Tuesday 31 October 2017

We are extremely delighetd to announce that we will be convening a new partnership to support the uplands in four of England’s most iconic landscapes.The Project has initially been granted round one development funding of £409,200 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), allowing it to progress with its plans  and is in line for a £2.3m National Lottery grant

The Our Common Cause: Our Upland Commons project will enhance and protect upland commons in the National Parks of Dartmoor, Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and the Shropshire Hills AONB, where hill farming commoners have collectively grazed the land for centuries.

This project will bring together partners including the Foundation for Common Land, the National Trust, Commoners Federations and Councils, Duchy of Cornwall, National Farmers' Union, Natural England, Open Spaces Society, RSPB, South West Water, Wildlife Trusts and our National Parks and AONBs to empower hill farmers and the owners of commons to better manage the land for the general public while producing good quality local produce.In addition, young people from local and urban communities will participate in learning and conservation through the John Muir Award. Training and apprenticeship opportunities will also be
developed to enable young people to gain the skills necessary to be the next generation of commoners, while events and activities will reach a wider range of young people through schools and community workshops.

The project aims to conserve and protect common land by preserving key wildlife, habitats and architectural features, as well as supporting commoners to continue to manage the land. Commenting on the award, Julia Aglionby, our Executive Director said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. Upland Commons welcome millions of visitors each year and with this funding we will be able to ensure the pleasure commons give and the benefits they provide are secured and improved for the future.”

Mike Innerdale, Assistant Director for the National Trust in the Lake District said: “This is fantastic news for the upland commons and it’s a project we’re really pleased to support. It’s one of our key responsibilities as a conservation charity to look after the uplands along with hill farmers. Thanks to National Lottery players we’ll be able together to explore better ways to manage these landscapes.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund said: “The centuries-old heritage of commoning is little-known, but contributes to the upkeep and enjoyment of some of England’s most valued landscapes. We’re pleased to be able to support the Foundation for Common Land and its partners with this National Lottery funding and in so doing ensure this part of our heritage is maintained and cared for by generations to come.”

You can read the press release here.