Commoners and upland farmers were left disappointed by the Government’s failure to mention them in its environment plan after extensive consultation.
Case officer for the Open Spaces Society Hugh Craddock said the glaring omission could not be blamed on a ‘haste to publish’ given the three-year wait for the plan’s release, while Julia Aglionby, executive director of the Foundation for Common Land and chair of the Uplands Alliance, branded it ‘disappointing’.
“The 25-year Environment Plan fails to mention either the uplands or commons despite the uplands being 17 per cent of England and commons making up 21 per cent of England’s Sites of Special Scientific Interest area”, Ms Aglionby added.
“Stewarded by 8,000 farmers and commoners, they require bespoke systems of support to empower these marginal businesses to enhance our iconic landscapes, biodiversity, water, carbon and public access and many are also tenanted holdings.
“The opportunities for landscape scale conservation in the uplands and commons are massive – this is a missed opportunity.
“We are disappointed that the Government, despite extensive consultation with upland stakeholders, did not feel the need in a 151-page document to make any specific commitments for the uplands or commons.”