Yorkshire Water and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have welcomed Neil Pickard to the Beyond Nature team, as the initiative’s first ever farming officer.
Beyond Nature forms part of Yorkshire Water’s Land Strategy and aims to strengthen the sustainability of its land. At the same time, it focuses on supporting farm tenants to secure businesses that can thrive in the future. Yorkshire Water currently has nine farms signed up to Beyond Nature covering 5,000 hectares.
In partnership with Nidderdale AONB, Neil will expand the delivery of Yorkshire Water’s Beyond Nature approach by providing one to one conservation and business advice and supporting farmers to develop land management plans and apply for grants.
Neil has a broad agricultural background with a wealth of farm advisory experience and in-depth knowledge of upland farming systems. In recent years he has managed teams working on livestock, soils, crops (including energy crops), water and renewable energy projects. He was an executive director and board member of the Agricultural Development Advisory Service (ADAS) UK Ltd for five years and has also worked extensively on a self-employed basis across Yorkshire advising livestock farmers on technical and business issues.
As well as supporting the current Beyond Nature farmers, Neil will also work to expand the initiative and establish a for farms to share learning and experience.
Lisa Harrowsmith, lead surveyor at Yorkshire Water explained:
As we continue to roll out our Beyond Nature initiative, we’re delighted to welcome Neil to the team and strengthen our partnership with Nidderdale AONB. Our Land Strategy focuses on improving sustainability and valuing nature in order to deliver exceptional land for Yorkshire, forever.
Iain Mann, Nidderdale AONB manager, said:
Beyond Nature is a bold and ambitious initiative at a time of great change for the farming industry and unprecedented levels of public concern about the state of the environment.
We’re proud to be working in partnership with Yorkshire Water on delivering this innovative approach to land management, and delighted Neil has joined the team to help progress Beyond Nature across more Yorkshire Water farms within Nidderdale AONB and throughout Yorkshire.