Farming and land use

How important is farming to the East Riding?

Agricultural land makes up 90 percent of the land area within the East Riding and the council has a highly developed sense of the farming sectors continuing importance in shaping the area that is the East Riding.

Although at face value in economic terms the agricultural sector contributes a
relatively modest 2-3 percent of the area's economy and employment, it provides the raw materials and the farmed landscape backdrop that underpins a number of key clusters that strengthen the area's economic identity.

  • Food and drink;
  • Ports and logistics;
  • Environmental industries;
  • Cultural industries/tourism.


For more information please click on the link below to view the recent Stage 2 Importance of Agriculture and Land Management to the East Riding of Yorkshire report.

Stage 2 Report (pdf 1.8mb opens in new window)

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How does the council work with the farming sector?

The council supports farmers across a number of departments, functions and
levels, and, although these interactions vary enormously, they generally fall into one of these categories: 

  • business growth and diversification, the council has a specialist rural business support officer. For further information contact your local rural business support team;
  • the long term future of farming, the councils rural policy and partnership section works to support farmers through its rural partnership which regularly responds to government and European consultations;
  • landlord, the council has 70 farms and small holdings which are let to tenants on long term leases. View further information about council property for sale or rent;
  • regulator, the council has a wide range of regulator functions including monitoring the movement of lifestock and feedstocks.

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What business support does the council offer the farming sector?

The council has a specialist business support officer responsible for working with the farming community and local planners to help them with business growth and diversification.

For further information please use the general enquiry form on the right hand side of the page.

In addition to the business support services offered by the council there are independent sector led organisations that may be able to help you, such as the Country Land and Business Association, National Farmers Union and Driffield Agricultural Society.

Country Land and Business Association (external website)

National Farmers Union (external website)

Driffield Agricultural Society (external website)

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How does the council help protect the long term future of farming?

The council's rural policy and partnerships team responds to government and EU consultations relating to farming, including reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP), which are of great significance to agricultural businesses in the East Riding.

Representatives of the farming industry are also invited to sit on the East Riding of Yorkshire rural partnership, which is co-ordinated by the council, to ensure that the council is fully aware of the latest developments in the farming industry.   

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Where can I find out more information about producing woodfuel?

Woodfuel is a renewable, low carbon fuel that can be produced sustainably from a range of sources, including managed woodlands and dedicated energy crops (eg. miscanthus, short rotation coppice).  

Farmers are increasingly becoming a part of the growing renewable energy industry, both locally and nationally. If you are interested in managing your woodlands to produce woodfuel, please see the following websites for further information:

Yorwoods - woodfuel programme (external website)

Forestry commission - woodfuel in England (external website)

Biomass energy centre - woodfuel suppliers (external website)

If you are interested in growing energy crops to produce woodfuel, please visit:

Natural England - energy crops scheme (external website)

For general information about woodfuel, including advice on potential funding options, please contact the council's rural policy team by completing the online enquiry form on the right-hand side of the page.

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Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the controlled breakdown of organic matter (inc. farm or food wastes) without air to produce a combustible bio-gas and nutrient-rich organic by-product.  Benefits of AD technology include the production of renewable energy, the sustainable processing of wastes and the diversification of farm businesses.

To find out more information about AD please see the website below:

Anaerobic Digestion Information Portal (external website)

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