The future of mankind can be assured only if we rediscover ways in which to live as a part of nature, not apart from her.
- His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, 2009
To create the guide, the Prince’s Countryside Fund worked in partnership with McDonald’s in response to a survey of farmers. This revealed that:
- 67% of farmers think there is too much jargon used in conversations around the environment
- 88% of farmers want to do more to incorporate sustainability into their farming practices
- 77% had no understanding of the term ‘natural capital’
The glossary combats this by defining many such terms in an accessible way. For example, ‘natural capital’ is defined as:
"The planet’s resources that are valued by humans including soil, air, fresh water and all living things. Natural capital is the planet’s stock of natural resources, for example, the amount of peat in a moorland landscape, clean water in an aquifer, or wild fish in a river. Natural capital puts a measure and value on the stock of nature."
In defining these terms, PCF hopes to make the language of sustainability a common one, not only for farmers but for everyone who has an interest in preserving the natural world. His Royal Highness noted in his speech at the Great Yorkshire Show that
Everyone needs to play their part in helping to protect the planet and tackle climate change but to do so we need to share the same goals and speak the same language. That’s why I am delighted that this guide helps to translate terminology and unjumble jargon so farmers, and all of us, can play our part.
The Prince of Wales also recognised the pressure that farmers feel to move towards sustainability in the face of the climate challenge, stating that
We must recognise the day to day pressures that farmers are under, and provide our support to help them move forward – as they say, you can’t go green if you’re actually in the red. It’s self-evident that people cannot do things differently if they don’t know what is being asked of them, and it is unhelpful perhaps that many terms used to describe environmental processes are somewhat obscure and off-putting.
So I really am delighted that my Countryside Fund has asked farmers themselves what would actually help here, and have put together this helpful booklet, which explains many of the more obscure terms in clear language.
'A-Zero: A farmers guide to breaking free from environmental jargon' can be found here.
To find out more about the work of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, please go to https://www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/. To discover more about the partnership between McDonald’s and the Prince’s Countryside Fund, click here.