Rooted in Cumbria

The Federation of Cumbria Commoners is a member-led organisation dedicated to promoting commoning in Cumbria. Our overall aim is to maintain and improve the viability of hill farming on common land.

We want this website to:

  • Inform you about new issues in commoning
  • Let you know what we are doing
  • Make our voice heard all over the world and much more

NSA Briefing on the discovery of Schmallenberg virus in England

This briefing comes from the National Sheep Association website see http://www.nationalsheep.org.uk/

Introduction

Post Chernobyl sheep controls to be removed

The Board of the Food Standards Agency agreed on March 20th to the lifting of the last of the ‘Mark and Release’ monitoring controls on sheep introduced in 1986 as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. There are 8 farms in Cumbria, England, still remaining under some form of restriction.

Natural England's fresh approach to hill farming?

An article in last week's Famers Weekly (29th February) noted that Natural England is adopting a more conciliatory approach to hill farmers - driven by farmer pressure for more dialogue and the need for a greater understanding of upland livestock management issues. Natural England look set to establish a working framework to enable hill farmers to feel their businesses are being supported, rather than threatened, by the need to preserve the upland environment.

Know more or eat less

Professor Sir John Marsh gave the National Agricultural Lecture at the RASE’s President’s Seminar in London on 28th February, 2012. His lecture starts with a brief reminder of the extraordinary increase in agricultural productivity that

Upland Farm Incomes increase

Average farm business income in the Less Favoured Areas was £31,100 per farm. It increased by 49% between 2006/07 and 2010/11, but remains at a relatively low level – without the Single Payment Scheme and agri-environment payments on average grazing livestock farms would have made a loss in each of the last 5 years. 37% of grazing livestock farms in Less Favoured Areas undertook a diversified activity and 26% indicated that all of their household income was provided by the farm.

Is Natural England shifting towards a better balance for the uplands?

Upland farmers need not be left out of the challenge of increasing food production, an NFU conference early bird meeting has heard.

While speakers from Defra and Natural England stressed the importance of sustainable intensification, there was what outgoing NFU uplands spokesman Will Cockbain recognised as a new willingness to “have the debate” on issues around stocking densities and ‘productive’ farming.

For Natural England that has meant a move away from its controversial Uplands Vision document of 2009, which chairman Poul Christensen said had ‘let his organisation down badly’.

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