Did you know that the UK ranks among the worst globally for the state of its life-sustaining nature. The new Government legislation introduced on the 26th January 2023 aims to help farmers and landowners support food production while protecting habitats and wildlife.
Whilst these measures are welcome, questions are still being raised as to whether the Government is doing enough.
Under the old regime, subsidies and payments were heavily based on the amount of land farmed – this could mean mean big pay-outs for larger landowners, but little support for the farmer who is working the land.
Under the new scheme, up to £1bn of the annual £2.4bn annual agriculture budget will be used to support nature friendly farming projects. The Government hopes that this funding will help farmers in England produce food in a less environmentally damaging way.
Whilst the new measures may not be sufficient to ensure the UK meets its lofty climate and nature targets – one thing is for sure, it’s a step in the right direction.
The Wildlife Trusts have been very vocal of the new measures. Their view is that the news from Government is a welcome step in the right direction but, it there is still too much money being spent for too little reward to the environment. You can read their article on the new legislation here.
This is an opinion shared by many conservation groups and environmental consultancies around the country, including the soil association who accused Ministers of doing little more than “tinkering around the edges” when “radical changes” are needed.
As a subsidiary of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, EMEC agrees that the new measures represent a positive step in the right direction, but ultimately more clarity is required to help deliver the legally binding long-term targets for nature and climate, which supports a sustainable and resilient future for farming in England.