Tag Archives: Lake District National Park

Rewarding small farmers through the market will protect the environment and our heritage

George and VictorThis post is by Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, and is in response to the opinion by Rory Stewart MP, posted yesterday.

Rory Stewart is right to stress the crucial role of small farms in our heritage and landscape. And his concern for their future is one that I share. We depend on farmers to manage the beautiful landscape of the Lake District which draws in nearly sixteen million visitors a year. They are a vital to our plans to have the area’s cultural heritage recognised as a World Heritage Site. Yet average earnings per hill farm are £8,000 per year, according to research that we commissioned from Newcastle University. We are expecting farmers to do a lot, for little return. Read more

Green conservatism: the market vs the environment

Herdwick_Sheep_-_geograph_org_uk_-_770498This post is by Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border. It is from a collection of essays: Green conservatism: protecting the environment through open markets. There are similar collections published under ‘Green social democracy’ and ‘Green liberalism’ projects as part of Green Alliance’s Green Roots programme, which aims to stimulate green thinking within the three dominant political traditions in the UK. This has also been published on ConservativeHome.

If you want to see why a conservative approach to environmental policy is necessary, consider the fate of Britain’s small upland farms. They are vanishing. Two thirds of our farmers and independent farms have been swept aside in the last few decades. As they disappear, the basic structure of rural life is being undermined: farmhouses are converted to expensive homes in empty valleys, where it is increasingly rare to see a farmer in a field. Read more

Brewing beer and saving energy: how a carbon budget experiment is working in the Lake District

aerial shot of windermereThis post is by Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority and Rebecca Willis a Green Alliance associate and climate change adviser to the Lake District National Park Authority.

Amid the media fuss surrounding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report last week, there was surprisingly little attention paid to a crucial part of the report. For the first time, the panel estimated how much carbon dioxide we could emit, in total, if global warming is to be restricted to two degrees centigrade. We can’t go beyond 880 gigatonnes, and we’ve already spent 531 of those. So there isn’t much left. As Nick Stern has pointed out, the world has a carbon budget. We can’t spend beyond our means.

All this talk of gigatonnes and global limits is difficult to relate to. What does it mean for me, my family, my local area, my country? Over the past three years, the Lake District has been involved in a fascinating local experiment that tries to answer this question. Read more