Around 100 people representing farmers and environmental groups joined academics from the University of Cumbria and politicians at a consultation meeting called to consider future agricultural policy described as ‘most important changes for 40 years.’
Co-hosted by the University of Cumbria alongside the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the event held at Rheged near Penrith on April 3 was one of a series of consultation events being held to discuss Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit.
“This is one of the most important things we’ve done and is exactly the kind of event the university should be involved in,” said Dr Lois Mansfield, principal lecturer within the Centre for National Parks & Protected Areas and one of the keynote speakers at the event. An author of two books looking at upland agriculture she was pleased the event was held in the heart of Cumbria, within sight of the fells. “It’s great to see the consultation being held in an upland area to make sure the views from this area are noted.”
Adam Day the managing director of The Farmers Network of Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales was among delegates at the event. He said he welcomed the chance to hear more about the DEFRA outline proposals and to ensure his members views were heard.
“We’re told that over the next 30 years the population of the UK is set to rise to around 85 million so it’s really important this policy works for Cumbria and the rest of the country,” Mr Day said. “It’s good to see the university is involved as education is going to play an important role in future policy.”
Media coverage of the event was extensive with BBC North West Tonight, ITV Border, Farming Today and BBC Radio Cumbria interviewing delegates.
Health and Harmony: The Future for Food, Farming and the Environment in a Green Brexit consultation opened on Tuesday 27th February and will close on Tuesday 8th May. Responses can be made online via: http://www.bit.ly/FutureFoodandFarming