Environment set to be firmly on the farming agenda after Britain’s exit from the EU
AS CONCERNS continue over the future of funding streams for landowners after Brexit, green shoots of hope appear in the news that the Payment by Results (PBR) pilot project in Norfolk, Suffolk and North Yorkshire will be the first agri-environment scheme directly funded by the UK, writes Kim Stoddart.
Michael Gove has announced that, in the future, all the funding for the PBR will come from Defra directly, with a £540,000 boost announced to enable the trial programme to continue for another three years after its EU funding runs out at the end of this year.
The announcement has been made since the government’s public consultation of future farming policy following Brexit. Mr Gove has said: “This approach signals how we see the future of farm payments, where farmers deliver public goods for the environment which we all enjoy.”
While it is too early to tell how the scheme would impact directly on smallholders, those in the industry see it as a hopeful sign that environmental considerations are at least now being taken more seriously.