The Black Mountains Land Use Partnership announced today that it has been successful in securing a grant of £1,004,155.00 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for its Sustainable Management Scheme project funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. This will ensure that the partnership can move forward in its aim to promote continued improvement, restoration and sustainable management of the natural resources of the Black Mountains, an iconic expanse of upland common that spans Wales and England across the counties of Breconshire, Monmouthshire, and Herefordshire.
The pioneering partnership brings together key stakeholders in the area, including graziers from the Black Mountains Graziers Association and private land owners; Glanusk Estate, Tregoyd Estate, Bal Mawr/Bal Bach Estate, Duke of Beaufort Estate, Glanusk Estate, Michaelchurch Estate and Ffwddog Estate. Along with public land owning bodies including the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales, Natural England, Welsh Water and support from the Young Farmers Club. Working together the partners aim to improve the viability and quality of the traditional farming practices that contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources. Across the landscape of the Black Mountains these will include bracken management, heather regeneration, improvement of grazing land and the protection of peat resources. Planned improvements to livestock access will help with stock management and also provide a better visitor experience of the area. Local communities will be involved through developing a rural skills programme, engagement with schools and the creation of employment opportunities including two partnership ranger posts.
National Sheep Association Chief Executive and Chairman of the Black Mountains Land Use Partnership – Phil Stocker commented:
“The successful outcome of the SMS funding bid to the Welsh Government is very welcome news and the result of a huge amount of effort and commitment from all the partners working together in a process that has taken over a year. The Black Mountains is a living and working landscape that is dependent on the viability of hundreds of private businesses working within, and reliant on, an environment and landscape that is sustainable, attractive, and delivering multiple economic, environmental and social outcomes. This grant will not only make a huge difference to the future of its rural communities but also to the people who visit the area. The learning gained through this work also has the potential to benefit many other communities in Wales and beyond and we are pleased and excited to now be able to start putting some of our plans into action.”
To find out more about how the Partnership are working follow them on Twitter @BMLUP and at www.blackmountains.wales