2015-03-13 

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Launch of Drive to Make Greener Farming More Profitable

Upland farmers, environmental bodies and agencies have joined together to call for action to support the economic viability of low-intensity farming methods that are more environmentally friendly.

They have produced a leaflet detailing the benefits of ‘High Nature Value’ (HNV) farming, which looks at ways in which traditional farming systems can deliver environmental benefits more effectively – at the same time making the farm business more economically viable.

HNV Farming

The leaflet – which is being sent to local MPs, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and other organisations – has been produced by the Northern Upland Chain Local Nature Partnership (LNP), which was set up in 2012 and now includes more than 50 organisations. It stretches from Otley in West Yorkshire to the Scottish border, and covers two National Parks (Northumberland and the Yorkshire Dales) and three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Forest of Bowland, Nidderdale and the North Pennines).

David Hill, chairman of the Northern Upland Chain Local Nature Partnership, said: “HNV farming systems not only produce fantastic food but also support high levels of biodiversity and produce important public benefits like carbon and water storage. Unfortunately, our upland farmers don’t get rewarded for these benefits at the moment – and we want that to change.

“The documents will be used to lobby Government for policy changes that help HNV farming and to obtain additional funding to sustain it.”

“With funding from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are already working with groups of farmers to identify ways to make their businesses more robust and deliver more environmental benefits. We want to see that sort of approach rolled out across the whole LNP area.”

Richard Betton, a farmer from Upper Teesdale and an LNP Board Member, said: “The farming of the most remote parts of the country can often get overlooked – but it’s critically important to our future. This leaflet explains some of the benefits that hill farming can bring to society and to the environment. Importantly, it also identifies some of the things that we want to see Government, local enterprise partnerships, environmental agencies and the farming community working together to achieve.”

NUCLNP

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link North Pennines Smallholders – As Busy as Bees!
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