Who are we?

What is Swaledale & Wensleydale Environmental Farmers?

SWEF is an environmental co-operative; a group of farmers and moorland managers who have come together to create ambitious environmental outcomes, at scale, centred on the source and upper catchments of the rivers Swale and Ure. The area covers 85,000 hectares.

Our Vision

We want to maintain and enhance nature, to provide climate mitigation and carbon sequestration, and to improve water quality in the catchment for the public good, alongside sustainable agricultural activities and moorland management. 

Our Mission

Members aim to harness scale and member cooperation to secure enhanced, sustainable environmental outcomes, fair representation, and for fair financial rewards to come to those members for the delivery of a wide range of upland Natural Capital goods and services from traditional upland activities, food production and moorland management.

Our Objectives

To address the three pillars of sustainability: 

1. Environmental


  • Restore, protect and enhance peatland to help mitigate climate change.
  • Maintain and enhance excellent biodiversity.
  • Contribute to cleaner water and water storage.
  • To move towards net carbon zero farming by 2040

2. Financial

To seek ways to provide a fair reward to members for the delivery of those Natural Capital goods and services and, in particular, to identify and understand what would constitute an economically viable model. To communicate the requirements of that financial model to policy makers including the Yorkshire Dales National Authority (YDNPA). 

3. Heritage, social, cultural and community

To integrate traditional social and cultural elements into the delivery of these forward-looking Natural Capital goods and services, and develop community links and projects to enhance understanding and awareness. To have better local representation and influence. To provide opportunity for fostering and enhancing local relationships, working together, forging community links, etc.

And to achieve effective area-based conservation by adopting suitable international standards.