Upland farmers should paid to protect the landscape

The Commission for Rural Communities is to propose today that upland farmers should recieve payments for the services their land provides.

Speaking on the Today programme, Dr Stuart Burgess emphasised the importance of upland regions, which are “[just] as important as lowland communities.” Uplands, he continued, provide 70% of the UK’s drinking water, store 200 million tonnes of carbon in peatlands, and are a source of enjoyment for the 40 million annual visitors to National Parks.

Dr Burgess conceded that such a scheme may eventually bring additional costs to the Government, but stressed that other streams of income may be available should be value of uplands be recognised. Possible source include the growing carbon market, or through the revision of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The full interview with Dr Burgess can be heard here.