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The South West Uplands Seminar: A future for our farmed uplands?

One-day seminar, Friday 29 October 2010

Upland areas of England are now being recognised for the significant public benefits they provide.  This statement is particularly true for Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor in South West England.  With that in mind the Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR), together with the South West Uplands Federation (SWUF), convened a Seminar at Westpoint on 29 October.

Around 100 delegates contributed to the stimulating and lively seminar providing a range of questions for the speakers and the senior Defra officials attending. The scene was set by the Chairman of the SWUF, Ian Mercer, who introduced the 9 benefits of the SW uplands. Michael Winter, Director of CRPR and Commissioner for the Commission of the Rural Communities, followed with an overview of the recent CRC Inquiry report High Ground, High Potential. Progress on issues facing the region's uplands over the past two years was reviewed by Exmoor National Park Officer, Nigel Stone and the CRPR’s Assistant Director, Matt Lobley exposed some of the myths and realities of farming in the SW uplands based on findings from the recent CRPR Devon County Council funded survey of South West agriculture.  The reality theme continued when three farmers from Bodmin, Dartmoor and Exmoor - Steve Nankivell, Matthew Cole and Robin May gave their perspective to the audience.  Finally, the challenge of looking forward, goal setting and finding solutions for the future was addressed by Mark Robins, Senior Policy Officer of the RSPB in the South West.

The event was supported by Devon County Council, Duchy College, the National Farmers Union, Natural England, the RSPB and other agencies and NGOs.

Date: 1 November 2010