The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI), at the University of Gloucestershire, has contributed to the creation of a new organisation called the Uplands Alliance, which has been formed to help protect Britain’s uplands.

Published: 30/04/2015 15:39

The Uplands Alliance will be officially launched at the National Centre for the Uplands Conference at Newton Rigg College, Penrith, on Wednesday 13 May.

CCRI Director, Professor Janet Dwyer, is a member of the Uplands Alliance steering group, which aims to promote better communication between practitioners, researchers and policy makers with a view to improving the sustainability of the English uplands and their management.

At the launch event, Professor Dwyer will be convening a workshop to discuss ‘options for sustainable and successful farm businesses in the uplands’, with the help of colleagues from Newcastle University, Cumbria Fells and Dales, Eblex and the National Trust.

Professor Dwyer said, “The charismatic landscapes of the British uplands have long been valued by many people for multiple reasons. They provide vital ecosystem services and are an important source of drinking water, timber and food production. They provide access to the natural environment for recreation and cultural enjoyment, provide a habitat for many species of wildlife and they play a key role in climate regulation. Shaped by altitude, latitude, soils and climate, the uplands have been influenced by people over thousands of years and it is vital that they are supported by sustainable and viable land management.”

Other Steering group members include leading spokespersons from a range of NGOs and universities and colleges. The Interim Chair of the Uplands Alliance is Professor Michael Winter from Exeter and the President is Lord Inglewood. Julia Aglionby, Chairperson for the Foundation for Common Land, also played a key role in bringing the group together.

Dr Matt Reed of the CCRI provided assistance to help set up the Uplands Alliance’s new website.

This new initiative will provide ideas and advice to policy makers for more cost-effective upland policy support, as well as good practice lessons and inspiration for farmers and landowners.