The Future of Food, Farming and Nature - BBOWT Annual Conference & AGM 2017

Sat, 14/10/2017 - 10:30am - 4:00pm

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Event details

Sat, 14/10/2017 - 10:30am - 4:00pm

This year our AGM and Conference will be held on Saturday 14 October at the John Henry Brookes Building situated on the Headington Campus of Oxford Brookes University. The programme timings are given below.

Dramatic changes are afoot affecting the ways our countryside is farmed and looked after for wildlife. Farmers, landowners and everyone who cares about our natural spaces will be interested in the debate about The Future of Food, Farming and Nature at this year’s Conference.

It is vital that farmers are supported financially to enable them to restore and create more wildlife-rich landscapes. BBOWT encourages nature-based farming practices, outlined in the Strategic Plan 2016-2021: Be part of nature’s recovery.

Prof Dieter Helm will chair the Conference debate, which includes speakers from conventional and conservation farming, former civil servant who worked in Brussels and The Wildlife Trusts. I hope you will come along and take part!

Prof Dieter Helm is an Official Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford, member of the LEEP Advisory Board for the University of Exeter, author of Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet, and Chair of the Natural Capital Committee.

In July this year  the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove MP, announced that he had asked the Natural Capital Committee to draw up advice on what the Defra 25-year plan for nature should achieve. The Committee is due to report in September.

Minette Batters, NFU Deputy President who runs a diversified, mixed farming business in Wiltshire, including livestock and arable alongside a wedding and catering business. Minette frequently takes part in public debates on the future of food and farming, and is often interviewed for local and national media.

Ian Boyd, a lifelong farmer from the Cotswolds and trustee of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, made the transition from intensive arable farming to an organic mixed farming system, where Pasture-for-Life cows and calves graze wildflower meadows and herb-rich leys. He is now re-building soil health and Natural Capital, creating a farming system intrinsically wildlife-friendly while still being commercial. 

Bill Stow is on the UK Council of The Wildlife Trusts and Chair of Wildlife Trusts Wales. He was on the Management Board of Defra for nine years in a variety of roles including Director General for Environment Policy and Director General for Strategy and Evidence. In his earlier civil service career in the Department of Trade and Industry he specialised in EU and trade policy, co-ordinating UK policy on the Single Market and on the creation of the European Economic Area. He was seconded twice to the UK’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, the second time as Deputy Ambassador, in which role he spent his days and nights negotiating a wide range of EU legislation including environment, energy and agriculture. Bill is also Chair of Sustrans and in his remaining spare time he has just passed the 500-mile mark walking the Welsh Coast Path, and helps his wife run a craft gallery in beautiful mid-Wales.

Ellie Brodie is Senior Policy Manager at The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) which has campaigned for many years to improve agricultural policy for wildlife. TWT is currently working with Greener UK and Wildlife and Countryside LINK to create new ideas for an alternative wildlife-friendly policy to follow the Common Agricultural Policy post-Brexit. The Wildlife Trusts want farming to be a positive force for nature’s recovery.

During the AGM, to be held in the morning, we will report on the first year of delivering BBOWT's Strategic Plan 2016 - 2021: Be part of nature's recovery.

I look forward to seeing you on 14 October.

AGM Papers


10 -10.30am: AGM registration
10.30am - 12.15pm: AGM (members only)
12.15 - 1.30pm: Buffet lunch (optional)
1.15 - 1.30pm: Conference registration, open to general public. Booking essential, please register below.
1.30 - 4pm: Conference

There are still a few places for the morning AGM session please email to speak to us about this.

The AGM and Conference will be held at:

John Henry Brookes Building
Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Headington Hill

Please allow extra time to reach the venue because of roadworks which can mean long delays. Go to the Oxfordshire County Council Roadworks website for up to date information about roadworks and travel information on 14th October. We strongly advise that you use public transport (please see details below).

A map showing possible methods of transport to the Headington Road Campus can be found here. A link to the venue on Google Maps can be found here.

The John Henry Brookes Building is in a newly developed part of the campus and can be accessed via a pedestrian area directly off Headington Road . On arrival head to the reception (there is a coffee and book shop to your left) look out for BBOWT signs from the Headington Road.

Park and Ride (P&R)
The best Park and Ride locations to get to Headington Road are Thornhill (on the A40 east of Oxford) and Seacourt (near A34 at Botley, west of Oxford). The Park and Ride bus stop is directly outside the campus on the Headington Road. It is possible to use other Park and Ride locations although you will need to change in the centre of Oxford or walk to the conference venue. More information about Park and Ride services can be found at

Park and Ride locations

  • Seacourt - OX2 0HP
  • Thornhill - OX3 8DP
  • Redbridge - OX1 4XG
  • Peartree - OX2 8JD
  • Water Eaton - OX2 8HA

Oxford railway station is in the city centre. No 8 and 9 buses from Castle Street will stop at the Headington Road Campus. More information about train services can be found on and Oxford City bus services.

Car parking
We stongly advise that you travel by public transport as it is the easiest method to navigate the city. If you need to drive please check Oxfordshire County Council's Roadworks website for up to date information.

There is limited car parking at Headington Hill campus which is opposite the conference venue. The best postcode to use to find the car parking is OX3 0BT although there will be signs on the entrance. The parking is a short walk away from the conference venue.

Please indicate when booking if  you have any access requirements and we will be in touch to let you know any special arrangments or directions in due course.

We request a £7 contribution to help cover the cost of lunch and refreshments. If you have not been able to make payment online, please bring cash or a cheque on the day. There is a cash point at the conference venue and several coffee shops that will also be open on the day. 


Venue location

John Henry Brookes Building,
Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus,,
Headington Hill,

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Event information

Book by phone
Tel: 01865 788 300
Book by email
Saturday 14th October 2017
10:30am - 4:00pm
Price / Donation
Free (£7 for lunch)
Suitable for 16+ years
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Venue location
John Henry Brookes Building,
Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus,,
Headington Hill,
Get directions
Plan your journey
Public transport
Plan your journey
Wheelchair Access
Suitable for wheelchair users
Suitable for people with limited mobility
assistance dogs only
Contact details
Tel: 01865 788 300