Hillcountry farming

The Council works closely with hillcounty farmers offering a range of support advice on managing hill county land.

Although it is steep with low  natural fertility the eastern hillcountry supports the vast majority of the region’s 840 sheep and beef farms, stocking approximately 128,300 beef cattle and about 499,800 sheep.

Flood events such as those we witnessed in 2015 highlight the significant impact erosion can have on the region’s hillcountry farms. Many farmers realise that some of their more erosion-prone land cannot sustain certain farming practices in the long term.

Our monitoring shows sustainable land use in the hill county is high, at around 87%. Still, there is work to do. Our ongoing work with farmers in the hill country management programme can reduce the risk of accelerated erosion in the hill country and the associated sediment that ends up in the region’s waterways.  

And farmers realise the benefits of stable and productive land that is economically efficient well to the future.