Valuing cultural capital: place-based rural development for hill farming opportunities from Japan

Mansfield, Lois ORCID logo ORCID: (2019) Valuing cultural capital: place-based rural development for hill farming opportunities from Japan. (Unpublished)

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Upland farming businesses in the United Kingdom (UK) have been and continued to be some of the most marginal and fragile in terms of financial sustainability and resilience. Having said this, it is widely recognised that these farm systems, beyond food production, provide a range of public goods and ecosystem services as well as underpinning the social and economic fabric in sparsely populated, rural areas (Bonn et al., 2008: Mansfield, 2018). So much so, that upland agriculture receives special mention in the recent DEFRA (2018a) Health & Harmony consultation in preparation for the new 2019 Agriculture Bill post Brexit. If UK society wishes to benefit from these additional values upland farming brings, together with its productive capacity for future food security, then it is imperative to continue to provide appropriate support to ensure business and community viability. The philosophical and pragmatic views to support marginal farming systems are not new in the UK; since the early Twentieth Century these businesses have been provided with structural funds, grants and subsidies to address farm inefficiencies, poor profit margins and ensure food security. Nevertheless, these farming systems have a number of challenges, which affect business viability into the future revolving around: low profit margins; limited enterprise choices; poor recognition of indirect societal benefits; loss of labour and depopulation & rural population restructuring. In preparation for a post-CAP environment, the English Government has completed a consultation and published draft legislation (Agriculture Bill, 2019). Within this the Government acknowledges the special value of upland farming systems – ‘The upland way of life, the unique food produced, and the great art that these landscapes have inspired attract visitors from around the world ‘ (Defra, 2018a: 34). Particular emphasis has been placed on the shift towards payments for natural capital, public goods and ecosystem services. These changes will see significant shifts in farming practices and the role of farmers within the upland landscape, but are not the panacea for all ills; funds will be limited, not all businesses will fit the criteria. Furthermore, facilitation funds to explore the shape of support has been overly-focused towards environmental land management and overlooked the fundamental issue of how upland farm businesses and their communities will survive per se.

Item Type: Report
Departments: Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
Additional Information: Lois Mansfield is Professor of Upland Landscape at the Ambleside Campus of the University of Cumbria. She is the Director of Campus and the Director for the Research Centre of National Parks & Protected Areas, the latter of which seeks to find transdisciplinary solutions to the challenges facing these designations. Lois has conducted applied research in upland and hill farming for nearly twenty five years. She is passionate about the cultural and social value of hill farming for our society and finding practical ways to support its continuation as the cornerstone of our upland cultural landscapes. She sits on the Rural Sector Panel for Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the Lake District World Heritage Site Technical Advisory Group and the National Park Post-CAP group. Lois is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society of Arts.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2019 12:16
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 10:02


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