While in Western Europe the theory and practice of social farming emerged dozens of years ago, the Czech Republic has discovered the concept only recently. Therefore, in many aspects, the experience from western countries can serve us as a source of inspiration and information of proven success so far. In our environment, too, the social farming concept produces new multi- functional farming benefits which – supported by foreign knowledge and experience – can help solve certain pressing social problems in rural and peri-urban areas.
Social farming is gaining more and more attention as it alters in a positive way the perception of farming and rural resources. Favourable effects can be achieved naturally by applying positive elements and farming activities to the social, health and mental wellbeing of all involved. In this context, the social farming concept represents an opportunity for farmers, but also other entities operating in rural areas, to introduce and develop new alternative services, expand and diversi- fy their activities and their roles in the society. Simultaneously, it brings opportunities to disabled and socially disadvantaged people who can find employment or mitigate the impacts of their disabilities or social difficulties. In addition, the social farming concept offers a broad range of activities in the field of training, as well as other activities in rural or peri-urban areas.
Social farming combines several branches of human activity whose benefits are obvious and tan- gible for any society. The main purpose of this document is to introduce the social farming con- cept as its currently implemented in Czech rural and peri-urban areas, to define its main objecti- ves, contents, stakeholders and the legislation and how it can obtain financial and non-financial support for its day-to-day work.