Thursday, 31 October 2013 08:48

Help us shape countryside, says DEFRA

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Help us shape countryside, says DEFRA

THE government is asking how best to spend almost £20bn that will help shape the countryside over the next seven years.

It said the future of farming, the rural economy and the natural environment in England would be shaped by responses to the consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy.

New EU rules set the framework for how Common Agricultural Policy funding may be spent - but each country within the UK is able to choose how the CAP is implemented from 2015.

Defra is now seeking views on how the Common Agricultural Policy should be implemented in England.

Farm minister George Eustice said: "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 was inviting input into the design of a straightforward system that was effective, easy to follow and avoided the significant fines charged to UK taxpayers by Brussels under the current CAP.

The consultation is wide ranging in its scope.

It sets out the potential to grow the rural economy, for example through business grants and investment in rural tourism.

Views are sought on how the CAP can support businesses to thrive and become less reliant on subsidies.

Defra has also proposed that a new environmental land management scheme should replace existing environmental stewardship schemes and also cover forestry.

People in this conversation

  • Guest (E. Henderson)

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    More has to be done to bring high speed internet to the rural communities as farmers have to try and diversify more and are finding it hard to obtain up to date information when they do not have access to the internet, also any farmer who has a holiday cottage on his land cannot rely on receiving a booking by post when in this day and age most of the holidays people book are done on line.
    We should be looking encourage the growing of more crops for home consumption

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