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Future of Farming and Forestry, Nature Recovery and Climate Change

What is it?

The Lake District National Park faces the biggest change in half a century with the implementation of the Agriculture Act 2020 and the government’s ambitions as set out in its 25 Year Environment Plan. Our farming traditions, our natural environment and our climate are in crisis. Recovering from these crises drives the priorities and objectives for our Plan.

What we are trying to achieve is set out in the Partnership Plan here:
Securing the future of farming and forestry, nature recovery and climate change

Percentage of FiPL Projects Addressing Each Theme

Farming in Protected Landscapes

Farmers in the Lake District National Park can benefit from the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme (FiPL), part of DEFRA’s Agricultural Transition Plan, with grants available that contribute to one of four themes: Nature, People, Place and Climate.

Source: Lake District National Park Authority

Number of Farmers and Projects Benefiting from the Farming in Protected Landscape Programme

Our targets are for the number of farms in the National Park funded through a FiPL scheme.

Source: Lake District National Park Authority

Percentage of Land under Agri-Environment Agreements

The overall trend in the area of land dedicated to Agri-Environment schemes has increased, taking into account the expansion of the National Park boundary, with a small decrease in area in 2021. This means that we have not yet met our low target of maintaining the percentage of land in these schemes at 2020 levels. Many agreements are time extensions to existing ones given the pending roll out of the new Environmental Land Management Scheme.

Source: Natural England

SSSI Condition 2013 to 2025

In 2021, 22.7% of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSIs) were in favourable condition compared to 27.0% in 2014. Whilst there has been a decline, there has been an increase in those sites which
remain stable but still in unfavourable condition.

Source: Natural England

WaterBodies Assessed as having Good Ecological Status

Continuing the classification of water bodies using the EU Water Framework Directive, the Lake District has seen an improvement of those with GOOD ecological status since 2018. Our target is 75% by 2027 into the next plan cycle.

Source: Environment Agency

Peatland Restoration

Between 2015 and 2018 several thousand hectares of peatland were restored. While restoration has since slowed, good progress has been made on restoration planning, laying the groundwork for reaching our target of 7,000ha restored by 2025.

Source: Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Planned Peatland Restoration Projects

The total area of peatland restored last year was 154.5ha and this equates to a saving of 15,586 tonnes CO2 equivalent over the next 50 years (Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme calculator), the equivalent of the emissions from nearly 8,000 petrol cars.

Source: Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Concentration of Hefting on Commons in the Lake District

The overall situation is that between 2017 and 2023 the Lake District has lost 27 hefts (roughly equivalent to 9%). Hefting is becoming more concentrated onto fewer commons, with fewer hefts per common. One common has been lost completely due to a change in landlord policy.

Source: World Heritage Site Technical Advisory Group

Registered Common Land in the Lake District National Park 2023

2018

66,252ha

of common land

2023

66,218.65ha

of common land

Since 2018 34.39ha of common land has been removed from the Register. This is represented by small parcels of land spread across 17 commons (which may include land that was incorrectly registered). 1.04ha of land at Eskdale Common has been added.

Source: Commons Registration Service, Westmorland and Furness Council.
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