An income-earner for upland farms could be for protecting the lowlands from flash-flooding. For flood prevention in the lowlands, an up-land flood-prevention co-op could deliver what the country needs, right now. This can be done by a reverse-franchise set up which is less restrictive than a legal co-operative.
In a reverse franchise, a limited company is set up as the franchisor and it makes the rules. Each farmer-franchisee gets one share (however big or small they are) in the franchisor and hence the name “reverse franchise”. The franchisor then forms a relationship with the Environment Agency to manage an upper catchment area including the mechanisms of (i) raising soil organic matter levels using composted urban wastes from the lowlands, (ii) planting tree belts on contours to create flow barriers, and (iii) setting up sacrifice areas to hold water under extreme conditions to allow slow release.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 12 November 2017