THE scrapping of a 50-year plan for uplands in the north has been welcomed by local landowners.
CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn, the north regional director for the Country Land and Business Association, said the withdrawal of Vital Uplands: A2060 Vision was an opportunity to refocus on the real opportunities for upland land managers and their communities.
She said: “This document was disappointing because it failed to recognise that economic activity was essential to underpin the future of upland communities and businesses.
“These are sparsely populated areas, with limited opportunities for employment, diminishing services and additional communication disadvantages because of little public transport, expensive fuel and poor broadband and mobile phone reception.
“Existing land based businesses’ returns are low despite being bolstered by CAP support and environmental payments, so additional income streams must be encouraged.”
Miss Fairburn added: “Traditional upland management through farming, forestry and sporting activities has supported tourism, but we must stop limiting the potential of these areas by labeling them as ‘less favoured’ and look at how we can use the uplands’ positive features as sustainable sources of income.”