OpenFields

847: Uplands and other less favoured areas - Farm practices survey 2009

Farming in the uplands has been increasingly in the spotlight due to perceived dangers of destocking and abandonment. A number of statements have been made about the prospects for hill farms largely on the basis of anecdote or small samples this paper is summarised from the Defra 2009 Farm Practices Survey of uplands and other Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) and shows the attitudes and intentions of upland farmers in England

Year of Publication2009

60% of upland farmers classify their business as full time. Almost 64% were long established family farms. Only 7% of upland holdings were farmed by under-40 year olds. Only a quarter of farm households got all their income from farming. About half the farms were debt free. In the last 4 years, 36% of upland farmers have reduced or stopped grazing moorland. For 27% of farms there are no succession arrangements mainly because the family are not interested. Only 2% of upland farmers plan to move on to another career. 95% of farmers think maintaining the upland way of life is important. 38% regard maintaining the environment as vital to the future of upland farming. Low market prices are seen as the greatest challenge to the future.

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upland farming
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