Farmers Weekly has quoted figures from the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) about the very poor take-up of the Upland Entry Level Scheme (UELS) (see the article). This is worrying as it brings into question the continued viability of hill farms. If farmers are not willing or able to claim UELS, which is the replacement for Hill Farm Allowance (HFA) it does leave you wondering how they are going to manage to stay in the black.
The article quotes that applications have been received from 886 farmers out of the 9408 that were claiming under the HFA scheme. the article goes on to quote the statement by TFA flat "the government's policy for the uplands is not working". I would agree with this, but what are we going to do to improve the situation? The uplands too important to ignore for very many reasons and we need to come up with a coherent strategy for them that is going to both maintain the landscape, the natural services and provide viable businesses for those who run enterprises and provide management in upland areas.