Rural scenes ‘at risk’

The Howardian Hills must be protected for future generations, says the CLA.
The Howardian Hills must be protected for future generations, says the CLA.

Beauty spots in Yorkshire could be at risk if the Government does not produce a policy on farming and the environment post-Brext, the Country Landowners Association said.

Forty six Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) across England and Wales are being celebrated during Outstanding Week (17-25 September) to highlight their national importance and ensure their character and qualities are protected for all to enjoy.

In the north this includes the Howardian Hills, Nidderdale and the Forest of Bowland.

But the CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses in the region says any uncertainty over the future funding for food, farming and the environment after 2020 could lead to these areas at risk of becoming economically and environmentally unviable.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “It is right to celebrate these naturally breathtaking rural areas. We are always keen to welcome more visitors into the countryside. But it should not be forgotten that AONBs are living, working landscapes. It is critical that the right government policies and funds are designed which will enable farmers and land managers to sustain these distinctive landscapes for future generations.

“Although we are assured the current support for agriculture will continue at the same level until the end of 2020, after that is unknown. The Government has a duty to ensure food, farming and the environment are not let down.

“Communities and wildlife are all dependent on the viability of the rural economy.”