The UK Government has today published its Agriculture Bill, setting out how the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy will be replaced by a new Environmental Land Management System after Brexit.
Responding to the Bill, Patrick Begg (Outdoors and Natural Resources Director for the National Trust) said: “This Bill is a vital step in the right direction and sets a clear direction for policy which will support farmers to restore and sustain our natural environment. Without a vibrant, healthy natural environment, the future of food production is at serious risk.
“The National Trust has been clear that we need a move away from the current outdated and overcomplicated model that has not worked for farmers or nature.
“The proposed system of public money for public goods is something we have been calling for and should provide an opportunity to put sustainability, wildlife, protecting and nurturing vital soils, improving water quality and flood prevention at the heart of land management. The principles set out in the draft Bill are good for people, good for nature and good for farmers.
“We’re delighted, but there’s much still needed to make this deliverable. In particular we now need a firm commitment to long term funding and investment at a level at least as big as the current payments delivered through the CAP. This means at least £3bn per year over the long term to support farmers and land managers and enable them to fulfil their role as custodians of our most cherished landscapes and natural resources.”