Impacts of change in upland support

The trend to larger farms and fewer farm families in the uplands appears to be accelerating. Farmers who still see opportunities for adaptation also see that the retention of public support and a sustained increase in livestock prices are vital. If Pillar 1 of the CAP was phased out altogether as many as 40% of commercial uplands farmers could make plans to leave farming. A landscape of large scale extensive farms would result interspersed with numerous smaller holdings occupied by ex-commercial farmers who remain primarily due to cultural ties; multiple income farmers with limited time for farm management; and lifestyle farmers. Occupancy change is likely to increase the vulnerability of existing habitats.

This short paper is taken from the executive summary of ‘Economic and environmental impacts of changes in support measures for the English Uplands: An in-depth forward look from the farmer’s perspective’, a report for Defra by a team from the Countryside and Community Research Institute and Food and Environment Research Agency led by Peter Gaskell. The full paper can be accessed at:
http://www.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/foodfarm/enviro/observatory/... more information