LFA Report launched by NSA

10th May 2012

The National Sheep Association yesterday (Wednesday 9th) launched a new report that looks at the many public benefits of sheep farming in upland and marginal areas – ‘The Complementary Role of Sheep in Less Favoured Areas’

The report draws on the support of many other organisations with environmental and agricultural interests (listed below) who agree that traditional sheep farming practices can bring a host of environmental, social, and economic benefits.

Phil Stocker, CEO of the NSA commented “We have to recognise that one of our biggest challenges going forward will be to feed a growing global population within increasingly limited and volatile resource availability. This doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the environment or wildlife for food production, but it does mean that we should recognise the value of our upland marginal areas in contributing to food security while also delivering many things that the public value – such as traditional landscape, vibrant farming communities, and the multiplier effect of local economies.  Our agricultural policies need now to become far more holistic and recognise the need to bring farming, food and the environment together rather than separate them.  Traditional sheep farming largely created what the public have come to love about upland and remote areas and sheep farmers did this by default rather than design. With political drivers changing from previous decades we should recognise it is the farming activity that is the foundation of land management in these regions, with the delivery of public goods over and above that of producing food, being encouraged and incentivised properly”.

The report recommends:

  • An increased understanding of the positive impacts of vibrant sheep farming in the uplands
  • Integration of tree planting and sheep farming interests
  • Greater understanding of the role of sheep in upland land management relating to carbon and climate change – including carbon sequestration, and security through avoiding wildfires.
  • A range of measures and incentives through CAP reform to encourage investment in sustainable and traditional sheep farming in upland and marginal regions.

To view the report on line follow this link http://www.issuu.com/natsheep/docs/lfa2012final?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222