State of nature can be improved by farmers and green groups working together, says CLA

The CLA has called for environmental groups to work with farmers to make the case for a fully funded, world-leading food, farming and environment policy to be in place when current support provided by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) comes to an end in 2020.

Speaking at the launch of the State of Nature report today (14 September) CLA Deputy President Tim Breitmeyer said: “The report makes sobering reading and paints a clear picture of significant decline over 40 years. It reminds us how much there is to do to reintroduce habitats and species into our natural environment and protect them. However, it also shows encouraging signs of successful population growth in certain species, and overall, a change in trends that can be built upon. It is encouraging to see the effort farmers and others have put in over recent years has started to bear fruit and that this effort is making a difference.

“As we start to develop policy for a UK outside of the EU, it is critical that a proper understanding is established between farmers and environmental groups. As landowners, our starting point is clear, only a profitable, resilient farming sector can realistically invest time and resource in environmental management.

“We encourage green groups to acknowledge that farmers are best placed to continue to deliver biodiversity improvements, and to share their ideas and experience in formulating policy to deliver a better state of nature for our nation.”

The CLA, along with Scottish Land & Estates, has published six fundamental principles for the new Food, Farming and Environmental Policy in post-Brexit Britain:

· A productive, competitive farming and forestry sector: the policy must enable UK farmers to be competitive on international markets

· Food security: the policy must promote innovative, sustainable ways to increase production and manage risk

· Enhancing the environment: the policy must be more ambitious than its predecessors in meeting environmental challenges

· A dedicated UK budget: Government must provide sufficient funds for the policy across the whole of the UK

· Value for Money: the policy must deliver value for money in the way it is implemented and in the outcomes it delivers to the benefit of everyone

· Clear, proportionate regulation: the standards that must be met should be clear, with support provided to help businesses achieve compliance.

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