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Economic and Environmental Impacts of Changes in Support Measures for the English Uplands - ER0101

This research project is intended to improve our understanding of how upland farming in England is likely to be affected by potential changes in income resulting from policy changes. The study uses insights from farmers with an objective to view issues from a farm business and practice perspective.

A key domestic policy driver for uplands support is the delivery of environmental benefits (biodiversity, landscape, resource protection and recreation). This project will establish how upland farmers would be likely to react to changing levels of upland support and what the implications are for the continued delivery of environmental benefits and the general condition of farming in the English uplands.
The objectives for this research are a greater understanding of how hill farmers are likely to respond to changes in economic support from government. In particular, to what extent would a rise or fall in public support lead farmers to (a) radically change their approach to farming (e.g. through intensification or super-extensification), or (b) exit farming altogether? And how are these approaches likely to vary according to age, region, type of farming, and type of tenure?

The key research question is ‘what will be the likely effect of possible changes in support scenarios on farming practices (with emphasis on the environmental impacts such as grazing intensity) and farming profitability in the English uplands?’.

For main issues will be examined:
- Current farming practices and recent changes (type of enterprise, stocking levels – especially on the moorland, input and management practices, perceived environmental changes)
- Awareness of planned and potential policy changes
- Expected impact of policy changes on farm business (type of enterprise, stocking levels – especially on the moorland, input and management practices, potential environmental changes)
- Factors that may explain variations in terms of the business (e.g. tenure, business structure, succession, farmer attitude, diversification / second incomes, location, degree of disadvantage etc).

The fieldwork is being conducted in January and February with full results due in April / May.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : CCRI Fera Uplands Final Report   (729k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2009

To: 2010

Cost: £65,525
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Countryside and Community Research Unit
Economic Research              
Environmental Impact              
Social Research