Saturday, 2 November 2013

How should the English countryside look in future?.............. "It's mad that we protect the countryside (where hardly anyone lives) and cram buildings into every nook and cranny in the cities which are already rammed full."

There has been a lively debate on the comments pages of the BBC - which has just reported on the government's consultation on "how the Common Agricultural Policy should shape the future of farming and the rural economy in England."

How should the English countryside look in future?

1 November 2013 Last updated at 09:07

South DownsThe UK government now has more control over how it spends EU farming funds

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People are being asked to offer their views on how the English countryside should look.
The government has opened a consultationon the priorities for spending nearly £20bn of EU subsidies over the next seven years.
The budget has been cut overall and there is huge controversy about how it should be shared between helping farmers and protecting wildlife.
The decisions will have an impact on hedgerows, trees, wild flowers, birds, bees, water quality and the appearance of the landscape.
An EU settlement in the summer has given individual nations more discretion on how to spend funds.
Some countries want to prioritise direct help for farmers, but the UK government says farmers should have to earn their cash as much as possible by working in a way that benefits the environment.
'Significantly disadvantaged'
Ministers want to divert the maximum amount of 15% into rural development and green schemes.
They aim to help hill farmers and to create shelter for pollinators, such as bees and moths.
But this has worried big farmers, who they say they will lose out and get less direct payment than some of their European counterparts.
The National Farmers' Union (NFU) president, Peter Kendall, said: "English farmers are already significantly disadvantaged in comparison with their near neighbours in the EU."
Environmentalists are not happy either. They argue the government's plans have failed to ensure that whole landscapes are farmed in a way that safeguards water quality and the environment.
Helen Perkins from the Wildlife Trusts said: "We need to see farming for nature mainstreamed - with environmental standards raised on every farm so that exemplary practices aren't restricted to pockets of the countryside."
Campaigners are perplexed that the government has given the public just 28 days to respond to the consultation on an immensely complex reform.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own processes over farm budgets.
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    Comment number248.

    As per 237 build houses on just 1% of the countryside and solve the housing and employment crisis overnight.

    Its mad that we protect the countryside (where hardly anyone lives) and cram buildings into ever nook and cranny in the cities which are already rammed full.

    We have an older generation who have done very well out of the debt they ran up and now they are pulling up the drawbridge

    Comment number219.

    Live in France in cheese area where to be called "Comte" only milk from hay-fed cattle can be used, despite fields being under snow from Nov to Apr and cows living indoors. Result, every space is used for organic grazing and hay growth, stored for winter feeds.Incredible wild flower meadows, excellent cheese. Intensive farming and silage shouldn't get financial support.

    Comment number183.

    Just build on it! Its going to happen eventually so we might as well accept it now, its just boring space at the moment, get houses on there to help with the overpopulation of the country

    Comment number40.

    No houses built on green fields, woodlands or any other site that belongs to the countryside. Use the redundant industrial sites - there are so many. Preserve our beautiful countryside -the most beautiful in the world!

    Comment number34.

    Just leave the countryside alone - along with everything else.The Tories are selling our country off, Labour are giving everything away and the libs will say and go with anyone that will have them. Just once can't we just leave things alone! Change doesn't always mean progression it can mean regression. If anyone of those 3 are involved then guaranteed a costly mess and destruction will ensue.
Comments 5 of 6
BBC News - How should the English countryside look in future?

A consultation is launching today on how the Common Agricultural Policy should shape the future of farming and the rural economy in England.
The future of farming, the rural economy and the natural environment in England will be shaped by responses to a consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy which opened today.
The new EU rules set the framework for how Common Agricultural Policy funding may be spent, but the UK government successfully pressed the Commission to agree that each country within the UK may make choices on how CAP is implemented from 2015.
Defra is now seeking views on how the Common Agricultural Policy should be implemented in England in order to deliver value for money for the public.
Farming Minister George Eustice said:
The UK ensured that we have choices in how we implement the Common Agricultural Policy, rather than having to work with a one-size-fits-all approach from the European Commission.
This gives us the flexibility to target funding in ways that will deliver real benefits to the environment, boost the competitiveness of our farming industry and grow the rural economy. It’s vital that the new system is designed with the input of the people whose lives it will affect. That’s why it’s so important that people give us their views on how we can best achieve this.
Defra is inviting input into the design of a straightforward system that is effective, easy to follow and avoids the significant fines charged to UK taxpayers under the current Common Agricultural Policy.
The consultation responses will also shape the future of the Common Agricultural Policy in England, particularly with regard to transferring up to 15 per cent from the budget for payments made directly to farmers to payments to improve the environment and projects to improve farm competitiveness and boost economic growth. This is subject to evidence from the consultation that additional funding in these areas would prove value for money.
The consultation is wide ranging in its scope:
  • Growing the rural economy. The consultation sets out the potential to grow the rural economy, for example through business grants and investment in rural tourism.
  • Improving farm competitiveness and making things simpler.
    Views are sought on how the Common Agricultural Policy can be implemented in England with minimal burdens and how CAP can support businesses to thrive and become less reliant on subsidies.
  • Protecting the natural environment. Defra has proposed that a new environmental land management scheme should replace existing environmental stewardship schemes and also cover forestry. The consultation invites responses on how the Common Agricultural Policy can best benefit wildlife and improve natural landscapes.
  • Protecting pollinators. The consultation will explore options for the Common Agricultural Policy to do more for pollinators, including shaping the new environmental controls that are part of direct payments, voluntary action under the Campaign for the Farm Environment and the new environmental land management scheme.
Responses to the consultation can be made:
Defra will also host social media debates and regional engagement events (including workshops) which will inform the formal consultation. More information on workshops being held around the country and how to register your interest

Common Agricultural Policy: how will it affect you? - News stories - GOV.UK

See also: Consultation: how should the English countryside look in future? | Sidmouth Independent News

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