Policy change in the uplands
This chapter traces the development of agricultural and environmental policies in England that have helped to shape the uplands since a government department of agriculture first came into existence. Agricultural policy was fairly single-mindedly focused on production from the Second World War up to the 1980s. Around that time it became more widely realised that some policies were having a seriously detrimental effect on the rural environment. From then on, agricultural and environmental policy took a new direction, and the pace of change quickened. Some policies were at odds with each other, and most were directed at farmers, who became increasingly confused at what the government, ‘the public’ or the European Commission (EC) wanted from them. Most policies were not aimed directly at the uplands but at the countryside in general. More recently, as the environmental and ecosystems services value of the uplands has been more greatly appreciated, some policies have become more upland specific.