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How vital is hill farming to the new economies in the uplands?

How vital is hill farming to the new economies in the uplands? This was one of several topics discussed by contributors attending our 6th Uplands inquiry hearing, in Penrith, Cumbria.

Some of those giving evidence to our Inquiry Panel suggested that agriculture remains ‘small but vital’ to the uplands economy, through its significant role in the conservation of  landscape, provision for recreation and even its contribution to the greater diversity in the economy – farming providing the base for a multitude of new enterprises.

Our Inquiry Panel  heard evidence that upland economies have already diversified beyond traditional forms of agriculture and tourism. References were made to the extraordinary levels of homeworking, and the changing composition of upland communities, specifically the significance of in-migrants, who were described as the key to extending the range of economic activity still further.

For those linked to the management of the land, it was suggested that new economic models ‘must address public goods and services’ but in an increasingly diverse economy, the policies of government at every level should develop the relationship across sectors, addressing the needs of all those who live and work in our upland communities.

In this last of 6 regional hearings, several other significant concerns, challenges and potential solutions were raised by about 40 participants contributing evidence to the inquiry.

Download the hearing summary

Summary notes of the 5 other hearings in Shropshire, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Derbyshire and Devon are already available to download on our main Uplands Communities page.

If you have any queries or would like to raise any points yourself please contact the inquiry team at:

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