Gove launches post-brexit vision
Defra secretary Michael Gove launched the Agriculture Bill last month, setting out a post-brexit vision of how farmers and land managers will in future be paid for “public goods”, such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.
An environmental land management system will replace the subsidy system of direct payments, which has been described by Defra as “ineffective”.
The new system will be put into place next year and the Government has pledged to work together with farmers to design, develop and trial the new approach.
Commenting ahead of the publication of the bill, Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, said: “The Alliance recognises that public money for public goods is a fine principle, and we are supportive that money will be made available for the many benefits farming delivers for the public. We do, however, wait with interest to see the detail of the bill.
“We wait to see whether the partnership between fieldsports and farming in the delivery of social, economic and conservation benefits has been recognised and rewarded. And we hope to see that the unique cultural and economic contribution of farming in the uplands has been suitably accounted for.”
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