Changes in upland agriculture and its effects on the environment: a case study from Cumbria, UK

Mansfield, Lois (2005) Changes in upland agriculture and its effects on the environment: a case study from Cumbria, UK. In: European Society for Rural Sociology XXI Congress: A common European countryside? Change and continuity, diversity and cohesion in the enlarged Europe, 22-27 August 2005, Keszthely, Hungary. (Unpublished)

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Official URL: http://www.ruralsociology.eu/?p=579

Abstract

The character of upland agriculture in England is in dramatic transition. The most recent impetus to this change is the articulation of the EU Regulation 1259/99 on support of rural development from EAGGF (European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund) through England’s Rural Development Programme. The aim of the ERDP is ‘to sustain and enhance the distinctive environment, economy and social fabric of the English Countryside for the benefit of all’. This paper investigates the initial effectiveness of changes made by the ERDP to the environment and social fabric of the uplands of Cumbria, through various interview strategies with the farming community. The paper is divided into three main parts. First there will be a description of the character of upland agriculture in Cumbria, with particular reference to the management of sheep on open uplands (fells) and the social role of this activity. Second, it will briefly investigate the nature of the physical manifestation of the ERDP in terms of the schemes through stock reduction and environmental impact. The paper will then concentrate on the relationship between environmental and social changes that have occurred on the upland farming landscape. Whilst there have been definite improvements in the semi-natural habitats of the uplands and in the quality of livestock, there have been some negative issues. The farming community have had problems with their management of the open fell areas, the spread of undesirable vegetation and related preferential grazing issues. The pivotal issue seems to revolve around the management of stocking on the fells and their related impact on social and environmental change. How stocking densities are managed could lead to success or failure of the ERDP’s aims in upland areas.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments: Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 16:34
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2019 16:34
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4626

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