Whilst farming has crafted the landscape of the AONB, modern-day agricultural practices threaten its future. The AONB Management Plan identifies the need for more sustainable agricultural land use. Initiatives include encouragement for local grazing networks, promotion of local produce and guidelines for the use of redundant agricultural buildings.
The AONB also encourages take-up of schemes that exist to help and encourage farmers to farm for wildlife. The reform of CAP will enable farmers to pursue a more environmental agenda, at the same time giving them flexibility to take advantage of market opportunities and consumer preference. For information on the reforms, see Defra for farming in England, and Natural Resources Wales for farming in Wales.
The Wye Valley AONB also runs the annual Farming Awards which alternates between Small Farms under 100 hectares and Large Farms over 100 hectares. This year the winning farmer Simon Cutter from Court Farm, Lydbrook received his cash prize at the Monmouthshire Show.
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The Farming Awards 2014 will be started in the Spring and again presented at the Monmouthshire Show
Esther and Henry Rudge, of Ballingham Court Farm, have been presented with the Wye Valley AONB Farming Award trophy for the third time, at the Monmoouthshire Show.
Entries are being invited for the 2018 Wye Valley AONB Farming Awards, celebrating landonwers who make an outstanding contribution to the landscape.