This is an archived press release

Friday 25 June 2004

25 June 2004


The Peak District National Park Authority has won national recognition and praise from the Landscape Institute (LI), the chartered professional body for landscape architects, in their 75th Anniversary Members' Awards.

The Authority won the top award in the Strategic Landscape Planning category for an innovative landscape study that sets out how government policies and funding for upland agriculture could be redirected to achieve better outcomes for the environment and the local economy on the ground.

The Peak District Land Management Initiative (PDLMI) studied an area of eight parishes, totalling 30 square kilometres, containing 91 farms including beef, sheep and dairy enterprises, over a six-year period.

The PDLMI project involved three distinct areas of work:
1. Exploring the impact of rural support programmes on the environment and on the social and economic well being of rural communities.
2. Developing an 'Alternative Payment Mechanism' – a new form of aid focusing 100% on the new objectives for rural policy for business development and environmental management - with detailed work on 9 sample farms.
3. Input of PDLMI ideas into the Government's mid term review of the Common Agricultural Policy, into various Government reviews of rural programmes and into the Haskins Review of Rural Delivery Mechanisms.

Rod Edwards, President of the Landscape Institute, presented the Strategic Landscape Planning award to the National Park Authority at a ceremony in Nottingham on Thursday 24 June.

Rod Edwards said: "The Peak District National Park Authority has worked with all the key stakeholders, including the landowning and farming communities, to achieve an approach that could be rolled out across all rural areas in the country. The challenge was an ambitious one and the inclusive approach to the study was exemplary. The adopted solutions were innovative."

Ken Parker, PDLMI project manager, said: "This project wouldn’t have been possible without the active support of all the organisations on the Steering Group and the voluntary participation of farmers and landowners who gave freely of their time and ideas."

The results of the PDLMI project show that a simple to use system of public funding support for upland agriculture, linking rural programmes together, focused on the outcomes of up to date national and European Union policy objectives, with payments based on the achievement of public benefits, is needed.

Ken Parker added: "We are keen that this report should not 'sit on a shelf' - it should form the basis for the next generation of rural policies and programmes and we are already exploring how this might best be done with the Countryside Agency and Defra."

This is an archived press release

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