Rory has announced that he will be working closely with Julia Aglionby and the National Centre for the Uplands at Newton Rigg to commission a study that will assess the future of Cumbria’s small hill farms, looking in particular at the impact of historic government policy and subsidies on the reduction in number of smaller family farms in the county. The MP aims to obtain evidence of the declining numbers of small family farms, and intend the study to investigate the drivers that have contributed to a fall in their numbers – the majority of which are located in the uplands. Penrith and the Border is cited as the ‘number one’ uplands area in England, given that it contains the highest percentage of upland land of all English constituencies.

Rory said: “I am extremely concerned at what I see as a very worrying decline in the number of small family farms in our county, and I am working hard to gather the evidence that will illustrate that there are aspects of modern policy that have contributed to their disappearance. I would like policy-makers to be able to use our findings to inform future legislation and policy debate, and I am extremely pleased to have the support of experts such as Julia Aglionby and hill-farmers such as Will Cockbain.”

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