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New funding package launched for Peak District farmers looking to the future

Thursday 24 June 2021

Tractor in field to show farming in protected landscapesFarmers in the Peak District National Park will be able to benefit from a new grants programme from 1 July, with more than £1.2 million available locally this year (2021).

The three-year grants programme - Farming in Protected Landscapes - has been launched by Defra and will be managed locally by the Peak District National Park Authority.

Further funding will be available in following years up to 2024.

Farming is at the heart of the Peak District’s unique landscape heritage and has helped create this special place over thousands of years, and continues to shape the iconic views enjoyed and explored by residents and visitors. Along with distinctive field systems and livestock, built heritage has also played a key role including farmhouses, barn structures, dry stone walls, and pack horse bridges that are often uniquely Peak District.

The Peak District National Park Authority wants to continue to work with farmers, landowners, communities and businesses to balance sustainable, productive, and profitable land management choices to address and adapt, and recover from the threats facing farming, nature, climate and communities.

The Peak District is already leading innovation in building climate change resilience in our uplands through habitat restoration and hosting one of Defra’s Environmental Land Management Tests and Trials.

The new programme will look at funding Peak District projects under one of these four headings:

Climate – includes projects that help address climate change like whole farm planning for carbon management  and assisting a farm to take actions for energy efficiency, to reduce carbon emissions and increase soil health, creating woody debris dams and riverside tree planting for natural flood management.

Nature – includes work that supports nature-friendly sustainable farms, restoring and creating wildlife rich habitats as part of nature recovery, promoting connectivity between habitats and natural processes for a wilder Peak District; or restoring ponds and creating wader scrapes to support a variety of wildlife.

People – includes projects that provide opportunities for people to engage with the landscape. This could be working with new audiences to help them experience the Peak District, or being able to offer farm walks to help give people a greater insight into farming. Or, it could be replacing stiles with gates to make routes more accessible for locals and visitors.

Place – includes work that supports cultural heritage, this could be conserving historic features on a farm such as limekilns or lead mining heritage. Or, supporting a locally-branded food initiative which promotes the links between the product and the landscape in which it is produced.

The Peak District National Park Authority’s chief executive, Sarah Fowler said: "The Peak District is a living landscape in the truest sense - people and farming have been shaping this area for generations far before it's recognition as a National Park 70 years ago.

"Farmers and land managers living and working in the Peak District have a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges we face in our unique landscapes and communities.

"The farming community is going through many changes and this funding will help them to decide how best to take advantage of the opportunities, address the challenges and continue to look after our special Peak District landscape."

Applications for the first year of Programme funding should be made between 1st July 2021 and 31st January 2022.

Sarah added: "Before applying, we would encourage you to contact us to discuss your application, our contact details and full details of the programme are available on our website."

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