uplands advisory group
Rory has established and held an inaugural meeting of an ‘uplands advisory group’ to ensure the concerns of Cumbrian hill farmers are heard in Westminster. The group will serve as a sounding board and policy guide to the local MP, who has already established Young Farmers’ and Dairy advisory groups. The meeting, chaired by Mervyn Edwards of the Cumbria Hill Farming Discussion Group, was attended also by members of the Lakeland Discussion Group and Will Cockbain of the NFU and Natural England. Farmers present represented hill-farms from near Hesket Newmarket, Kirkoswald, Haweswater, Skelton, Kirkby Stephen and Greystoke, and the discussion focused on CAP reform 2013, agri-environment schemes, the importance of sustainable employment in the uplands, and the potential for expanded export markets for sheep.
Rory said: “The Cumbrian uplands require a clear voice in Parliament: Cumbrian uplands require unique policy solutions, different regulations, and the need for a strong advocate in Westminster. Penrith and the Border is, statistically, the ‘number one’ uplands constituency in England, and I feel it a proud duty to be able to represent hill farmers’ needs in Parliament. We need to fight very hard to preserve our landscape in the Lake District, which has been shaped, formed and protected by our uplands communities for years. I am delighted to have such a strong group of hill farmers to advise me on these issues, and look forward to regular meetings ahead.”