Farming and Land Management in the South Downs National Park - positive engagement and productive wo
A new paper by Phil Belden (former Director of Operations at the South Downs National Park) discusses how the South Downs has approached the key relationship with the farming and land management community at both the local and strategic level.
Under the SDNP Local Plan, new policies are supportive of farming, including enabling diversification to increase its long-term viability, construction of new agricultural and forestry buildings, and facilitating the re-use of redundant farm buildings.
The SDNP has helped its farmers secure 20% of Stewardship funding in the SE region, though the South Downs covers only 10% of the area under agreement. Additional funding has been secured for improved water quality, woodland management, heathland conservation, sustainable transport, heritage tourism and food marketing.
The SDNP’s proposed pilot scheme to trial new approaches to agri-environment funding delivery is designed to provide a range of benefits. These include agri-environment solutions which take full account of farmer expertise and ideas to improve productivity and resilience, enhanced income and reduced costs for participating farm businesses. The proposed scheme has the support of both the CLA and NFU. Read Phil Belden’s new paper here …