RORY STEWART WELCOMES WINNING EXTRA FUNDING FOR UPLAND FARMERS

Rory Stewart MP’s campaign for more direct support for Upland Farmers
has received a boost from Natural England’s announcement of a
£26/hectare increase in direct payments.This increase will
significantly increase the income for upland farms.  It follows on
from the MP’s long-standing battle to save ‘small family farms’ which
have been rapidly vanishing over the last two decades due to market
and environmental pressures on farmers.

The MP for Penrith and The Border, who represents the constituency
with the highest percentage of uplands land in England and is a member
of the hill-farming APPG, has welcomed the news that farmers who
operate within the moorland line will receive an increase. Rory has
for months been lobbying Ministers and the Secretary of State Owen
Paterson for this recognition, which will see farmers working in some
of the country’s toughest and most unforgiving terrains benefit from
the increase. The moorland payment will be increased to approx £56/ha
under the new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) from 2015 and the moorland
rate will increase by approximately 90 per cent to €70/hectare, with
the Severely Disadvantaged Area (SDA) and lowland rates set at
€244/ha.

Rory Stewart said: “Our farmers operating within the moorland line and
working some of the toughest land in the country perform an incredible
role not only in producing food, but continuing their age-old function
of managing our habitat and maintaining the landscape that is so
central to this part of the country. By transferring funds from Entry
Level Stewardship schemes to Single Farm Payments there will however
be less money for commoning farmers, so we need to ensure that active
commoners continue to be properly rewarded for the work they do, too.”

Owen Paterson said: “Moorland farmers play a vital role in managing
some our most treasured landscapes. This payment increase will help
farmers maintain our moorlands and deliver a significant boost for
tourism and the rural economy in these areas.”

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