Thomas Binns has been re-elected as NFU Uplands Forum chair. A new vice chair has been elected in Ann Willcocks.
Thomas is a tenant uplands farmer based in the Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and has been chair of the forum since 2018.
He farms over 750 hectares of land in Lancashire. He has a mix of both grazing cattle and Swaledale sheep, which form part of a 2500 breeding sheep enterprise consisting of Swaledales and Mules.
“We all know the significant benefits that upland farming delivers to the public, in addition to producing climate friendly food, and I am eager to ensure the role of the sector is properly valued in the years ahead.”
Thomas Binns, NFU Uplands Forum chair
A critical time for hill farmers
He said: “I’d like to thank the forum for its support as chair for another two years and I’m excited to be able to work with Ann Willcocks as vice chair during such a critical time for hill farmers.
“We are seeing inflationary costs on farm like never before, all while the details for upland farmers under ELMs are still yet to be announced, and I am committed to engaging with government to highlight this and receive a fair offer for upland farmers.”
Significant benefits of uplands farming
He continued: “We all know the significant benefits that upland farming delivers to the public, in addition to producing climate friendly food, and I am eager to ensure the role of the sector is properly valued in the years ahead.
“I would also like to thank Richard Pedley for his work as vice chair for the past two years.”
The right support for uplands farmers
Ann Willcocks is based in Dartmoor and farms over 200 acres, as well as common land in partnership with her husband. She has a herd of around 100 pedigree Belted Galloway and a flock of 500 ewes.
Ann said: “It’s an incredibly important time for the uplands and I’m delighted to have been elected as vice chair of the forum. I’m looking forward to working with Thomas to ensure upland farmers are able to survive with the right support.”