NFU urges National Trust to work with tenant farmers as part of new strategy

As the National Trust (NT) launches a new £1bn, 10-year strategy to ‘protect the countryside’, the NFU says it is vital they work with their tenant farmers during the process.

The NT unveiled a report in which it promised to, ‘nurse the natural environment back to health and reverse the decline in wildlife’. It also said it would develop new economic models of land use and do more to safeguard green spaces.

NFU tenants national spokesman Chris Cardell said: “I would ask that the National Trust work with their tenant farmers and key stakeholders such as the NFU on any key environmental management schemes which they might develop as a ‘whole estate approach’. This must be carried out at the beginning of the process. It is also important that any new management commitments are made clear to new tenants in their letting particulars.

“The National Trust must also be realistic and set appropriate rents as the farm businesses have to remain viable, profitable and sustainable.

“One disappointing aspect is that the National Trust hasn’t acknowledged the good work that farmers have been doing for many years in helping to protect and enhance the environment through the adoption of good practices and their participation in agri-environment schemes and initiatives such as the Campaign for the Farmed Environment.

“For this strategy to work, the partnership between the National Trust and its tenant farmers is ever more important.”

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