The journey to net zero is ongoing and new technologies are supporting farmers in the process.

One such is Nofence – the first virtual fence for livestock, whose UK office is based at the Agri-EPI Centre Midland Hub. It also recently won the Best Innovation prize at the AgriScot awards ceremony.

Rotational grazing has been adopted by many livestock farmers as a step towards regenerative farming – this is where Nofence can help. “We hope Nofence will get farmers thinking about their grazing management and if they can start rotational grazing,” said Rachel Fuller, UK business development manager at with the company.

“If they are already rotationally grazing, then we can offer a solution to going out and moving fences every day.”

But virtual, cloud-based fencing also allows for grazing where it may not have been possible before. “Upland grazing and conservation grazing is also possible, including fencing off certain sites for other wildlife and to improve biodiversity," she added.

"How does it work? The livestock wear collars which communicate with an app farmers have on their mobile phone. The collars communicate with both GPS satellites and over the 2g mobile phone network,” explained Ms Fuller.

Pastures are created and field boundaries can easily be moved, with also an option to create exclusion zones within each Nofence pasture. The livestock are trained to listen for the boundary audio warnings and quickly learn the system, and to turn around upon hearing these warnings.

In 2011, the founder of Nofence – a Norwegian goat farmer with mountainous land – wanted to graze the goats without putting fences up – so he developed Nofence to graze livestock without the restriction of physical fences.

Nofence can bring benefits to anyone wanting to improve their grazing management. Whether that’s implementing a rotational grazing system, opening up areas of upland grazing that have previously been inaccessible due to fencing difficulties or for those wanting to utilise grazing livestock for environmental land management or rewilding projects.

The collars were on display at the recent Low Carbon Agriculture Show, where they heard Andrew Speed, from Wellington Estates, talk about his positive experiences using the system.