Written evidence submitted by North West
Upland Farming Forum
Members of the North West Upland Farming Forum
(NWUFF) have made significant contributions to the CRC Uplands
Inquiry based on their awareness and knowledge of "the issues
facing farmers in the uplands".
The North West Upland Farming Forum aims to
provide a mechanism to increase cooperation, knowledge and communication
between organisations and individuals working to support upland
farming communities in the North West. (see Appendix 1 for membership
list; and see www.northwestuplandfarming.org.uk).
The chair of NWUFF made a presentation at the
launch of "High ground, high potential" which emphasized
the need to move rapidly from the recommendations in the report
into practical actions in real places which strengthen the sustainability
of upland farming.
All the recommendations on upland farming in
the CRC report are supported by NWUFF.
As the clock ticks towards 2013 CAP reform and
anticipated further reductions in European funding, NWUFF seeks
to prioritise the CRC recommendations through selecting and clustering
those which address the development of a sustainable business
model for upland farming and its underpinning through community
This submission highlights four initiatives
required for upland farming following the CRC report: Whole Valley
Planning; Eco-Systems Services Business Model; the Market Mechanism
for Carbon Capture, and Succession in Upland Farming.
Paragraphs 5 & 6 in this submissionThe
Cultural Landscape Value of the Uplands and The Productive Economic
Capacity of Upland Farmingaddress issues which have not
surfaced directly in the CRC recommendations.
NWUFF is seeking the endorsement of the Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs Committee for these responses to the CRC
1. Whole Valley Planning
CRC Recommendations 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 5.3, 6.2
NWUFF proposes a valley/catchment approach to
local community planning and development. This is currently being
piloted as "Whole Valley Planning" in Borrowdale, Cumbria
and offers a low-cost model of farmer-led/supported forward planning
which should be implemented across the uplands. In Borrowdale
the foreground challenge has been flood mitigation and river management.
2. Eco-Systems Services Business Model
CRC Recommendations 4.1, 6.6
NWUFF proposes a sub-regional network of eco-systems
services demonstration farms to test the viability of this business
model for post 2013 sustainability. This is currently in early
stage of formation as an RDPE sub-"Cooperation" project
between Cumbria and Lancashire.
3. The Market Mechanism for Carbon Capture
CRC Recommendations 5.1, 5.2
These recommendations are a matter of urgency.
The eco-systems services business model depends upon an understandable
and practical way of working with a carbon market. How can this
become a "diversification" reality for the upland farming
community? Natural England has done an excellent job of mapping
the carbon capture of the uplands. The mapping of the delivery
of this by the farming community is the next step.
4. Succession in Upland Farming
CRC Recommendations 6.3, 6.4
This depends on the sustainability of a sound
eco-systems services business model which has, at its core, the
productive capacity of upland farming as a producer and exporter
of high quality food.
NWUFF has initiated collaborative work with
educational partners and the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop
the University of Cumbria's upland farm (Low Beckside, Mungrisedale)
into a national centre of excellence in training and apprenticeships.
This will directly support the entry of young people and others
into upland farming.
5. The Cultural Landscape Value of the Uplands
5.1 It has long been acknowledged that the
tourism economy thrives on and around the cultural landscapes
of the uplands.
5.2 There is no direct return from this
economy to its primary landscape managers; the farmers and farming
5.3 A well-researched formula of tourism
value of each hectare of cultural landscape would provide a benchmark
for establishing a "return" income to farmers. This
could be applied across the uplands.
6. The Productive Economic Capacity of Upland
Research is required to answer the following
questions (6.1, 6.2, 6.3):
6.1 In the context of food security projections,
what is the minimum productivity required to maintain national
6.2 What is the export potential against the
trends of emerging Asian and South American markets in lamb and
6.3 What is the required investment to maintain
and support this potential?
NWUFF welcomes this opportunity to submit its
commentary on the upland farming recommendations in the "High
ground, high potential" report. The chair and members would
welcome opportunities for further clarification and in-depth discussion.
THE NORTH WEST UPLAND FARMING FORUM MEMBERSHIP
Pauline Blair (Farmer, Miller Place Farm, Mockerkin).
Geoff Brown (Manager, Rural Programme, Carnegie UK
Bob Clark (Chief Executive, Cumbria Rural Enterprise
Will Cockbain (Farmer, Rakefoot Farm, Keswick, NFU
Uplands Spokesman, Sustainable Food and Farming Champion for the
Jan Darrell (Policy Officer, Friends of the Lake
Helen Forrest (National Farmers Union, North West).
Malcolm Handley (Farmer, Croasdale House Farm, Slaidburn).
Andrew Herbert (Head of Environment & Heritage
Lake District National Park Authority).
Nick Hill (Regional Land Use Manager, National Trust).
Dan Hunt (Upland SSSIMajor Project Manager;
NW Region Upland Sector and Vision Lead, Natural England).
Harry Hutchinson (Farmer, Uldale House, Kirkby Stephen).
Neil Johnson (Farm and Countryside Advisor, National
Gordon Jones (Government Office in the North West).
Viv Lewis (Administrator, Federation of Cumbria Commoners).
Lois Mansfield (Principal Lecturer, University of
Terry McCormick (Action with Communities in Cumbria).
John Metcalfe (Rural Business Consultant, Rural Futures,
Adrian Shepherd (Farming & Countryside Officer,
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority).
Ian Soane (Trustee of Action with Communities in
Simon Stott (Farmer, Sheep Milk UK, Laund Farm, Chipping).
Helen Sweeney (Government Office in the North West).
Veronica Waller (Development Officer, Rural Development
Programme for England, Cumbria Fells and Dales).
Angus Winchester (Senior Lecturer, History, Lancaster
Will Rawling (Farmer, Hollens Farm, Ennerdale and
Chair, Cumbria Farmers Network).