The trend to larger farms and fewer farm families in the uplands appears to be accelerating. Farmers who still see opportunities for adaptation also see that the retention of public support and a sustained increase in livestock prices are vital. If Pillar 1 of the CAP was phased out altogether as many as 40% of commercial uplands farmers could make plans to leave farming.
The European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism has recently produced a report 'CAP reform 2013: last chance to stop the decline of Europe's High Nature Value farming?' This report argues for the re-targetting CAP support in favour of farming types that are most valuable in terms of delivering public goods and are most in need of economic support to be viable - extensive hill farming using common land is one of these farming types.