NFU North East Environment Forum and Representative Richard Bramley today highlighted the farming sector’s work in tackling climate change in a forum held at Westminster.
Ahead of the National Adaptation Programme (NAP) publication next year, Mr Bramley highlighted the value of farming in the UK and how climate change can affect the industry.
The NAP will set out how government, businesses and wider society can become more climate ready, focusing on areas such as the built environment, agriculture and forestry, and local government.
Mr Bramley said at the forum: “Climate change is happening and it is affecting us in many ways already.
“While a key skill in running a farm is adapting all the processes to suit the prevailing conditions, the environmental climate in which I operate has the greatest impact on my profitability and output. Yet it is something over which I have very little control.
“My modest farm near York produces enough calories to sustain 12,000 people for a year. The retail value of that produce is over £25million. In its own way, my farm is significant to many people.
“Alongside the production of our food, myself and other farmers also manage 70% of the UK’s countryside – maintaining woodland, hedgerows, stone walls – as well as providing energy supplies and raw materials for industry.
“Our most productive land is often low lying and liable to flooding, not just because of extreme rainfall, but because catchment management needs to be more effective. We cannot afford to lose our most valuable assets.
“Anything which is likely to make our environmental climate alter, or become more extreme, is a concern to me and should be for everyone.
“Government’s primary role is to protect their citizen’s wellbeing, and so we must ensure that our country’s agriculture remains high on the priority list when it comes to adapting to climate change.”