Farming partners scheme welcomed

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MP Sir Alan Beith has welcomed a partnership between land managers and Natural England.

Sir Alan visited the Hedgeley Estate at Powburn to find out more about the ways in which Northumberland’s farmers are working with Natural England to ensure that the region’s natural environment is protected and improved.

He met Steve Pullan, lead advisor in Natural England’s Northumberland team, Natural England regional director Rob Aubrook and John Carr-Ellison of the Hedgeley Estate.

Sir Alan found out more about how Natural England works with land managers to ensure the land is best managed to safeguard the natural environment and discussed ways to ensure more effective co-operation.

The meeting proved to be a valuable and wide ranging discussion which touched on a variety of topics ranging from the role of cattle in the hills and the merits of native breeds, to how land management can help alleviate flooding problems.

Sir Alan said: “I welcome the co-operation between Natural England and landowners, which demonstrates how landscape and wildlife can be protected as part of a flourishing agricultural environment.”

Rob Aubrook said: “We were delighted that Sir Alan was able to visit the Hedgeley Estate and find out more about the great work that is taking place there. Farmers are custodians of the much-loved North East landscape, and through their care and stewardship of the land they provide much more than food.

“Farmers manage water courses, which helps to protect our water supplies and manage flood waters; they look after soils, the foundation of future food security; and shape the landscapes, which are home to our native wildlife. Much of this important work is funded by Environmental Stewardship schemes administered by Natural England and the visit was an opportunity to highlight some of the vital work carried out by land managers that often goes unnoticed.”