HNV farming in the Northern Upland Chain
The Northern Upland Chain Local Nature Partnership (LNP) brings together a wide range of partners to encourage effective action to benefit nature, people and the local economy.
Current EFNCP involvement
One of the issues being faced in the Partnership area is discontent at the approach of current agri-environment schemes. The Partnership, through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is working to develop an alternative results-based approach. EFNCP is supporting this work and assisting Natural England in trying to secure funding to turn this into a working pilot scheme.
High Nature Value farming project - previous EFNCP involvement
In order to start to develop a new approach to supporting HNV farming in the NUC, representatives from the LNP have been collaborating since January 2013 through a HNV farming working group. The aim of this collaboration is to build a shared vision with the farming community for safeguarding the future of extensive farming and the wildlife it supports.
With funding from Natural England, an initial project was established which worked with, and through, four groups of local farmers to:
- Celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of extensive upland farming to nature conservation and the provision of other public goods, such as beautiful historic landscapes, production of high quality water and food, carbon storage.
- Identify and increase understanding of the threats to these extensive or 'HNV' farming systems.
- Identify opportunities for securing a long term future for these farming systems.
- Explore and test some of the approaches identified with a view to informing future land management policy and support measures including agri-environment schemes.
Four case study projects were set up, one in each of the four constituent protected areas. EFNCP and Cumulus Consultants carried out the North Pennines AONB work, which is reported on this webpage. Some of the reports for the other case studies are publicly-available here:
- Yorkshire Dales (Buckden Parish): HNV farming
- Nidderdale (Upper Nidderdale): ecosystem services; HNV farming
A meeting of stakeholders was held at which EFNCP summarised the findings of the reports; group discussions were held and further recommendations were elicited.
- Introduction to the LNP HNV farming project
- Presentation summarising the case study report findings
- Summary of group discussion findings
Subsequently, a report was written and an account of it was given to both the LNP steering group and to a public meeting.
- Northern Upland Chain HNV farming report
- Presentation to LNP Steering Group
- Presentation to LNP forum meeting
The recommendations covered a wide range of issues:
- Empowering HNV farmers
- Addressing immediate issues
- Basic payment rates
- Identifying and/or rewarding active farming
- Setting scheme rules and payment rates
- Building trust and understanding
- With conservation agencies
- With policy makers
- With the wider public
- Addressing viability
- Understanding the system
- Designing on-farm actions
- Calculating payments
- Succession and retirement
- Advice, facilitation and training
- Collaboration between farming businesses
- Wider community aspects