MPs establish new Parliamentary group on hill farming

A NEW ALL-PARTY Parliamentary group on hill farming has been established by Lib Dem MP Tim Farron (Westmoreland and Lonsdale).

The group, which has already gained cross-party support, aims to promote and protect hill farming interests in the UK and the communities that depend on hill farming.

It has been founded following a recent National Trust report which warned that many hill farms will be financially unviable by 21012 unless the government takes action.

The group points out that the move from production-based payments to area-based payments will seriously reduce the support received by many upland livestock farmers.

Commenting on the group’s aims, Mr Farron said although the government claimed there were no significant problems, the experience of many farmers proved otherwise.

“More needs to be done to support hill farming through this difficult period and ministers must remember the vital role upland farmers play in maintaining our valuable landscapes and preserving many countryside communities.”

All-Party groups are unofficial but can exert pressure on a minister or department to modify policy or influence legislation.