Nearly 70 years after legislation was brought in to protect some of England’s finest landscapes, the Government is carrying out a review into whether National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are still fit for purpose. Led by Julian Glover The Review is due to be published in the Autumn. Initial findings suggest that:
- The size of National Park Boards should be reduced
- The NP Boards should be more diverse and less dominated by interests within the Parks i.e. Local Authorities, Parish Councils and landowners
- The number of National Park Rangers should be increased
- Funding for National Parks and AONBs should be increased
- National Parks should work better together
Members of the Panel have visited many AONBs and National Parks, including the South Downs. The SDLM submitted evidence which can be found here.
NPA Promotes Responsible Dog Walking
The National Park Authority has recently released a series of videos aimed at promoting responsible dog walking within the National Park. There are three that may be of particular interest to landowners who have issues with dog walkers:
Printed leaflets, window stickers and dog passports are also available to any landowners should they wish to hand them out to people walking on their land
Livestock Worrying ReportsOver 15,000 sheep a year are being killed by dogs at a cost to farmers of around £1.3 m, and this has been extensively analysed in the All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW). The restrictions placed by the law have also been analysed in a Police report.The APGAW Report looks at the available evidence, current legal framework, responsible dog ownership and good practice examples. It makes a number of recommendations including the improved recording of incidences of livestock deaths/ worrying; specific changes to relevant legislation; the introduction of alternative locations for dog walking that are away from livestock; the review of the sentencing by the Ministry of Justice to act as more of a deterrent.The Police report is based on data collected by 5 Police Forces including Sussex Police between March 2013 and September 2017. During that time there were 1669 reported incidents of livestock worrying, 1866 livestock were reported killed and 1614 livestock report injured. 92 dogs were shot as a result.The reports will form the basis for discussions at the 2018 SheepWatch Conference on 22nd June which aims to find some clear shared messages, and locate channels in which to communicate to the general public across the country
SDNP Landowner Conference - Turning Land into an Asset: Working together to build more Affordable Homes
Over 100 delegates attended the conference on 3rd February aimed at promoting more affordable homes within the National Park. Speakers set out the need for small scale affordable housing across the National Park and outlined the SDNPA strategy for making it happen. Presentations can be downloaded here: Legal perspective - Ian Graham, Tax issues - Kathryn Mallet, Land Owners Role - Robin Edwards, Rural Housing Needs - Sue Chalkley, Planning - Tim Slaney, Community Land Trusts - Tom Warder
South Downs National Park Authority - Farmer and landowner breakfasts 2018Many Landowners attended the three meetings which took place in early February across the Park.
Presentations from this and previous years breakfast meetings can be seen by clicking on the appropriate link below:
Digital Connectivity Grant Programme This capital grant scheme will support up to 40% of the cost of superfast connection for groups of businesses not planned for inclusion in either the commercial or publicly-funded rollouts of broadband infrastructure.
This funding comes from Coast to Capital’s Local Growth Fund under their ‘Growth is Digital’ key project but is being managed by West Sussex County Council.
To be eligible you must not have current access to superfast broadband services or be included in the planned delivery of the publicly funded roll out by Better Connected, a partnership of West Sussex County Council, BT and BDUK (the government department responsible for broadband delivery). The programme has been developed by Rural West Sussex Partnership, Gatwick Diamond Initiative, Coastal West Sussex Partnership, West Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority. To find out more follow the link in the title above.Leader
The latest Leader rural development funding is targeted towards increasing farm and forestry productivity, helping small rural businesses and farm diversification.
Grants will usually be limited to up to 40% of the total eligible costs of a project. LEADER grant applications must be for at least £2,500 and no more than £50,000. To be successful, applications will need to contribute towards one or more of the national LEADER priorities and projects must also fit with one or more of the Local Action Group's strategic priorities. To find out more, follow the links above or to see a map of leader areas use the following link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rural-development-programme-for-england-leader-funding#find-more-information
Free advisory services available to farmers in the Portsmouth area
The Downs & Harbour Clean Water Partnership has a budget to provide a number of free services to farmers with land near Portsmouth Water drinking water boreholes and or have land adjacent to watercourses. For more information see their website Downs & Harbour Cleanwater Partnership
Services offered include
- Nutrient management plans
- Manure management plans
- Soil testing/analysis & soil nitrigen analysis
- Manure / slurry analysis
The following useful leaflets can be ordered from the Park Authority
South Downs Countryside Code
Responsible dog walker
Join South Downs Land Managers if your work involves land in the Park, whether as an employee, contractor, agent, farmer, forester, tenant or landowner.
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