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Hill farming

Local Assessment Panel

As requested by Defra, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has convened a Local Assessment Panel to assess the Farming in Protected Landscape programme applications. The Local Assessment Panel considers applications to the programme and decides which projects should be approved, deferred or rejected. The panel currently meets virtually every six to eight weeks. The panel is made up of members from the farming community and local organisations:

Current panel members are:

  • YDNPA Member – Neil Heseltine
  • Natural England – Stuart Masheder
  • Dales Local Access Forum – Debbie North
  • North Yorkshire LEP – Mark Blakeston
  • Farmers – West – Stephen Lord; North – Helen Hird; East – Ben Spence; South – Christine Grange;  Farmers will be on a rolling cycle of attendance, with only 3 expected at each meeting.    
  • Estate owner – Ben Heyes, Bolton Abbey Estate

Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and Rural Payments Agency representatives are called upon for decisions on relevant applications

Purpose of the Panel

To consider and decide on applications for projects (with a total fund request of over £10,000) submitted to the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme, according to the agreed criteria for the programme as published in the information for applicants and in accordance with the scoring system provided.

Role of Local Assessment Panel (LAP)

The panel shall:

  • Refer all enquiries for the Farming in Protected Landscapes grant to the Protected Landscapes FiPL officer without prejudicing their decision making
  • Receive a report and recommendation on all valid applications from the FiPL officer and should consider all applications along with the FiPL officer report and recommendations
  • Assess applications, giving regard to the FiPL National Framework and other guiding documents, and marking applications to achieve the desired outcomes of the FiPL programme
  • Assess applications using the scoring system provided
  • Award, partially award, request more information or refuse applications
  • Give precise reasons for decisions – these reasons should refer to the guidance documents and scheme criteria.
  • Treat decisions as confidential until notice has been issued by the Protected Landscape to the applicant.
  • Review and make recommendations for alterations the Panel’s Terms of Reference; these recommendations will be considered by the Chief Officer or their nominee and the Chair of the panel
  • Champion the FiPL programme with farmers, land managers and other relevant organisations
  • Have regard to the Nolan Principles in all its affairs

Date of meetings and minutes:

Year 3

22nd May 2023

29th June 2023

10th August 2023

19th September 2023

31st October 2023

7th December 2023

16th January 2023