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Module - Farm Business Opportunities

This Farm Business Opportunities module will enable you to evaluate business opportunities relating to environmentally sustainably farming and farm diversification in the uplands. During farm visits you will explore upland farm diversification and regenerative farming. You will develop financial enterprise analysis skills and gain knowledge of relevant funding opportunities for public goods on upland farms. You will model the impact on farm finances of entering one or more environmental land management (ELM) schemes.

Small group taught sessions will take place at our Ambleside campus, at nearby upland locations and online.

Provisionally, this course will next be offered in 2025.

To receive an email alert when course applications and bursaries open, please register your email address here.

This course is one of a set of continuing professional development (CPD) modules with an applied focus which respond to the challenges facing practitioners of environmental land management in the UK's uplands. Farm Business Opportunities may be completed as an individual module or as part of the set.

Farm Business Opportunities cover image

Course Overview

In the changing economic context of upland farming, new opportunities are arising for environmentally sustainable farming and farm diversification in the uplands, linked to public goods.

A baseline enterprise analysis for an upland farm will be the starting point to evaluate a variety of farm business opportunities. Through farm visits, you will encounter upland farm diversification and sustainable farming methods, including regenerative grazing. Taught sessions will guide you through the economic considerations. You will explore funding opportunities for public goods such as biodiversity and carbon sequestration and you will model the financial impact of entering one or more Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes.

The course includes farm visits, workshops and seminars in Ambleside plus online evening lectures. The in-person taught days are spread across a two-month period so that the course will often be possible to complete whilst working.

On this course you will...

  • Complete a baseline financial enterprise analysis for an upland farm.
  • Understand the farming, environmental and diversification opportunities available to upland farmers.
  • Develop the budgeting skills needed to critically assess alternate systems for achieving strategic goals.
  • Discover the impact on farm finances of entering one or more environmental land management (ELM) schemes.

Course Structure

What you will learn

Introduction to farm accounts and business planning including use of suitable spreadsheets, concepts such as gross margins, fixed and variable costs and net profit.

Benchmarking and modelling financial scenarios.

Farm planning for environmental sustainability and resilient farm businesses including tax and tenancy implications; regenerative grazing economics in the uplands; maximum sustainable output; on-farm energy generation.

Economic opportunities through Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes

Blending public and private finance opportunities – opportunities and risks

Opportunities for on-farm diversification in upland areas

Student quote (2023):

"I enjoyed the collaborative nature of discussion as the course was attended by a variety of farm advisers, land managers and farmers."

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