Representatives of the Bracken Control Group (BCG) met in York on February 26th and at the start of the meeeting the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) announced that the application for an Emergency Authorisation has been approved.
A new Government consultation on the way LFAs are designated is in process. The European Commission has proposed to replace LFAs with a new designation known as Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC). This requires a mapping exercise to ensure that land which is agriculturally disadvantaged is captured under the new ANC designation. LFA land is typically associated with the Uplands of England, but changes may see some designated areas lose their status and new areas come in as agricultural land facing constraint may be located anywhere in the country.
Natural England has confirmed that in the event of further heavy snowfall this winter then livestock farmers - who may have an agri-environment agreement that includes restrictions on carrying out supplementary feeding - would be able to provide their livestock with additional feed. This would be a temporary relaxation for the duration of any severe cold weather period and it will not be necessary to contact Natural England for consent before carrying out supplementary feeding under these circumstances.
ON Monday 17th December 2012 Natural England submitted its report to the Secretary of State setting out our proposals for improved access to the coast between Allonby and Whitehaven. These proposals form part of a programme to establish a continuous walking route around England’s coastline under the provisions of Part 9 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
You can make representations to the Secretary of State about the proposals. Owners and occupiers of affected land are also entitled to make objections about the report.
At the Cumbria Grazing Forum meeting this month we were shown pictures of moorland that Natural England say are in good condition. These will be used for the self-monitoring scheme on Kinnisde common. This document is valuable, but The Federation believes it is partial. The most obvious question is 'in good condition for what/whom?' There is no mention of the condition relative to grazing.
The Federation has been working closely with the Foundation for Common Land to deliver this unique project teaching conservationists about the work of hill farmers. It aims to close the void between farmers producing food and experts who focus on the environment.
Julia Aglionby (who is a committe member of the Federation) spelt out her vision for the National Centre for the Uplands in an article published in the November edition of the Cumbria Farmer. Julia aims to create a bridge between farmers and people with an interest in the uplands. "The Centre will be very much about partnerships and networking with farmers feeling like they are leading the process and the next generation of hill farmers will be really capable of leading discussions on land management for the hills".