General News

General News

Update on Public Inquiry to hear MOD's attempt to deregister Hilton, Murton, Burton and Warcop Fells

Our Chairman, Secretary and a committee member attended the first day of  the Public Inquiry on the 13th  September in Kendal. The MoD fielded an impressive legal team. The Open Spaces Society (OSS), as objectors instructed a QC.

Hefted flock project on the Lake District commons and freehold fells

During the year ending March 2017 Mervyn Edwards identified and recorded the location of hefted flocks grazing on common land and freehold fells in the Lake District National Park during the year ending March 2017. This represents a ‘snapshot in time’. He  also recorded the breeds of sheep kept in the flocks and changes that have occurred over the last 25 years or so (since 1990).

Mervyn concuded that the farm visits and discussions with other graziers raised two main issues:

Lake District sheep farming adapting to change - a new report

Mervyn Edwards has written a thoughtful and interesting reflection on his many happy years of working as a ‘Ministry’ (of Agriculture) adviser with sheep farmers in the Lake District. His report gives the reader a brief history of sheep farming, commons and the way of life of the fell farmer. It documents the policy changes (not always positive) he has encountered over his working years and disasters like Foot and Mouth Disease.

Federation requests an extension to UELS/HLS agreements on hill farms and common land

Last month we wrote to George Eustice MP, Minister for Agriculture requesting that Defra seeks a mechanism to extend our HLS agreements until new post EU exit (commons-proofed) schemes are available. We sent a copy of the letter to Cumbrian MPs, four of whom got back saying they support the idea and would be writing to George Eustice.

We hear on the grapevine that “replication” (apparently that is their term for an extension) is creating waves in Defra but we have not received a formal response yet.

This is what we said in our letter:

Dear Mr. Eustice

Proposal of dedicated support for snow-hit farmers

Rory Stewart MP has been in touch with Farming Minister George Eustice to request the urgent release of Defra funding to subsidise the cost of fallen stock disposal, as the devastating impact of Storm Emma on some farms becomes clear. Defra last relaxed the rules on stock disposal in 2013 due to extreme weather and snowfall; with conditions this week described as “the worst in living memory”, the case for Defra support is clear.

Transitional period for updating commons registers expires in December

The transitional period in Cumbria for updating the commons registers will be ending on 14 December 2017. After this fees will apply ranging from £210 to £400. So get your application in now.

You can read the letter from Cumbria County Council here.

Proud and delighted that the Lake District is to be a world heritage site.

The Federation of Cumbria Commoners is delighted that the Lake District National Park is to be a world heritage site.

Lake District National Park decides to lease Glenridding common to John Muir Trust

We are disappointed that the Members of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) voted in favour of leasing Glenridding Common for a three-year term subject to agreement and signing of the lease. Given that the Federation was the only organisation objecting to this proposal, their decision was hardly surprising.

CUMBRIAN COMMONS FACE BIGGEST THREAT SINCE ENCLOSURE MOVEMENT

The Federation is working with local and national organisations(1) to campaig to stop the Ministry of Defence from destroying a vast area of Cumbria's cultural history.  The MoD wants to deregister three large upland commons(2) and turn them into private land.  We say the deregistration would be unlawful and flies in the face of undertakings made by the MoD, at a public inquiry, to keep the commons registered in perpetuity(3).

Federation objects to Lake District National Park leasing Glenridding Common to John Muir Trust

The Federation has just sent its response to the Lake District National Park Authority consultation on the leasing of Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust. The Federation is not supporting this proposal.

You can read our full response below.

Martin Curry

Lake District National Park Authority

Murley Moss

Kendal LA9 7RL

 

Dear Martin,

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