The Cumbrian hill sheep initiative: a solution to the decline in upland hill farming community in England

Mansfield, Lois ORCID logo ORCID: (2008) The Cumbrian hill sheep initiative: a solution to the decline in upland hill farming community in England. In: Robinson, Guy, (ed.) Sustainable rural systems: sustainable agriculture and rural communities. Perspectives on Rural Policy and Planning series . Ashgate, Aldershot, UK, pp. 161-184. Full text not available from this repository.

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Upland and mountain areas operate on the fringes of viable agricultural production. These environments through their physical constraints of soil, climate and topography limit English farmers to livestock production with typical profit margins of around £5000 per annum, well below the national United Kingdom (UK) average (Chadwick, 2003). Compounding these low economic returns are problems of succession amongst the farming families and an increasing mismatch between production and the post-productivist vision for British Agriculture (MAFF,2000). The uplands of Cumbria in northern England are no exception to these issues. A system of farming has developed here to make the best use of the environment by adapting farming practices to fit the harsh climate (2000mm pa. and a growing season of temperatures above 5.6oC of less than 190 days; Grigg, 1995) an rugged terrain. The landscape produced by this activity has become highly valued in terms of semi-natural ecological communities and recreational pursuits (Cumbria County Council, 1997). Indeed, it forms a core feature of the Lake District National Park and the Park Authority’s bid to secure World Heritage status (Chitty, 2002). The problem is that the farming system itself may not survive to sustain this desired upland landscape. This chapter explores a package of measures, known as the Cumbria Hill Sheep Initiative (CHSI), introduced by the local Rural Community Council to aid in the maintenance of upland agriculture. The character of upland agriculture in Cumbria and its issues to understand why the CHSI was initiated it is important to understand something about the character of the farming system and the nature of the problems it faces in Cumbria.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Ashgate
ISBN: 9780754647157
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Lois Mansfield
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2012 13:01
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 20:45
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