National Parks England Delivery Plan for Environmental Land Management in National Parks - A Peak District National Park Update (SLF)
Cllr Furness requested clarification as the item was on the agenda as ‘for decision’ but there was no decision to make. The Chair confirmed that the item was for information only.
Cllr Greaves arrived at the meeting at 10.10.
The report was introduced by the Head of Landscape who highlighted the main areas of the work via a short presentation and how it fitted with the National Park Management Plan.
The Farming in Protected Landscapes (FIPL) Lead Engagement Officer introduced the second part of the presentation which gave more detail regarding the ongoing FiPL programme and highlighted several projects within the Peak District National Park. It was noted that there are more projects in the Peak District National Park than other Protected Landscapes across the country. A summary update of progress for the financial year 2022/23 has been provided to Defra and is also provided as one of the appendices to the report.
It was confirmed that support was possible for projects outside the National Park boundary if the positive benefit to the National Park could be demonstrated, such as a project supporting Curlew populations.
Members thanked the FIPL Lead Engagement Officer for an excellent presentation.
Clarification regarding the number of land holdings in the National Park was sought. Officers explained that Defra records show 1,474 “commercial” holdings with a definition of commercial holding, whereas the National Park Authority had records of all holdings Officers have worked with which totals over 3,000 holdings. However, due to the changing nature of holdings and short term lets of land it is a complicated picture. The National Park Authority database had been used as the source for sending out the newsletters and the recently formed Peak Farmers Group was also being used to communicate with farmers that were not normally easily reached.
Members expressed concerns regarding sufficient resources. The Head of Landscape clarified that Defra provided an allowance that allowed for the team to consist of two FTE farm advisors plus administrative support but that more resources would be useful to enable engagement with land holders who had previously disengaged from agri-environment support.
The Head of Landscape confirmed that any programme underspend could not be carried forward to the next financial year. In the last year of the programme 2023/24 all funded projects would need to be completed by the end of December 2023 so that the claims could be evidenced, submitted and paid before the end of the financial year – 31 March 2024.
Members discussed the link to the National Park Management Plan (NPMP) and Officers confirmed that to complete a FiPL application correctly the farmer/land manager needs to show how their project delivers for the four FiPL themes and for the NPMP priorities. A short summary of the current NPMP priorities and the emerging new NPMP priorities has been provided.
Members discussed concerns regarding the short-term nature of the FiPL programme as it ends on the 31 March 2024. Officers reported that FiPL has been well received and that an extension to the programme is already being suggested by some key stakeholders particularly as there are concerns as to whether the full suite of Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes will be available by 2024. It is not yet clear what the role of Protected Landscapes including the National Park Authority will be in ELM but the FiPL approach of local flexibility to deliver for local circumstance under a national framework along with a farmer/land manager led Local Assessment Panel is being well received. The results of the recent ELM Test also show that farmers and land managers want a more local approach for ELM.
The Chair thanked the team for their work and the Officers for their presentation.
That it was noted how the Authority is currently taking forward National Park England’s Delivery Plan for Environmental Land Management in the Peak District National Park and how it is informing our future National Park Management Plan.
- Final P&R NPE Delivery Plan for Environmental Land Management- A PDNP Update Part A Committee Report, item 15/22 PDF 365 KB
- Appendix 1 NPE's Environmental-Land-Management-Delivery-Plan-FINAL, item 15/22 PDF 245 KB
- Appendix 2 Range of new schemes for farmers and land managers, item 15/22 PDF 361 KB
- Appendix 3 Farming in Protected Landscapes Yearr 1 2021 22., item 15/22 PDF 2 MB
- Appendix 4 Breakdown of farm business income by farm type, item 15/22 PDF 248 KB