Green farm­ing rules re­viewed

The Oban Times - - FARMING -

PLANS to in­tro­duce changes to green­ing rules, which im­prove the im­pact farm­ing has on the en­vi­ron­ment, have been an­nounced by Ru­ral Econ­omy Sec­re­tary Fer­gus Ewing.

The planned changes for 2018 in­clude: hedges will be able to count as a sep­a­rate type of Eco­log­i­cal Fo­cus Area (EFA), agro-forestry sup­ported un­der the Forestry Grant Scheme and lo­cated on tem­po­rary grass­land will be able to count as EFA, and the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment is seek­ing to shorten the pe­riod dur­ing which main­te­nance of field drains is pro­hib­ited on EFA fallow.

Mr Ewing said: ‘We are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that green­ing rules are ef­fec­tive for the en­vi­ron­ment and do not in­tro­duce a dis­pro­por­tion­ate bur­den for our farm­ers.

‘Hav­ing lis­tened to con­cerns raised by the in­dus­try and con­sid­ered the is­sues very care­fully, we plan to in­tro­duce changes to Scot­land’s green­ing rules from 2018.

‘While these changes in them­selves will make a dif­fer­ence, there is more we can and should be do­ing to en­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of farm­ing and food pro­duc­tion in the fu­ture.’

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