Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is hosting a series of events throughout August to help local farmers respond to current challenges.
A number of expert speakers and award-winning farmers will deliver the events, with a focus on farms that have embraced innovation and change.
This includes farmers who have taken on regenerative farming practices, or who have diversified into new enterprises, including artisan cheese production and the development of a Yorkshire barn wedding venue.
Matthew Trevelyan, Farming in Protected Landscapes Officer at Nidderdale AONB, said: “We want to help farmers respond to current challenges. It is likely that ‘business as usual’ won’t work for many of the AONB’s farmers in the future, especially as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is withdrawn.”
Speakers include a regenerative farming consultant, a Nuffield scholar veterinarian, and representatives from the Pasture Fed Livestock Association.
The three-year Defra-funded Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is part of the government’s Agricultural Transition Plan after Brexit and the end of EU subsidies, that also aims to address the climate crisis.
Matthew said: “We know that a shift towards Environmental Land Management policies will mean that farmers are rewarded for nature and climate friendly practices. So, we want to showcase best practices, provide a forum for debate, and an opportunity to learn about the latest ideas. It’s about exploring how we can combine the important role of farmers as food producers, with this vital role as custodians of the environment.”
He added: “The highlight of all our events will be the farm walks: it’s always privilege to have a guided tour of a piece of land, and to witness something you’ve only heard about in theory, working in practice.”
The events are hosted in locations across Nidderdale, including Middlesmoor, Grewelthorpe and Blubberhouses.
They are open to farmers and land workers within the AONB.
Matthew said: “Farmers are increasingly concerned about subjects such as carbon auditing and biodiversity. This is a chance to seek out the latest information, connect with others and gain access to further workshops on subjects such as soil health and farm accounting.”
To book, go to www.ticketsource.co.uk/nidderdale-aonb