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Stackyard News Oct 05

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Future Not So Perfect For Uplands Without Help

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The role of the private land manager is paramount says CLA Wales

The Brecknock Agricultural Society is launching a new publication, Cherished Heartland, sponsored by the Brecon Beacons National Park, NatWest Bank, the WDA, at a seminar on October 27 at Theatre Brycheiniog, Brecon.

The report, which covers the prospects for upland farming until 2020, will also form the basis of the panel discussion at the seminar. The panel includes experts from the field of Agriculture, including, Chris Gledhill, Chief Executive of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Ian Kenny, Head of Agricultural Policy at NatWest, authors Professor Peter Midmore and Professor Richard Moore Colyer of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and National Assembly presiding officer, Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas.

The Sustainable Development Fund, administered by the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, has supported the project with a grant of £7,750. The WDA has also contributed £4,000.

Ian Kenny, Head of Agriculture at NatWest, said: “The first step in making the future of Upland Wales sustainable is to ensure that all the stakeholders work together. Future Perfect which is the more desirable of the two likely scenarios described in the report is unlikely to happen unless there are signs of change and co-operation.

“Abandonment which is described within the report as 'more plausible and less palatable' could be a frightening prospect, if the different sectors involved in working with rural communities do not work closely together to manage a viable and sustainable community.”

Chris Gledhill, Chief Executive of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, said: “This project will be ground breaking in understanding the effects of the Common Agricultural Policy Mid Term Review and its effect on traditional farming families and communities within the Brecon Beacons National Park with its unique landscape.

“The ability of the family farm to survive, diversify and prosper into the twenty first century will determine the sustainability of rural communities.”

The report was commissioned by the Brecknock Agricultural Society which is the oldest in Wales. The President William Legge-Bourke will welcome guests at 7pm. Tickets are available from Janet Vaughan on 01568 708760, m 07977 586150 or email for tickets.

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