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  Farming plan targets green future

Monday 13 July 2009
flowersA new agreement between the UK Government and farming industry is aiming to boost the country’s water quality, biodiversity and wildlife with a collaborative approach, it has been announced. The agreement, which promotes Environmental Stewardship, involves the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Country Land and Business Association along with Natural England, the RSPB and the Environment Agency.

Among the conditions of the agreement are a doubling of the uptake of key agri-environment Entry Level Scheme in-field options, covering 40,000 hectares over current levels; and increasing uncropped land by 20,000 hectares from January 2008 levels, as well as aiming to improve the environmental management of at least 60,000 hectares of this land.

“It’s a clear challenge to all farmers from the industry and government together – the success of this approach is in your hands,” said Hilary Benn, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, speaking at the Royal Show. “I look forward to seeing farmers responding to this challenge and to farmland bird numbers recovering, so that we don’t have to consider a regulatory approach in the future.”

“The campaign is ambitious and provides a long term method of working collectively on environmental issues with the farming community,” said NFU President Peter Kendall. “We are absolutely determined to make it succeed.”

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