Future of farming and forestry, nature recovery and climate change
Outcome 3: Securing the future of farming and forestry, nature recovery and climate change
The Lake District National Park faces the biggest change in half a century with the implementation of the Agriculture Act 2020 and the delivery of the Government’s 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. We will ensure the effective delivery of the Plan achieves our shared ambitions to celebrate, sustain and enhance the Lake District National Park’s Vision and Special Qualities, and World Heritage attributes of Outstanding Universal Value.
What are we trying to achieve?
We will champion farming led nature recovery, supporting agricultural transition and delivery of the multiple public goods and benefits identified in the 25 Year Environment Plan.
We will deliver the ambition and vision of the nature recovery priorities identified in the Local Nature Recovery Strategy.
We will maintain, celebrate and strengthen traditional Lake District farming systems including the livestock, the food its produces, and the land management practices that support our natural and cultural heritage that are essential to the Lake District National Park Special Qualities, and sustain World Heritage Outstanding Universal Value.
We will support profitable farming, forestry and land management businesses, maintaining traditional land based skills and sustaining our agro-pastoral farming system.
We will develop and grow the network of landscape scale nature recovery areas and delivery approaches that combine farming, forestry and land management choices to achieve nature recovery, and a broader range of multiple public goods and benefits.
Farming, forestry, land management working together to achieve net zero or negative carbon by reducing emissions, investing in our natural capital and increasing carbon storage by 2040.
Farming, forestry, land management and nature will become more resilient to the impacts of climate change and help to reduce the impacts of climate change on people and landscape.
Key transformative actions to achieve our ambitions
Develop and deliver a coordinated Partnership transition support programme to enable business adaptation, nature and climate recovery, and maintenance of the cultural landscape and supporting support young entrants by securing the high take up of options within the Government’s Agricultural Transition Plan 2021-2024, through:
Delivering business (including succession planning) and environmental advice and support to those farmers, foresters, and land managers who request it to help develop and adapt their business plans to apply for schemes within the Agricultural Transition Plan.
Delivering the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme to secure the climate, nature, people, and place themes.
Delivering the Environmental Land Management test and trails and pilots, and influence Environmental Land Management policy that secure the future of the special qualities and attributes of Outstanding Universal Value.
Assist farmers with advice in securing and delivering Countryside Stewardship schemes between 2021 and 2023.
Developing and securing a mix of finance opportunities for natural capital and public services projects from private, charitable, public crowdfunding sources.
Make on-the-ground contributions to deliver the Cumbria Local Nature Recovery Strategy by developing the Lake District National Park Nature Recovery Prospectus and delivering it through:
Working with individual farms, farm clusters and community farming initiatives to increase understanding of options for nature and climate recovery and identifying and co-creating farming led local nature recovery and landscape scale recovery schemes.
Championing and resourcing the recovery of priority and, or protected habitats and species across the Lake District through restoration schemes.This will include their long-term protection and management.
Delivering targets for woodland creation and restoration schemes in line with the Partnership’s “Tree planting and woodland creation guidelines”.
Delivering targets for peatland restoration schemes through schemes at
Rusland Moss National Nature Reserve
Linking the valleys
Pursing the restoration and reintroduction of key species (inc BOOM).
Improving the system to assess condition and extent of priority habitats.
Supporting the delivery of four community led land management initiatives to increase nature recovery, climate recovery and maintain cultural heritage.
Reduce the contributions from farming and land management make to greenhouse gas emissions in line with the National Farmers Union net zero goal and support farmers and land managers on adaptation by:
Securing resources, promoting, and delivering carbon budget assessments for individual farms, farm clusters and community farming initiatives.
Co-creating and delivering farming led carbon reduction or carbon storage measures through the funding packages available.
Co-creating and supporting farmers and land managers make adaptation part of their plans, and helping to deliver schemes to reduce their own risk to climate change, and deliver public benefits to reduce risks to local communities and the Special Qualities of the Lake District.
Maintain, celebrate and strengthen traditional Lake District farming systems by:
Preparing and publishing an updated Lake District Shepherds Guide by 2023 to establish a baseline of fell going flocks to understand and support the viability of hefted flocks.
Increasing number of Commons in successful agri-environment schemes and landscape recovery pilots and projects to sustain and enhance the value and benefit Commons provide.
90% of Lake District National Park land in Environmental Land Management by 2028 delivering individual business’ and local area’s priorities (55% in 2020).
Nature recovery targets - to be developed through the Cumbria Local Nature Recovery Strategy pilot and linked to Lake District National Park contribution to National Parks England wildlife and nature recovery delivery plan.
81% of SSSIs in recovering condition by 2025, 100% of SSSIs in recovering condition by 2030, and 90% of SSSIs in favourable condition by 2040 (21.6% in 2018).
Core areas specifically focussed on nature recovery will cover at least 10% of the National Park by 2025.
We will agree our targets and actions to meet the Government’s 30% by 2030 commitment, as part of our Nature Recovery Delivery Prospectus, by the end of 2022.
75% of water bodies at or above Water Framework Directive Good Ecological Status by 2027 (37% in 2019).
At least 17% woodland cover by 2050 (13% in 2018).
Farm business are net zero/net negative carbon by 2040.
Continuation of fell going flocks appraised through an index. Publish an updated Shepherds Guide for the Lake District by 2023.
Increasing number of commons in successful agri-environment schemes to lead to Environmental Land Management schemes; No reduction of Common Land in traditional land management practices; No reduction in the total area of common land.
The research needs below were those identified as the initial priorities, through a Partnership prioritisation process in early 2021, from a long list of farming, forestry, nature, and climate research proposals. The research needs will be subject to further development throughout the plan period in order to help us deliver the objectives of the Plan.
Explore how Lake District farm system operations can reduce and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to achieve net zero and deliver adaptations to address climate change, and become more resilient themselves.
Develop a shared evidence base and an agreed set of management options that will support traditional Lake District farming practises including the livestock, hefting and commoning, with holistic grazing regime management that will enable delivery of public goods and nature recovery as part of a profitable and sustainable farm business.
How can different Lakeland farming systems deliver nature recovery in a cultural landscape, and financially thrive? Identifying options and good practice applicable to diverse and distinctive local circumstances.
Understanding future opportunities for farm diversification in the Lake District: develop market-led diversification options beyond public goods provision; review options available now and in future; demonstrate good practice case studies; develop self-assessment mechanism for farmers; advice and guidance mechanisms; tools for promotion and branding.
The Lake District National Park Authority looks after this unique corner of England, encouraging people to enjoy and understand its beauty and helping those who live and work here. Our staff include rangers and field workers, advisers at our visitor centres, planners and ecologists.