Went to an interesting talk hosted by the Friends of Bowland last night, the speaker was John Alpe who farms behind the Inn at Whitewell. Most of the talk was about the educational work he has done, on and off the farm. I got the impression that most if not all the land was or is farmed organically and farmed for conservation. However, and I apologise if I have got this completely wrong, but the impression I got was that the motivation for this was financial and that if it had been more profitable to go in the opposite direction he would.
This got me thinking about how things may change in the future and how fragile the natural beauty of Bowland is. The first thing that came to mind is realisation that The Forest of Bowland is not an area of “Outstanding Natural Beauty”, it is an area containing outstanding natural beauty. That natural beauty is there because past and present land management by accident or design has not destroyed that natural beauty. I say not destroyed because I doubt there is any aspect of the natural beauty of Bowland that would not be profitable to destroy if the current protection and financial support was removed.
The political and economic pressures of Brexit, I worry will severely test that protection and support. However I also believe Brexit could lead to innovative ways to satisfy both wildlife conservation needs and farming profitability if the political will was there.