2014-04-14   facebook twitter rss

Future Upland Management in the Spotlight at National Conference

A national conference discussing issues and challenges around managing the country's uplands will take place next month (Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 May 2014).

Set against a backdrop of current consultation across the UK on proposals which could see CAP payments reshape our uplands, the conference provides a forum for debate on the many different and sometimes conflicting elements which have an interest in the uplands of England, Scotland and Wales.

John Rowland, manager Low Beckside Farm, Newton Rigg College at work in the uplands.

John Rowland, manager Low Beckside Farm, Newton Rigg College at work in the uplands.

Entitled “Future Upland Management: Balancing environmental, social and economic demands,” it takes place at Newton Rigg College in Cumbria and is being organised by the National Centre for the Uplands based at the college. Newton Rigg is part of Askham Bryan College and is the only UK college to have its own upland farm, grouse moor and to run a specialist degree course in uplands agriculture with land management. Students use the farm and moor as a resource to study a range of subjects including agriculture, land management, forestry, countryside and game management.

Douglas Phillips, who leads the National Centre for the Uplands, which focuses on skills, education and demonstration, said:
“The conference could not come at a more opportune moment, as policy makers across the UK look to finalise changes regarding the re-distribution of CAP funds, which could have a huge impact on how we manage our uplands and on the rural communities that rely upon them economically. It will doubtless be a lively and informative two days, given the diverse range of speakers which includes practitioners, policy makers, researchers and planners. Our aim is to provide an opportunity for debate that will increase awareness of the different perspectives and thus encourage greater understanding and co-operation. We need to ensure that we build a vibrant and sustainable upland economy based on agriculture and positive land management that will ultimately protect some of the most vulnerable and precious landscapes in the United Kingdom for future generations.”

Conference Programme:

Tuesday 13 May, 2014

Mike Rowe, Defra's Deputy Director, Defra - “Balancing environmental and agricultural demands.”

Drew Sloan, Chief Agricultural Officer for Scotland - “The future of upland agriculture in Scotland.”

Richard Ali, Chief Executive of the British Association of Shooting and Conservation - “Wildlife management, environment, income & employment.”

Robert Sullivan, Partner, Farming Development, Strutt & Parker - “How CAP reform will shape the uplands.”

Neil Hesseltine, Farmer, Hill Top Farm, Malham, N. Yorkshire - “Case study – grazing native breeds, our experiences in Malham.”

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General, the National Trust - “The role of the uplands in the National Trust's vision for the English & Welsh countryside.”

Liz Philip, Principal of Askham Bryan College - “The challenges of rural education in the uplands and the benefits it can bring.”

Phil Stocker, Chief Executive, National Sheep Association - “The future for upland sheep production.”

Neville Elstone, Chartered Forester, Cumbria Woodlands and former Newton Rigg College student - “Profitable and productive upland afforestation.

Dr Gareth Clay, Lecturer in Physical Geography, University of Manchester - “Upland peat restoration: challenges and impact.”

Professor Robin Pakeman, Professor of Ecological Science, James Hutton Institute - “The role of grazing in the ecology of the uplands.”

Richard Leafe, CEO, Lake District National Park Authority - “What our park users want to see.”

Mark Avery, former Conservation Director, RSPB - “Judging the balance between iconic birds and commercial land use.”


12noon Tuesday 13 May, registration and buffet lunch followed by the start of the conference in The Conference Centre, Newton Rigg College, Penrith, Cumbria. CA11 0AH.

To register and for further details please contact Michaela Dixon – michaela.dixon@newtonrigg.ac.uk or 01768 893508.

Uplands Centre

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