New CRC Upland Report

The Commission for Rural Communities upland report, published today, provides a ringing endorsement of the importance of hill farming to the identity and character of the English Uplands.

The Commission argues that hill farming matters to the environment, culture, landscape and most important food production of the uplands. But the report’s authors also make clear that farmers, like other upland businesses, face real challenge in remoter rural areas without easy access to modern communications, disjointed government policies and costly housing for family and workers: the loss of young people is a major concern.

The NFU’s Upland Spokesman, Will Cockbain, said: “We strongly support many of the CRC recommendations: faster broadband and mobile communications; investing in hill farming R&D and demonstration farm networks; developing new markets for existing land management; putting equal weight on economic and environmental priorities and, reviewing agri-environment scheme income foregone approach.

"We also recognise the disjoint in policies across national and regional government policies and the need for a fresh start at all levels. However hill farmers will be rightly concerned if the immediate action needed to resolve these challenges is not lost in yet another protracted policy debate”.