In our 2026 Vision for the Countryside CPRE looked to a brighter, better future. The role of farming in helping to deliver that future is critical. This vision sets out our aspirations for a farming system that, by 2026, our centenary year, will be helping to create a more vibrant countryside, environmentally, socially and economically.
Arable farming has changed enormously over the past 60 years and the size of arable farms has greatly increased, resulting in significant changes to the character of many of our landscapes. This is CPRE's analysis of the challenges facing arable farming, and our suggestions for a sustainable future for the sector.
Beef cattle and sheep farming helps maintain many of our most important wildlife habitats, as well as the character of our beautiful countryside. This is CPRE's analysis of the challenges facing beef and sheep farming, including our ideas to help secure its future as a profitable sector which continues to enhance landscapes.
The number of dairy farms in the UK has declined dramatically over the last two decades, with a move towards larger farms and herds. Here, CPRE explore the options for reversing this trend and create a thriving dairy sector with benefits for local food webs and landscapes.
CPRE's Vision for the future of farming looks at the issues surrounding the horticulture sector, including the impact of polytunnels on the landscape and the challenge of getting seasonal, homegrown produce back on shelves and menus. We set out our ideas for reviving the sector to benefit independent producers and strengthen local food webs.
Intensive production of pork and chicken meat and eggs has highlighted a range of welfare and environmental concerns. Here, CPRE examines these concerns and sets out how the pig and poultry sector could benefit from higher animal welfare standards, and what needs to be done to provide more support for our farmers
Choosing the right tools for a richer countryside
CPRE, as part of the Joint Links coalition of UK conservation bodies, believes that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should be radically reformed to bring about a revolution in the protection and enrichment of Europe’s landscapes and habitats. This report outlines the measures that need to be developed to help make farming more sustainable, humane and wildlife-friendly. By 2020 the CAP must be doing much more to restore and enhance our natural and historic landscapes, and making a bigger contribution towards meeting targets and commitments on biodiversity, climate change and natural resource protection.
Hidden costs of managing the countryside
Farming is of national strategic importance, in terms of primary production of food, energy and commodities, through its crucial role in managing water and soil resources and in shaping and managing landscape and habitat. The rich character of the English countryside is largely derived from farming and the future of agriculture will play a major role in determining its future. The farming community retains professional knowledge and a skill base which will be vital to the future of productive land management in the future.