The Uplands Alliance

News & Events

Dieter Helm Addresses “Looking Forward Shaping the Future of the South West Uplands” Workshop

We were delighted that Dieter Helm was able to address the Final “Looking Forward” Workshop held in Exeter on 31st March 2017. This Upland Alliance Event was organised by the NFU South-west and Exmoor National Park with additional financial support from Dartmoor National Park. All 40 plus participants from a wide range of conservation organisations and farms across Bodmin, Dartmoor and Exmoor worked hard during the day and we were delighted to be joined by Natural England and Defra.

Full reports are in preparation and will come shortly. In the meantime here are the slides presented by Dieter Helm, Professor of Economics at Oxford University and Chair of the Natural Capital Committee and Julia Aglionby Chair of the Uplands Alliance.

Dieter Helms’ Presentation      outcomes-upland-alliance-22nd-sept-2016-workshopDieter Helm-Exeter Upland (F) 31.03.17

Julia Aglionby’s Presentation     Aglionby-UA-Exeter-Mar 2017

Shropshire Hills Voice their Future for the Uplands

The Uplands Alliance worked with the Shropshire Hills AONB to convene a workshop on, Looking Forward – what we need from Government Support for the future of the uplands in the Shropshire Hills and other areas of the English Uplands bordering Wales.

Held on 27th February there was a massive attendance with huge energy from the 82 participants. Thank you to all the partners who supported the event; Natural England, CLA, NFU, National Trust, Foundation for Common Land.

The AONB has kindly prepared both a short report setting out: a) the principles that participants concluded were required going forward and b) next steps as well as a long report providing full details of the discussions held. Please find these available to download here:

Summary Report    Shropshire Hills Uplands Forum 27 Feb 17 summary report

Full Report               Shropshire Hills Uplands Forum 27 Feb 17 full report

Speakers Slides        Uplands Forum 27 Feb 17 presentations-web


Uplands Alliance speaks at British Ecological Society Uplands Workshop

The Uplands Alliance was invited to speak at a workshop held on 17th March at Newcastle University. Academics, nature conservationists and farmers and landowners gathered from across the UK to consider the impacts on the uplands of Brexit and opportunities for change. Julia Aglionby spoke for the Uplands Alliance.

There were interesting presentations from Scotland and Wales about approaches being taken in those countries. The Welsh Government seems well advanced and more transparent about their thinking and the significant reductions in funding for agriculture post exit. Paul Brannan MEP also spoke passionately about the need for more trees in the uplands and the need to connect urban communities with the countryside. Robin Milton, one of our Deputy Chairs spoke as NFU Uplands forum Chair.

The initial summary and all the presentations can be downloaded from the British Ecological Society website BES Uplands PresentationsUplands-Compressed-Presentations

or here Uplands-Compressed-Presentations



On January 13th 2017 over 80 people gathered from across the north of England at Newton Rigg College, Penrith under the banner of the Uplands Alliance. The purpose was  to discuss building a future for the Northern Uplands post Brexit. The event was kindly financed by the Lake District, Peak District, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park Authorities.

The main outcomes of the discussions can be found below and the summaries of the workshop and the verbatim text can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Attendees included farmers, conservation NGOs, government agencies, and representative bodies of landowners and sporting interests. We explored the benefits the uplands provide society and had speeches from Dame Helen Ghosh on the National Trust’s commitment to the farmed landscape, Defra’s Nicola Riley on the principles in the 25 year Environment and Farming Plans and Robin Milton on the NFU’s perspective on the uplands.


Output 1:    What Principles should post EU Exit public funding follow?


  • Focus public money on delivering public goods in the uplands
  • Provide government support for developing private markets for public goods where possible

Scheme Approach & Scope

  • Within a national framework allow local tailoring of schemes consider the role of National Parks and AONBs
  • Use a Landscape Scale / Catchment Approach
  • Adopt an outcomes approach rather than relying on prescriptions

Motivation and Ownership

  • Empower and Enable farmers as key agents of land management – 70% of the uplands are farmed
  • Clear, simple schemes that pay on time

Output 2: The attendees concluded that:  Looking Forward the most important actions needed for the Northern Uplands are…’

Identify Common Ground

  • Engage and work with a wider group of upland land interests
  • Capture consensus and produce a Concord
  • Create a joined up response to the two 25 year plans

Improve Communications

  • Create public support for investing in the Uplands through communication and learning – capture the imagination – hearts and minds – stories
  • Share a clear collective message from stakeholders
  • Convey a consistent message to Defra

Influence Policy

  • Respond positively on behalf of the Uplands to the 25 year plan consultations
  • Help to develop schemes that have a national framework, but are locally tailored and include new approaches identified
  • Ensure the economic and social value of the uplands is relevant to the Northern Powerhouse
  • Highlight integration of rural social, environmental and economic issues – e.g. farming, housing, broadband

Increase Knowledge and Skills

  • Improve evidence base and valuation of the benefits the Uplands provide and develop mechanisms for public and private funding
  • Pilot new schemes and new approaches e.g. outcomes based schemes
  • Enhance skills and knowledge of farmers, advisors & agencies

Please download the Workshop Summary Reports here:

2 page summary:   ua-northern-event-2-page-summary-jan-2017

8 page summary:   ua-northern-event-8-page-summary-jan-2017

Verbatim report:    looking-forward-workshop-13-jan-2017-verbatim-report-final

The Future of England’s Uplands

England's Uplands Infographic- 08-11-16.jpg


In this post, all the documents from the vital meeting on the 22nd September.
Download the PDF’s and read on…

What next for the Uplands Alliance?

From Professor Michael Winter…

Dear All

It was very pleasing to see many of you at our launch event at the National Centre for the Uplands back in May, and the level of enthusiasm was very encouraging. We’ve since held meetings in both the South West and North West primarily looking at potential opportunities under the European Innovation Partnership’s (EIP) programme to support operational groups (see below). Many of you have signed up as members of the Uplands Alliance via the website and I would encourage you to do so if you haven’t already. I’m conscious though, that time passes and people may begin to ask – but what next for the Uplands Alliance? I’m taking this opportunity to answer that!

For more on what is next for the Uplands Alliance  please download the letter from here. MWDec2015.

Uplands Hydrology Group Conference 19th of January

The Uplands Hydrology Group brings together those individuals and organisations that have an interest in the management of the uplands and the services that they provide.  This conference will consider in detail two of the key upland services that upland landscapes can deliver, water quality and flood risk management.   The  latest research and understanding in these areas will be analysed and the relationship with the upland economy explored.

Conference Flyer – download here Rose Bowl Conference, 19th Jan. 2016

Uplands Hydrology Group Poster – download here The Upland Hydrology Group poster

image CC – The University of Gloucestershire.