Eighty people gathered today (January 13) at Newton Rigg College, Penrith, to help shape the future of the Northern English Uplands.
The event, organised and sponsored by the five northern National Park Authorities, saw delegates including hill farmers, conservation organisations and government agencies come together to demonstrate the ‘high value public benefits’ upland areas offer to UK society.
Delegates highlighted actions they believed would best persuade the public and the Government for continued support as Britain prepares to leave the EU.
Dame Helen Ghosh, director general of the National Trust for places of historic interest or national beauty, said: “We want to stand alongside our farm tenants in the uplands to look after this most wonderful legacy of landscapes, buildings and farming traditions and be partners with local communities to help them flourish.”
The workshop found there was ‘substantial common ground’ between those who care about, manage, conserve and farm in the uplands, with participants providing mutual ’positive’ outcomes to enhance the delivery of the uplands.
It came as the National Trust reaffirmed their determination to champion upland sheep farming post-Brexit.
Chief executive of the Tenant Farmers Association George Dunn added: “I am delighted to see the National Trust emphasising that vibrant and resilient farming and the achievement of outcomes for nature, culture and heritage go hand-in-hand in our countryside and how market failure can limit both.
“As we work towards the development of a post-Brexit agricultural policy suitable for our domestic needs, it is important that we seek to blend together the outcomes for food, farming and the environment.”