Every farmer in the Lake District is set to receive the first publication of its kind setting out why famed cultural landscapes matter in the crusade for nature recovery and climate action.
What Did Farming Ever Do for Us? will be distributed across the national park’s 1,246-strong agricultural community as it transitions from EU grants for food production to funding for public benefit.
Adaptation is now paramount, according to booklet author Lois Mansfield, University of Cumbria’s Professor of Upland Landscapes.
She explained: “For generations farmers have created this world-renowned place through their activities, buildings and boundaries. All this is now crucial to help address the post Brexit world where government sees public benefit as the new agenda for farming.
“The combination of old farmhouses, field patterns, barns and drystone walls are intrinsically linked to the traditions of sheep heft management, shepherds’ meets, agricultural shows – and the skills needed to keep them going.
“Maintaining these features and activities underpins the visitor economy and can provide farm-based diversification options, such as accommodation, local food enterprises and tourist activities.”
Backed by the Lake District National Park Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Professor Mansfield said it was important to show how the iconic settlements could support nature recovery and climate action.
She added: “For instance, traditional stone buildings are much better than concrete and steel new-builds because carbon is already embedded. Wildlife and biodiversity can be boosted through good boundary and farm woodland management.
“We want to champion what we have to offer and demonstrate how the cultural landscape, which led to World Heritage Status, was and is shaped by those who continue to work the land and is celebrated through literature, painting and poetry.
“The farming community should be very proud of what has been achieved and what it provides. The booklet highlights this and offers advice as it moves into a new era of funding.”
The project is a collaboration between Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association, Farmers Network, National Trust, ACTion with Communities in Cumbria and the Lake District National Park Authority Historic Environment team.
The publication is available as a pdf on request. As a flipbook, it can be downloaded to farm websites: https://www.flipsnack.com/B7E75BDD75E/what-did-farming-ever-do-for-us.html
For further information and free booklet orders email firstname.lastname@example.org