The Foundation for Common Land (FCL), Patron HRH The Prince of Wales has attended a Summit to encourage cooperation between the cultural farmed landscape and nature conservation in the Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS).
The workshop, held earlier today (8 April) at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus, was convened by the Foundation for Common Land and brought together the leading figures from 20 organisations including the National Trust, RSPB, National Farmers’ Union, Woodland Trust, Prince’s Countryside Fund, Woodland Trust and Natural England. The Prince of Wales heard how the delegates had agreed:
This is a time of unprecedented change for both farming businesses and the environment; there is an urgency to address the risks from this change and build resilience for farm businesses, the environment and communities.
The Lake District National Park Partnership will work collaboratively to build a framework to enable farm businesses to adapt to this change with the aim to deliver improved outcomes for our cultural landscapes, the natural environment and businesses.
To support change we need to be more confident building on current best practice and developing radical solutions recognising the interdependence of farming and the environment and the importance of ensuring farmers are central to developing these solutions.
The event was hosted by the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas at the University of Cumbria and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell said: “We are delighted to be working with the Foundation for Common Land and the Lake District National Park Partnership on this key topic to find common ground and work towards mutually beneficial outcomes.”
Julia Aglionby, Executive Director of FCL said: “The WHS inscription was granted due to how hill farming and commoning has shaped the natural beauty of the English Lakes. But 24% of the WHS is also internationally designated for nature conservation. The sad reality is that both hill farming and nature are under threat. Now representatives of cultural and natural heritage groups have made a commitment to develop tools and policies to enhance both as equally vital components of the Lake District.”