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The role of the Upper Onny Farmers' group

Nick Read with information supplied by Cath Landles

1 Feb 2024

One of the farmers groups in South Shropshire

We are fortunate in South Shropshire to have existing landscape-scale farmers’ groups, including the Upper Onny Farmers Group (UOFG), a key component in the restoration of wildlife habitats  across 220 square km within the Shropshire Hills National Landscape (the new name for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty). UOFG was formed in 2018 and comprises 20 farmers who farm in and around the Upper Onny Valley, which lies in the Shropshire Hills between the Long Mynd and the Welsh Border.  The group is co-ordinated by Cath Landles of the Shropshire Hills National Landscape Partnership.  

Since its launch it has been involved in two Defra Test and Trials of the proposed new Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes, produced 17 Whole Farm Plans, delivered 10 farm-based environmental workshops and demonstrations, created and restored hay meadows, species rich grassland and wood pasture, protected water courses, restored hedgerows, created orchards and encouraged a shift towards regenerative farming practices. The current focus is to put together an application to the Landscape Recovery Scheme (LRS), designed to support large-scale projects that require long-term funding to achieve their outcomes.

[Photo: Upper Onny Farmers' Group visiting James Rebank’s farm in Cumbria]

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