Hill, Upland and Crofting Farmer-led Group: climate change evidence

A summary of existing evidence around Hill, Upland and Crofting (HUC) farming, including greenhouse gas emissions produced by the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) division.


1. This covers three farm types where two thirds or more of output are (i) specialist sheep, (ii) specialist cattle, or (iii) cattle & sheep.

2. Million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

3. Least Favoured Area (LFA) as a percentage of Utilised Agricultural Area (UAA) – which excludes woodland and other land such as yards and derelict land.

4. UK Overseas Trade Statistics, February 2021.

5. Farms with a Standard Labour Requirement (SLR) of more than 0.5. Standard Labour Requirements represent the approximate average labour requirement for a livestock or crop enterprise. The annual hours of a full-time worker is 1,900 hours. The FBS also does not collect information on non-supported sectors, which include farms predominantly engaged in pigs, poultry, some fruit production and horticulture.

6. The path to net zero: Executive Summary.

7. Sixth Carbon Budget - Climate Change Committee (

8. The Climate Change Plan update incorporates some likely methodological changes not yet included in GHG inventory figures resulting in 7.7 MtCO2e in 2018 rather than 7.5.

9. To check the estimates from this approach we also calculate the emissions using the detailed underlying breakdowns from another dataset (ADAS). This leads to very similar estimates.

10. Survey of Agricultural Production Methods, 2016.

11. State of Nature Report 2019, NatureScot.

12. The Corncrake Crex crex population in Scotland from 1993 to 2015 with an overview of conservation measures taken during this period.

13. The importance of biodiversity and wildlife on farmland | Business Wales (

14. Does plantation forestry restore biodiversity or create green deserts? - Bremer, L., Farley, K..

15. "Natural capital is part of nature which directly or indirectly underpins value to people including ecosystems, species, freshwater, soils, minerals, the air and oceans, and natural processes and functions. In combination with other types of capital it forms part of our wealth; our ability to produce actual or potential goods and services into the future to support our wellbeing."

16. Scotland's Natural Capital Asset Index - 2019 Update summary.pdf (

17. Official Statistics - Terrestrial Breeding Birds 1994-2019.

18. Action — Working for Waders.

19. (PDF) The effects of cattle on the natural heritage of Scotland : Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 203 (ROAME No. F04AA103) (

20. More info on biodiversity value and managing moorland habitats is compiled in i. Backshall, J, Manley, V.J., Rebane, M. (2001) The upland management handbook Peterborough: English Nature; and Brooks, S. and ii. Stoneman, R. (1997) Conserving bogs: the management handbook. Edinburgh: Stationery Office.

21. the decline in livestock numbers experienced over the last decades and the changes in managements can be seen in an SNH report on trends in hill farming shows. This report points to the decline in active hill management and land abandonment affecting some areas, An Analysis of the Impact on the Natural Heritage of the Decline in Hill Farming in Scotland.

22. Microsoft Word - RSPB - Changing livestock numbers in the UK LFA - FINAL Report.

23. For more information see Piloting an Outcomes Based Approach in Scotland (POBAS) project.



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