8 June 2012
Natural England is strengthening its commitment to working with land managers with the appointment of Geoff Sansome as Director of Land Management for the south of England. Ian Fugler will be taking on a similar role for northern England and will also have a specific responsibility for leading Natural England’s work in the uplands.
With the current discussions around the future of the industry, CAP negotiations, food security, upland land management and sustainable intensification there has never been a more vital time for Natural England to ensure that it is working closely with, listening to and supporting the farming sector.
Ian Fugler's career has involved working in the farming sector from Cornwall to Cumbria. After working on a farm in Cornwall, he joined MAFF in the mid 1980s and was appointed as Deputy and then Regional Director in Defra’s former northern region. Ian joined Natural England from the Rural Development Service in 2006. From 1 June 2012, Ian will be heading up Natural England’s land mangement work in the north and across the English uplands. Ian married into a northern farming family and now lives on a small upland farm near Brampton in Cumbria with his wife and two sons.
Ian said: “The north of England is now home for my family and so I’m very passionate about the area and excited to be taking this role in leading Natural England’s work with the land managers and agricultural sector in the north. I want to ensure that Natural England strengthens its working relationships with those who own and actively manage the uplands, by providing them with clarity on our role and remit. If they’re going to be successful and support a viable business, then the programmes and schemes we develop in the uplands must reflect the needs of well managed moorlands and good husbandry within the farm business, as well as delivering conservation objectives and public benefits”.
Geoff Sansome comes from a long line of farmers and is actively involved in the running of the family’s mixed farm at Hawford in Worcestershire, where the family have farmed for nearly 200 years. Geoff has more than 30 years of experience in advising farmers as both an agronomist and environmentalist. He was with ADAS for 20 years, before joining Natural England in 2006. He is a graduate of the University of Wales and a Nuffield Farming Scholar. With his first hand experience, Geoff is very familiar with the day to day practical issues faced by land management and agri businesses. Geoff will be one of the judges for this year’s Farmers Weekly Awards.
Geoff said: “As well as their main role as food producers, England’s farmers are the irreplaceable stewards of the land, shaping landscapes and delivering many public benefits. Alongside ensuring that the most important wildlife and conservation areas in the south of England are well looked after, my priority is to continue to build effective relationships with partners, landowners and local communities in a way that helps deliver the ambitions laid out in the government’s Natural Environment White Paper.”
Almost 6.2million hectares of farmland (67% of the available farmland in England) are under one of the agri-environment schemes managed by Natural England and produce a wide range of benefits – food and fuel, wildlife, water, and woodlands, landscape and beautiful countryside.
For further information, please contact:
David Hirst, Natural England press office: email@example.com
About Natural England
Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. Established in 2006 our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.
We establish and care for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved.
We work to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and advising on their conservation.
We run England’s Environmental Stewardship green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland.
We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats.
We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.