The House of Lords Land Use in England Committee has published its report today (13/12/2022) if you live and work in the Countryside there are no surprises in the report as the committee seek to highlight issues highlighted by FERN in our evidence such as lack of affordable housing, nature recovery and national food security, but the main recommendation to create a land use commission will hopefully keep these critical issues on the national agenda.

FERN also highlighted the conflicts between food production, public access, energy production, and nature recovery. Since we presented our evidence to the committee, it has become clear that these conflicts are polarising between Farmers and Ecologists as the Government policy on trade and the new ELMS schemes appear more muddled than ever.

Our interview with Joe Stanley of NFU and The Atherton Project is a good example of this and can be heard here:

The committee is suggesting a multifunctional framework that is locally driven should be at the forefront of its thinking and we at FERN agree, land use can deliver food, energy and nature recovery as well as flood prevention and leisure all at the same time if managed well with local landowners and communities at the forefront of its development. Providing prosperity for rural areas not at the expense of rural areas.

To get a feel of what the House of Lords Committee are proposing, we recently interviewed Andrew Thin of the Scottish Land Commission listen to this here

FERN Director Kevin Beaty says “Here at FERN we welcome the creation of a land commission as a first step to getting clarity on what the country sees as it priorities and we urge the government to take up the committees recommendations in full by including more than just DEFRA in the discussions”

FERN Director Daniel Rad says “The rural economy is much more than what DEFRA delivers as the prosperity of rural communities depends on a multifunctional land use future.”

FERN will continue to highlight issues in the rural economy through its FERNCAST series available through.

FERN is the Future Economic Rural Network based in the North of England highlighting issues and discussing solutions to the future prosperity of rural areas.

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