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Tim Farron

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Farron calls on Government to invest in the Uplands to fight climate change

December 10, 2009 12:00 AM

The Government should be looking to invest in Britain's uplands as a carbon sink to fight climate change according to Liberal Democrat Shadow Defra Secretary of State Tim Farron MP.

A recent forestry commission report has revealed that the capacity of the UK's forests to absorb carbon could be reduced by 70% in the next ten years, leading Mr Farron to call on the Government to front load investment into Britain's uplands.

Speaking today in the House of Commons, Mr Farron called on Environment Minister Hilary Benn to restructure farm payments to ensure that hill farmers are rewarded for their role as environmental stewards.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"Given that the recent forestry commission report revealed that the capacity of UK forests to absorb carbon could be diminished by up to 70% within the next ten years, the Government should be focusing on the capacity of Britain's uplands as a complimentary carbon sink.

"Hill farmers are vital to the well-being of their local communities and the management of our environment, yet they remain unappreciated and unrewarded by a market which ignores their role as environmental stewards of the countryside

"Given that the average hill farmer's income is just £5,000 it is vital that the Government invests in the future of Britain's uplands by restructuring farm payments so that the stewards of our upland carbon sinks are kept in business and fairly rewarded."