Farmers’ views on vital uplands: Bassenthwaite catchment, Cumbria

Mansfield, Lois ORCID logo ORCID: (2010) Farmers’ views on vital uplands: Bassenthwaite catchment, Cumbria. Natural England.

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This qualitative report forms part of a larger study conducted on behalf of Natural England, NW region (see section 1.3). It focuses on the results of small questionnaire survey designed to investigate the views of farmers with respect to the developing value of uplands for a range of ecosystem services. Whilst the entire subject of the relationship between upland farming and ecosystem services is beyond the scope of this report, it will consider some salient points to provide a context in which this survey was conducted. This project has adopted an adaptation of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (DFID, 1999) to investigate the perceptions and behaviour upland farmers with respect to the provision of ecosystem services in the Bassenthwaite Catchment.

The questionnaire responses were analysed using standard qualitative and quantitative techniques where sample size allowed. Specifically Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA) was applied to a range of ecosystem services available on upland farms using the following pair of questions: • How important do you think the following will be to secure the future of upland farming? • How well informed, do you feel about the following topics? Response to the survey was poor (10%). However, the data were rich enabling a fairly good analysis of ecosystem service provision derived from farm assets. In general, the respondents demonstrated a relatively high level of entrepreneurial ability to realise the full range of assets on their farm. Food production, access and wildlife/ biodiversity options were all well developed. However, the findings demonstrate a lack of awareness and practical implementation of the newer agendas embedded in the ecosystem services concept. Particularly important topics for awareness-raising should include: • food security • alternative forms of energy • the 2060 Vision • mechanisms to maintain upland farming • Post 2013 changes to ESS • Expansion of the EU membership • Grey water recycling • Carbon storage However, high level concern about lack of capital, fear of debt and lack of surplus labour need to be taken into account. Recommendations • Expand just the IPA survey to elicit more feel for knowledge and needs amongst farmers • Develop awareness campaign on topics listed above • Consider the appropriateness of evening talks and leaflets as dissemination mechanisms.

Item Type: Report
Publisher: Natural England
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Outdoor Studies
Additional Information: A pilot survey commissioned by Natural England, NW Region, by Dr Lois Mansfield, University of Cumbria.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 15:06
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 09:45


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