Arable farmers are currently receiving vast amounts of money in subsidies with only 7 per cent being paid to farmers to manage the land for conservation. It is regrettable that during the life of set-aside few steps have been taken to ensure that its environmental benefits are retained for the long term. It is crucial that such action is taken now.
The Ministry of Agriculture has recently consulted with conservation organisations and farming representatives on this subject and has asked members of an arable working group to develop ideas for an incentive scheme. It will be vital that these ideas are developed by the Government, with the minimum of delay, into a workable scheme that is adequately funded and will meet conservation objectives on commercial farms.
Director of Conservation, RSPB
Sandy, BedfordshireReuse content