I attended the launch of Natural England's Upland Vision in Ilkley on 12 Nov 09. Their press release gives details of the launch, a link to the document and also comments from some of the organisations that were represented at the launch.
The Vision is welcomed, although perhaps inevitably it is good on aspirations and less good on delivery. An interesting part of the work associated with the Upland Vision is the establishment of 3 demonstration sites across the country to trial some of the principles. More details are available on the NE website. Hopefully this work will help to show how the Vision can be delivered. It is work that I would like to keep in close contact with as it is very close to the Trust's heart. The need for compromise to allow upland owners and managers to generate income to pay for the necessary management of these areas needs to be emphasised and I hope that these demonstrations sites will address this.
Perhaps there is a case for an Upland Strategy to be developed that will provide a direction for upland policy from where we are now to the aspirations set out in the Vision.
In Scotland, we have been advised recently of compensatory conifer planting on good quality heather moorland following the clear felling of another part of an estate. To my mind, there is a clear need for an Upland Strategy in all parts of the UK to protect our upland areas and stop this sort of nonsense. Is this just unnecessary additional bureaucracy, or would it serve a useful purpose?