Rory, Secretary of the APPG on Hill-Farming, has welcomed the announcement from DEFRA that all 1,600 Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) schemes will be renewed, citing this “a real triumph and a relief for our uplands farmers”. He has also requested that DEFRA produce an overall strategy statement on the future of the uplands.

Speaking after today’s meeting Rory said: “This is great news and a huge relief for our upland farmers, who require stability of income. I believe this is an indication that we will be able to strengthen Pillar One payments for the uplands. However, we need a more detailed outline from Government on what its uplands strategy will be from 2015 onwards, which is currently looking less clear. We need to be aware that the mid-term review last year resulted in uplands farmers being disadvantaged, and we do not want to risk this happening again.”

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