CLA President Ross Murray responds to The Natural Capital Committee's advice to the Government on the 25-year environment plan.
The Natural Capital Committee has published its advice to the Government on the 25-year environment plan today (28 September).
In response, CLA President Ross Murray said: “We welcome the thrust of the Committee’s advice to plan for the environmental future of the countryside.
“Although not definitive, this advice is the starting point for the 25-year plan and there is much here to acknowledge. However, there are a number of concerns which we will follow up with Defra and the Committee to ensure the rural economy is not put at a disadvantage. The Committee must acknowledge that delivery of the plan is highly reliant on a profitable and engaged land management community within the private sector.
“The Committee makes much of the opportunity to reform agricultural support, something the CLA has long recognised and is working to achieve. The overarching suggestion that farmers be rewarded for delivering a wide range of public benefits is consistent with a Land Management Contract we proposed earlier this year as part of a new food, farming and environmental plan.
“By ending the Basic Payment Scheme which pays farmers and landowners based on the amount of land they farm, a Land Management Contract would support those who choose to manage land in a way that delivers public benefits. It would turn a system based on entitlement to one of business contracts for defined services under which the smallest hill farmer to the large estate owner, could choose to undertake in return for a financial reward based on what they contribute, not the amount of land they own.”
Click here to read the Committee’s advice to the Government on the 25-year environment plan.