Black Mountains Land Use Partnership successfully through to stage 2 with a new approach to upland commons management

A local group – The Black Mountains Land Use Partnership – announced today that its application has been successful in getting through to stage 2 of the Welsh Government’s bidding process for its Sustainable Management Scheme. The partnership are chasing funding for a million pound project which, if successful will allow them to run a wide range of novel, practical activities across the whole area of the Black Mountains. This pioneering partnership could influence land management elsewhere.

The Black Mountains Land Use Partnership brings together farmers and graziers who live, work, and manage livestock on the Black Mountains, alongside land owners; Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales, and Welsh Water, to discuss and collaborate on the current and future management, sustainability and conservation of the Black Mountains. The project will accelerate continued improvement and management of the Black Mountains – an iconic expanse of upland common that spans Wales and England across the counties of Breconshire, Monmouthshire, and Herefordshire.

National Sheep Association Chief Executive and Chairman of the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership – Phil Stocker commented: “We are as confident as we can be at stage two of the funding bid, having successfully passed stage one some months ago. This project has been in the planning for nearly 12 months now and with this funding it could soon come to fruition and truly make a difference to the future of the Black Mountains, to those who live and work there, and the thousands of visitors who enjoy this beautiful upland area.”

Mr Stocker was invited by the partners to take the role of Chairman for the Partnership in 2015, he continued: “Preparing for this funding application has already been helpful in providing a practical focus for the partners to come together and discuss some quite challenging topics. Its approval would allow the Partnership to continue its remit managing and improving the upland environment in the Black Mountains, which includes work on bracken control, improvement of peat habitats with the potential to explore a system of carbon offsetting, as well as visitor management and education, training to encourage more responsible tourism, local engagement, and business development.”

“The programme of work supported by the bid will help the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership to reach in its aims to improve the quality of farming and environmental habitats, the protection of precious resources such as water and soil, wildlife and biodiversity, and the wellbeing and economic health of those who live and work in this iconic area. To find out more about how the Partnership are working follow us on Twitter @BMLUP.”