On January 13th 2017 over 80 people gathered from across the north of England at Newton Rigg College, Penrith under the banner of the Uplands Alliance. The purpose was  to discuss building a future for the Northern Uplands post Brexit. The event was kindly financed by the Lake District, Peak District, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park Authorities.

The main outcomes of the discussions can be found below and the summaries of the workshop and the verbatim text can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Attendees included farmers, conservation NGOs, government agencies, and representative bodies of landowners and sporting interests. We explored the benefits the uplands provide society and had speeches from Dame Helen Ghosh on the National Trust’s commitment to the farmed landscape, Defra’s Nicola Riley on the principles in the 25 year Environment and Farming Plans and Robin Milton on the NFU’s perspective on the uplands.


Output 1:    What Principles should post EU Exit public funding follow?


  • Focus public money on delivering public goods in the uplands
  • Provide government support for developing private markets for public goods where possible

Scheme Approach & Scope

  • Within a national framework allow local tailoring of schemes consider the role of National Parks and AONBs
  • Use a Landscape Scale / Catchment Approach
  • Adopt an outcomes approach rather than relying on prescriptions

Motivation and Ownership

  • Empower and Enable farmers as key agents of land management – 70% of the uplands are farmed
  • Clear, simple schemes that pay on time

Output 2: The attendees concluded that:  Looking Forward the most important actions needed for the Northern Uplands are…’

Identify Common Ground

  • Engage and work with a wider group of upland land interests
  • Capture consensus and produce a Concord
  • Create a joined up response to the two 25 year plans

Improve Communications

  • Create public support for investing in the Uplands through communication and learning – capture the imagination – hearts and minds – stories
  • Share a clear collective message from stakeholders
  • Convey a consistent message to Defra

Influence Policy

  • Respond positively on behalf of the Uplands to the 25 year plan consultations
  • Help to develop schemes that have a national framework, but are locally tailored and include new approaches identified
  • Ensure the economic and social value of the uplands is relevant to the Northern Powerhouse
  • Highlight integration of rural social, environmental and economic issues – e.g. farming, housing, broadband

Increase Knowledge and Skills

  • Improve evidence base and valuation of the benefits the Uplands provide and develop mechanisms for public and private funding
  • Pilot new schemes and new approaches e.g. outcomes based schemes
  • Enhance skills and knowledge of farmers, advisors & agencies

Please download the Workshop Summary Reports here:

2 page summary:   ua-northern-event-2-page-summary-jan-2017

8 page summary:   ua-northern-event-8-page-summary-jan-2017

Verbatim report:    looking-forward-workshop-13-jan-2017-verbatim-report-final

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