Over time we will be encouraging a series of networks to look at particular policy and land management issues. Some of these will be new, others may exist already but might benefit from coming under the UA umbrella. We will be using the NCU conference to help develop thinking on these and will be holding workshops on:
– Peatland restoration
– Sustainable farm business models
– Farmer networks
– Common land
– High Nature Value Farming
Please register your interest with us if you would like to be involved.
5 thoughts on “Networks”
I’m secretary of a working party set up by the Campaign for National Parks looking at farming and land management in the uplands, and seeking to identify practical and politically feasible policies to address the well documented problems facing hill farmers, in the interests not only of farmers themselves but the wider public who value our National Parks.
My particular interests are Common land and High Nature Value farming.
There was some discussion around bog asphodel (as brought up at the peatland workshop at NCU2015) at a workshop in IBERS, Aberystwyth, last week. It has not yet emerged as a problem in Wales – indeed the National Trust on the Migneint, a large area of re-wetted land, were unaware of its potential danger. It does seem to be a huge problem in Scotland though. A quick search on the literature found very few papers from the UK – the last being reports in cattle in North Wales from 2011, but a lot of material from Norway, although I am told that has now ceased due to the retirement of the scientist involved).
There are increasing concerns about the threat to stock through the photosensitisation of sheep. Recently, Prof Davy McCracken (Head of SRUC Hill & Mountain Research Centre) has published an information leaflet that I have reprinted in the Heather Trust’s Annual Report. Bog asphodel likes wet conditions and the drive to rewet peatland areas could be leading to an increase in photosensitisation problems. This is an issue that needs to be investigated fully if we are to convince stock managers to adopt the re-wetting concept.
Yes, but it does seem to a rather localised problem. I asked a number of people (farmers, researchers, land managers) in Wales about it earlier in the Sumer, and none noted it as a problem, most had not come across it, and one had never heard of it. It is clearly something that needs to be looked at, but this needs to include why it is a problem in some places and not in others.
Surveys we conducted at a range of sheep events across Scotland and northern England show it to occur Highlands & Island, western Southern upland, Cumbria, Northumberland and northen Pennines