Agriculture Bill must facilitate a brighter future for National Parks

12 September 2018

A Bill setting out what financial support for farmers and land managers will be proCattle in the North York Moorsvided after Brexit goes before the UK’s parliament today. The Environment Secretary has announced a system of public money for public goods – something Campaign for National Parks has campaigned for. The new system will replace the current system of Direct Payments that are delivered under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove details how payments will be used to incentivise farmers and provide them greater flexibility.

Campaign for National Parks notes how important farmers are in managing the family of National Parks and so this legislation will be critical in shaping the future of these beautiful areas.

Fiona Howie, Chief executive of Campaign for National Parks, said: “Support for our farmers is vital to the future of our National Parks and getting the new environmental land management scheme, and the transition to it, are vital. We want farmers and land managers to be leading the charge for nature, landscape and the historic environment within the Parks. Improving wildlife, access to the outdoors and enhancing the beauty and character of the landscape must, therefore, all be part of the ‘public goods’ covered by future payments.”

“We would urge members of Parliament to consider the great and beautiful landscapes of the National Parks when looking at this Bill. We know they are living, working landscapes but the important farming communities in many of the Parks are vulnerable. What’s at stake is the beauty of our world famous landscapes, the vitality of our rural communities and the condition of the country we leave future generations.”

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Farmed landscapes in the North York Moors. Photo credit: North York Moors National Park Authority