a dialogue between past and present farming techniques.